Republican Congressman Mark Meadows (NC), a top ally of President Donald Trump, announced Thursday morning that he will retire from Congress at the end of his term.
Meadows, a four-term lawmaker who represents part of western North Carolina, said in a statement that he “struggled” with leaving what he has long considered a “temporary job.”
“For everything there is a season. After prayerful consideration and discussion with family, today I’m announcing that my time serving Western North Carolina in Congress will come to a close at the end of this term,” Meadows said. “This was a decision I struggled with greatly.”
The announcement came a day after the House voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
Having served as chairman of the House Freedom Caucus during the first two years of Trump’s presidency, Meadows played a key role in the push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
He also made a name for himself with his efforts to oust former Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
Most recently, though, he has served as one of Trump’s chief allies in Congress and was one of the president’s most vocal backers in the face of Wednesday’s impeachment vote. After the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape emerged in October 2016, Meadows and his wife, Debbie, were among the Republicans who stuck by Trump’s side and continued to campaign publicly for him while other high-profile lawmakers dropped their support, which the president has not forgotten.
Speculation has run rampant that Meadows could join the Trump administration in some capacity, including as an eventual chief of staff, which he has expressed interest in previously.