The House Freedom Caucus on Monday unanimously elected North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows its new chairman, marking the first leadership change for the conservative group since its inception in early 2015.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who led the caucus the past two years and did not seek another term, will remain part of the leadership and serve as chairman emeritus.
Meadows, 57, has been a catalyst for a major change in the House Republican leadership. In late July 2015, he introduced a resolution declaring the office of speaker to be vacant that, if passed, would have forced Speaker John A. Boehner to relinquish his gavel. While it was never brought to a vote, it helped set in motion events that led Boehner to announce in late September that he would retire.
Meadows has led an effort to compile a list of federal regulations that conservatives think President-elect Donald Trump should repeal.
The Freedom Caucus held a retreat in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend to discuss policy priorities, including regulatory relief, repeal of the 2010 health care law and immigration issues, including enhanced border security, implementing E-Verify and defunding sanctuary cities.
Though the 40-some-member group has a reputation for bucking leadership and blocking legislation, its members predict it will be more productive with Trump in the White House and Republicans maintaining control of both houses of Congress.
“I know that Mark has a passion for conservative principles and for serving his district and ordinary Americans across the country who feel forgotten by Washington,” Jordan said in a statement. “I am certain that he will provide strong leadership as we work in 2017 to pass legislation that fulfills the promises we’ve made to the American people.”