Rep. Mark Meadows' star is on the rise as chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, but some doubt if he can guide the group any better than his predecessor.
Meadows, R-NC, took over leadership of the group from the popular Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
"I don't think the organization is any different with Meadows than it is with Jordan," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told the Washington Examiner. "If Mark Meadows gets run over by a bus tomorrow, I don't think it changes the nature of the Freedom Caucus."
Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican before joining President Donald Trump's administration, was a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, having aligned himself with the Tea Party movement when he was elected to Congress in 2010.
Meadows was instrumental in getting the American Health Care Act passed in the House, working with centrist leader Rep. Tom MacArthur on the "MacArthur Amendment" that rolled back some of the regulations of Obamacare.
The amendment garnered the support of conservatives just enough to pass the bill.
"If we had not gotten to 'yes' in the end, that would have been a problem," Meadows told the Examiner. "It was a defining moment… [H]ad there not been a bill that was pulled on the Thursday or Friday, there would always have been the idea that the Freedom Caucus will cave in the end. But equally as important, had we not come around and provided the votes a few weeks later for 'yes,' there would have been the typical stereotype that they'll never get to 'yes.'"
Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y., told the Examiner that "only time will tell" if the caucus' efforts on tax reform meet the same fate as the GOP healthcare bill.
"I actually think all of us took a step, hopefully, forward ... in the Tuesday group and the Freedom Caucus, let's hope," he added.
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