Henderson Co. Sheriff McDonald Attends President Trump’s School Safety Roundtable

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, Henderson County Sheriff Charles S. McDonald attended a school safety roundtable at the White House with President Donald Trump, State and local leaders, law enforcement officers, and education officials.

Sheriff McDonald, one of 12 attendees to the event, spoke with President Trump, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, and others about addressing the need for school security measures in light of the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. The event was part of an ongoing initiative from the White House to receive feedback on gun safety measures from local officials.

“I appreciate the opportunity to bring a local perspective from western North Carolina to what has become a national conversation,” said Sheriff McDonald. “School security is a multi-faceted issue that is going to take cooperation from numerous stakeholders to bring about change and enhance the safety of our children. I would like to thank President Trump and especially Congressman Mark Meadows for their invitation to share ideas concerning this important issue. Congressman Meadows has always been a great supporter and friend to sheriffs across North Carolina. I want to acknowledge his leadership and thank him for his ongoing support for law enforcement across our great state.”

“I can think of no better individual or professional to represent our district’s schools and law enforcement at the White House than Sheriff Charles McDonald,” Rep. Meadows (R-NC) said. “I’m thrilled that our district had the opportunity to give direct input, straight to the President of the United States, on the issue of keeping our schools, students, and teachers safe. I want to thank Sheriff McDonald for making the trip to Washington, D.C. to speak, the President for his kind invitation, and the White House for hosting the event. No matter where you stand on the issue of gun safety, one principle remains true: the willingness to listen and directly involve American citizens in the conversation is a major part of what makes America great.”

You can watch Sheriff McDonald’s remarks at the event here.


Henderson Co. Sheriff Charles McDonald, seated next to AG Jeff Sessions, participates in School Safety Roundtable

N.C. Speaker Tim Moore: Lawmakers Announce Plan to Phase-In Lower K-3 Class Sizes

Raleigh, N.C. – State lawmakers on Thursday unveiled an aggressive effort to improve student outcomes in the early grades by phasing in smaller class sizes and lower student-to-teacher ratios in kindergarten through third grade classrooms.

The legislation provides millions of additional state dollars to fund special subject area teachers and eliminating the state’s Pre-K waiting list.

“State House members traveled across North Carolina listening to educators and families about their priorities for our school systems,” state House Speaker Tim Moore (R-Cleveland) said in a press conference announcing the proposal.

“Our plan to lower class sizes over time is the result of successful,  continued collaboration among legislators and educators to implement an innovative education agenda for North Carolina students.”  

The co-chairs of the House and Senate education committees worked closely with school superintendents, while listening to parents and teachers, to develop a plan that doubles down on the legislature’s years-long effort to improve academic outcomes for students by the end of third grade.

For years, Republican lawmakers have supported smaller class sizes in core academic subjects in the early grades – since research has shown this leads to improved academic outcomes for students – and have already given schools about $222 million in additional tax dollars toward that purpose.

Laws to reduce class sizes have been on the books for years and were slated to go into full effect next school year, but some local school administrators flagged what they said could be unintended consequences – including that they could no longer spend state dollars intended to reduce class sizes on enhancement teachers in non-core subject areas like art, music, drama and P.E.

“Lower class sizes are an important part of North Carolina’s innovative education reforms that provided teacher pay raises, hundreds of millions of dollars in additional funding and education options for low-income students,” said Rep. Craig Horn (R-Union.)

“These are the priorities of parents and families – improving performance and offering high-quality learning environments that create the best opportunity for student success.”

The plan addresses those concerns by phasing in implementation of class size reductions over the next four school years – with no changes to the status quo in the first year – giving school administrators ample time to plan and take the necessary steps to meet those requirements.

Under the proposal, school systems across the state will continue to receive about $70 million each year to cover the expense of hiring additional K-3 teachers needed to meet the class size requirements. But schools will only be required to gradually lower their student-to-teacher ratios until the 2021-2022 school year.

“From parents to educators to lawmakers to Gov. Cooper, nearly everyone agrees that lowering class sizes is an important priority that will have a real positive impact on academic outcomes for our students,” said Sen. Chad Barefoot (R-Wake.)

“After months of work reviewing the data and hearing from stakeholders, I believe we’ve arrived at a data-driven solution that will achieve the smaller classes that we all support and that taxpayers have paid for, with a timeline and framework that our local schools should be able to implement successfully.”

The plan also fulfills lawmakers’ earlier promise to reinstate a dedicated funding stream for enhancement teachers that was eliminated by former state Sen. Roy Cooper and former Gov. Jim Hunt in the 1990s. It will immediately set aside more than $60 million to be used for the 2018-19 school year, and will increase that amount each year based on what data shows is actually required to meet students’ needs.

Based on current calculations and needs outlined in data provided by local school systems, schools across the state will receive nearly $250 million in additional recurring state dollars to fund special subject area teachers by the 2021-2022 school year.

The bill will also eliminate the state’s Pre-K waiting list, adding close to 3,000 slots for low-income children to the program.

The proposal is supported by the N.C. Association of School Administrators.

“Our youngest students will benefit from smaller class sizes and Pre-K programs that we know lead to better outcomes, and our school districts will benefit from dedicated enhancement teacher funding and a longer implementation timeline,” said N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson.

“My hope is that we can now shelve the partisan wedges and put the focus back where it needs to be: on making sure every student can read proficiently by the end of third grade.”

Americans deserve the certainty of knowing that the individual tax cuts are permanent

BY REPS. MARK MEADOWS (R-N.C.) AND RODNEY DAVIS (R-ILL.), OPINION CONTRIBUTORS — 02/06/18 12:20 PM EST 20

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY CONTRIBUTORS ARE THEIR OWN AND NOT THE VIEW OF THE HILL

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/economy-budget/372471-americans-deserve-the-certainty-of-knowing-that-the

It’s simple: the American people should be free to keep more of their earnings for themselves and their families. This is a building block necessary for our voluntary civil society to function. For free enterprise to truly work, and for every individual American to have the best chance to succeed, we believe the government needs to get out of the way, allowing financial responsibility and freedom, entrepreneurial ingenuity, and flexibility to thrive.

Many of us ran for Congress on the promise of cutting taxes and putting more of Americans’ hard-earned money back into their pockets where it belongs in the first place. We sought to cut taxes across the board to provide relief for every family while making American businesses more competitive at home and around the world.

That is exactly why Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and why President Trump signed this historic legislative accomplishment into law. The promises of lower taxes and economic freedom are being delivered by the president and Congress. Standard deductions have doubled. Individual tax rates have been cut. And business rates are truly competitive again for the first time in a generation.

We’re not even a month into 2018, but already American workers and families are seeing the benefits from the reduced rates. More than 3 million workers have received increased wages, bonuses, added benefits, and other investments from employers like Home Depot, Bank of America, AT&T, FedEx, and more. Beginning in February, the average family of four in America will see a tax cut this year of over $2,000, and 90 percent of American workers will see more money in their paychecks.

The benefits of America’s new tax code speak for themselves, but we’ve seen no shortage of attempted negative narratives on what tax relief means for everyday Americans. Some may tell you that the tax cuts only benefits the “rich.” Others may suggest that a $1,000 bonus “won’t go very far.” Some might even tell you that thousands of dollars in bonuses or tax cuts amount to only “crumbs.” Even more, others have been critical regarding to the expiration of the individual tax cuts in 2025.

Keep in mind, the individual tax cuts were permanent when the House first passed the bill—but due to Senate budget reconciliation rules, the final bill set them to expire in 2025. The budget reconciliation tool became necessary when Democrat senators unanimously opposed cutting taxes, making a 50 vote threshold the only realistic option.

Therefore, making the individual tax cuts permanent requires a separate legislative action. That’s why, we introduced a bill in the House of Representatives to set the tax provisions for individuals in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into permanent law. These are the same individual tax cuts that allow the average family of four in Illinois’ 13th District to save $2,224 and $1,770 for a similar family in North Carolina’s 11th District.

Most importantly, this is a bill to ensure millions of Americans do not see a tax increase after 2025. While it’s unlikely that a future Congress would allow the tax cuts to expire, American families deserve better than the uncertainty that comes along with waiting for future solutions. It’s on the current Congress to pass legislation now to give working families the long-term security they need.

Budget reconciliation won’t be used in this effort, so the bill will need 60 votes in the Senate. This isn’t a fix that one party can carry across the finish line on a party-line vote. Republicans and Democrats will need to join in this effort together. And even in a polarized age such as this one, if there is anything that members of both parties can unite around to deliver for the American people, it’s the certainty of knowing that your tax cuts are here to stay.

Meadows represents North Carolina’s 11th District and is chairman of the House Freedom Caucus. Davis represents Illinois’ 13 District.

 

 

Rep. Meadows’ Statement on Continuing Resolution to March 23

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on the House’s passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government through March 23, 2018:

 “As I’ve said many times before, Congress must get its house in order and pass a long-term, fiscally responsible budget that cuts wasteful spending and gives our military men and women the financial security they need. While this appropriations package is not perfect, I chose to support it because it provides a full year of financial security for our military men and women, along with long-term stability for Community Health Centers.”  

From Rep. Massie

Rep. Meadows: “Release the Memo”

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) spoke on the House floor on Thursday night, urging the House Intelligence Committee to release the classified four-page memo revealing alleged surveillance abuses in the U.S. government:

Speech transcript:

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. As many of you know, we have had a Russian narrative that’s been going on because of an infamous dossier. And while there’s been much reported on it, I can tell you that the Intel Committee has been fast at work, and Chairman Nunes has been doing outstanding work, to get to the truth for the American people.

 Today, I had the opportunity to go into a confidential setting to make sure that we can understand better what actually took place. And I’m here to tell all of America tonight that I am shocked to read exactly what has taken place. I would think it would never happen in a country that loves freedom and democracy like this country. It is time we become transparent in all of this and I am calling on our leadership to make this available so that all Americans can judge for themselves.”

 

 

Tweet 

I viewed the classified report from House Intel relating to the FBI, FISA abuses, the infamous Russian dossier, and so-called “Russian collusion.” What I saw is absolutely shocking. This report needs to be released–now. Americans deserve the truth.

 

 

Congress Mark Meadows’ Statement on Continuing Resolution

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement on the House’s passage of a continuing resolution, H.R. 195, to fund the government through February 19:

“At the end of the day, what chiefly matters is that Congress come together to implement the agenda the American people voted for. Tonight, we secured important commitments to provide support to make sure our nation’s tremendous military men and women are paid. Furthermore, this continuing resolution provided long-term funding for the Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for at-risk children and families, marking the third time Republicans supported this funding. Finally, while I’ve made my position clear on Congress’ bad habit of governing by crisis, I believe the agreement we reached tonight will help put us on a path toward accomplishing the rest of the agenda given to us by the American people.

 Now comes the real work. It’s time for us to get serious about following through on our promises—not in a year, not in a few months, but now. The American people didn’t elect us to continue kicking the can down the road on major policy decisions. We need to get our record spending levels under control. We need to pass a long-term, responsible funding bill that gives our troops the financial security they need and puts our country on a path toward an improving economy and higher paying jobs. And we need to address our broken immigration system, focusing on the fundamental priorities that President Trump campaigned on—securing our southern border, ending chain migration, ending the diversity visa lottery program, and others.

Time for us to put aside the excuses and deliver the results. We can get this done.”

Mark Meadows Draws Line in Sand: No DACA Amnesty in Spending Bill

by MATTHEW BOYLE2 Jan 2018Washington, DC

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/02/mark-meadows-draws-line-in-sand-no-daca-amnesty-in-spending-bill/

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, on Tuesday said there should be no Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty deal contained within the government funding bill coming up in January.

The important move by Meadows aims to take government shutdown leverage away from Democrats in the upcoming DACA battles — something that President Donald Trump alluded to on Tuesday morning on Twitter when he bashed Democrats for not being serious about DACA solutions.

Donald J. Trump

✔@realDonaldTrump

Democrats are doing nothing for DACA – just interested in politics. DACA activists and Hispanics will go hard against Dems, will start “falling in love” with Republicans and their President! We are about RESULTS.

10:16 AM – Jan 2, 2018
Meadows, in an interview with MSNBC host Chuck Todd, said that a DACA deal is in the works and being discussed.

“We have been working closely with the administration and some of my Democrat colleagues, even some Republicans that perhaps are more moderate than I would be, because the president set a deadline in March to deal with the 674,000 people that had deferred action,” Meadows said. “So, we’re going to get a deal. We have been working behind the scenes not only with members but with the White House as well to try to do that. But the president has been very specific on what he wants to see.”

Meadows noted that three “critically important” parts to any deal include the president’s planned wall along the U.S. border with Mexico, an end to chain migration, and a stop to the visa lottery — along with more general border and interior enforcement measures. Trump laid this out on Twitter last week.

Donald J. Trump

✔@realDonaldTrump

The Democrats have been told, and fully understand, that there can be no DACA without the desperately needed WALL at the Southern Border and an END to the horrible Chain Migration & ridiculous Lottery System of Immigration etc. We must protect our Country at all cost!

8:16 AM – Dec 29, 2017

Meadows added that there is no way there can be any kind of “last minute scenario” whereby only amnesty for the DACA recipients happens without an end to chain migration, a stop to the visa lottery, and funding for the president’s planned border wall. The reason for that, he said, is that doing just an amnesty without stopping the flow of future illegal immigration will not solve the problem.

“If you deal with those 600,000 individuals without changing the fundamental reason why they are here and the fact that — we’ll just be dealing with it again,” Meadows said. “You have seen previous administrations, both Democrat and Republican, try to deal with it. And they have never been able to deal with it. Let’s go ahead, once and for all. Let’s do something historic and make sure we address it.”

But the most important thing Meadows said in the interview was that DACA should not be connected to the government funding bill. “How connected to the government funding bill is DACA now? This Jan. 19 expiration date, does DACA have to be agreed on before that? Is that your deadline?” Todd asked Meadows.

“Well, no, I think if you talk to Democrats, they are going to want to attach to it that funding,” Meadows replied. “Conservatives have said let’s keep as a separate issue. I’m hopeful that—“

“So you think March is the real deadline?” Todd pressed Meadows.

“March is the real deadline,” Meadows responded. “You are not even talking about any deportation until months after that even if we hit that deadline. But we are really looking at March. But the other part is I’m encouraging our leadership to go ahead and do something bold in the next two weeks. So let’s go ahead and have the debates and let’s discuss and it see if we can get a bipartisan agreement.”

Meadows added that he would like to see congressional leadership move forward on a plan that addresses President Trump’s concerns this month, in January.

“Yeah, in the House,” Meadows said when Todd asked about whether he wants to get moving in January. “Because the Senate is slower to act. So, yes, I see it being dealt with long before infrastructure.”

Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan: It’s time for Jeff Sessions to go, as shown by the latest FBI leak

by Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan | Jan 4, 2018, 9:00 AM

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/reps-mark-meadows-and-jim-jordan-its-time-for-jeff-sessions-to-go-as-shown-by-the-latest-fbi-leak/article/2644934

As the first year of the Trump administration comes to a close, one can’t help but look back on how allegations of “Russian collusion” dominated the headlines of almost every news agency. Hearings, leaks, and so-called “bombshells” saturated the mainstream media coverage almost immediately after the 2016 presidential campaign concluded.

Sadly, manufactured hysteria on this issue throughout 2017 has frequently masked the substantial accomplishments of President Trump’s administration — some that qualify as historic. The stock market has surged at levels not seen in nearly a decade. The Islamic State has been decimated in the Middle East. Our embassy in Israel is moving to Jerusalem, Israel’s undivided capital. Trump delivered on the largest tax cuts and overhaul to the tax code since the Reagan administration. These are just a few examples.

Yet, in spite of the constant headlines, rampant speculation, and overshadowing of accomplishments, a simple truth remains: There is no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians.

And let’s be clear: The absence of evidence is not due to a lack of examination. There have been some six different investigations spent on the collusion narrative — more than the investigative efforts on former President Barack Obama’s IRS targeting of conservatives, the 30,000 missing Hillary Clinton emails, and Benghazi. And through all of that, there is zero (yes, zero) evidence of collusion.

Even with the complete dearth of evidence Congressional hearings have produced, the narrative machine continues to mobilize. Last week, the New York Times published an article using four current and former anonymous intelligence officials to suggest that George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign volunteer, was a “driving factor” who triggered the FBI’s spying on the Trump campaign. These anonymous sources claim that Papadopoulos, during a night of drinking at a bar in Europe, tipped off Australian diplomats about Russian collusion efforts, which ultimately led to the FBI opening an investigation.

Now, even if we put aside what should be an automatic mistrust of the motives behind anonymous intelligence officials sharing details about an ongoing investigation, there are two critical problems with the story. First, belief in this narrative at face value requires one to blatantly disregard a series of fundamental questions:

Question 1: If George Papadopoulos was central to the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign, why did the FBI wait more than 6 months to interview him in late January and again in February? And even if they were trying to keep the probe quiet during the 2016 election, why wait more than 2 months after Election Day?

Question 2: If Papadopoulos was so critical to the investigation, why did the FBI get a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrant on Carter Page in the summer of 2016 but not on Papadopoulos, the alleged central player?

Question 3: If Papadopoulos was key to a collusion investigation and evidence existed supporting that claim, why would Bruce Ohr, the former DOJ official married to Fusion GPS’ investigator, meet with Christopher Steele, author of the so-called “Trump dossier” hired by the Clinton campaign, before and after the election?

Question 4: Why would former FBI Director James Comey brief President Obama and President-Elect Trump on the contents of the Russian dossier, but not do the same thing on this campaign staffer’s alleged collusion?

Question 5: Why won’t the FBI answer questions from Congress on this very topic? Why do they continue to refuse transparency on whether they paid Christopher Steele for the Russian Dossier? We in Congress have asked them repeatedly to tell us what was in the application they took to the FISA Court to get a warrant for spying on the Trump campaign. Did they use the dossier in their application? This demands an answer.

Perhaps all of these questions have answers that could help bring this Russian collusion drama to a close. But it seems remarkably odd that instead of the FBI answering the critical questions that Congress has repeatedly asked, they instead leak a far-fetched and ill-supported story to the New York Times. If this is the truth, then give us the documentation we’ve asked for to prove it.

The second problem deals with a recurring issue that must be addressed immediately. The alarming number of FBI agents and DOJ officials sharing information with reporters is in clear violation of the investigative standards that Americans expect and should demand. How would New York Times reporters know any of this information when the FBI and DOJ are prohibited from talking about ongoing investigations? How many FBI agents and DOJ officials have illegally discussed aspects of an ongoing investigation with reporters? When will it stop?

It’s apparent that Comey has never had a problem sharing information with reporters, and he allowed his team to “follow the leader” in that regard—but it is time for this practice to come to an immediate end.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself from the Russia investigation, but it would appear he has no control at all of the premier law enforcement agency in the world. It is time for Sessions to start managing in a spirit of transparency to bring all of this improper behavior to light and stop further violations. If Sessions can’t address this issue immediately, then we have one final question needing an answer: When is it time for a new attorney general?

Sadly, it seems the answer is now.

Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., represents North Carolina’s 11th District in Congress. He is chair of the House Freedom Caucus. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, represents Ohio’s 4th District in Congress. He is a member of the House Freedom Caucus and served as its first chairman.

Meadows, Johnson Introduce Bill to Eliminate Failed Obamacare Program

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of Subcommittee on Government Operations, and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, introduced the Repeal Insurance Plans of the Multi-State Program Act (RIP MSP Act) on Tuesday — an effort to terminate Obamacare’s failing Multi-State Plan program.

Section 1334 of the Affordable Care Act requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to contract with at least two national health plans, one of which must be a non-profit plan, to compete directly with private plans in every state. These plans are called Multi-State Plans, or MSPs — and under current law, they are required to be available in all 50 states, as of 2017.

Multi-state plans were intended to drive competition on the health care exchanges. However, the program has failed to meet the Obama administration’s 750,000 enrollment projection or the 50-state statutory requirement. Only one state, Arkansas, has agreed to offer a MSP option in 2018, and it is likely that fewer than 2,000 Arkansans will participate. But the federal government is still funding the program at $10 million per year.

“This mandate is the definition of government waste. The program has failed to meet statutory requirements and is diverting necessary resources from what should be the OPM’s priorities, such as retirement and security backlogs. Congress needs to let the OPM focus on its job, eliminate this failed program and work to ensure health care is more affordable for all Americans,” said Sen. Ron Johnson.

“Multi-state plans were a poorly conceived provision of an even more poorly conceived bill, Obamacare,” Rep. Meadows said, “and repealing these plans would be a good step toward getting our health care system back on track. It makes no sense for the OPM to dedicate its finite resources toward the creation of government plans that clearly do little, other than stifling the competition our health insurance market so desperately needs. The OPM should not be in the business of contracting health insurance plans. I’m grateful to work with Senator Johnson on this bill as we seek to restore common sense, market-based principles to our health care industry that will bring premiums and overall costs down and help make quality care affordable for all Americans.”

Meadows Applauds POTUS for Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital & Meadows, HFC Members Call for Investigation into FBI’s ‘Special Treatment’ of Hillary Clinton

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released the following statement in support of President Trump’s announcement that the United States will recognize Jerusalem as the undivided Capital of Israel:

“What a powerful statement it is, on the 50th anniversary of reunification, for President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the true, undivided Capital of Israel. I applaud the President for this decision and for delivering on yet another key promise he made during his campaign.

After 8 years of damage, constant undermining, and broken promises, the world will once again know that the United States stands, unwaveringly, alongside Israel.”


Washington, D.C. – On Wednesday, Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) joined several members of the House Freedom Caucus in calling for an investigation into the FBI’s special treatment of the Hillary Clinton investigation.

“This issue is not about any one individual,” Rep. Meadows said. “It’s about the fact that no American, regardless of wealth or political status, should be given a pass under the law. Every day we learn more and more concerning information that indicates Hillary Clinton was given special treatment by the FBI during their investigation last year. It’s time for Attorney General Sessions to start leading and appoint a second special counsel so that the American people can get the truth and the answers they deserve.”

“This will not improve with time,” Meadows continued. “The time for action is now, and there is a short fuse on getting the truth and the kind of answers the American people deserve.”

You can watch the video of the full press conference, including Rep. Meadows’ speech, here.