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Carolina Journal Radio No. 710: N.C. takes first steps toward disaster relief

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai
The Truth Network Radio
December 26, 2016 12:00 am

Carolina Journal Radio No. 710: N.C. takes first steps toward disaster relief

Carolina Journal Radio / Donna Martinez and Mitch Kokai

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December 26, 2016 12:00 am

North Carolina lawmakers returned to Raleigh in December to address Gov. Pat McCrory’s $200 million disaster relief plan linked to Hurricane Matthew and western N.C. wildfires. The special session also generated concerns from left-of-center critics about other items the legislatures might address. Becki Gray, the John Locke Foundation’s senior vice president, analyzes the flurry of activity surrounding the state Legislative Building. The 2016 elections are over, but pundits and prognosticators are still sifting through the results. They’re trying to determine what the elections say about the state of politics and the future course of public policy in North Carolina. John Locke Foundation Chairman John Hood recognizes that the election was important. He doesn’t label the results transformational. Now that the state no longer faces the obstacle of a $2.5 billion debt to the federal government for unemployment benefits, state leaders are rebuilding their unemployment trust fund. They’re also trying to determine the proper size of that trust fund moving forward. The goal is to avoid future debt during the next economic downturn. You’ll hear highlights from a recent legislative debate on the topic. North Carolinians will play key roles in the 115th Congress. Among them is U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, R-6th District, who will lead the conservative Republican Study Committee. During a recent speech for the American Enterprise Institute, Walker outlined some of his key goals in his new post. In addition to Walker, fellow Republican N.C. congressman Mark Meadows will lead the conservative House Freedom Caucus. Rick Henderson, Carolina Journal editor-in-chief, assesses the impact Walker and Meadows are likely to have as conservatives attempt to influence policy on Capitol Hill in 2017.

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From Cherokee to current attack and the largest city to the smallest and from the statehouse into the schoolhouse Carolina Journal radio your weekly news magazine discussing North Carolina's most of public policy events and issues welcome to Carolina Journal radio amateur Coke.

I during the next hour, Donna Martinez and I will explore some major issues affecting our state. What did the 2016 elections say about the state of politics in North Carolina will ask veteran political observer John Hood for his assessment.

He calls the election importance, but not necessarily transformational election help ensure the two North Carolina congressmen will lead major conservative groups on Capitol Hill.

Miller, what kind of impact Mark Meadows and Mark Walker could have in Washington in the next couple of years.

Plus you'll hear from Walker himself will also learn about the latest efforts to build North Carolina's unemployment insurance trust fund. Lawmakers want to avoid falling into debt to the federal government during the next economic downturn. Those topics are just ahead. But first, Donna Martinez joins us with the Carolina Journal headline great done North Carolina by hurricane Matthew in the East and wildfires in the West and now focused attention on the state so-called rainy day fund. The fund balance has grown steadily for the past couple of years and now, fiscal conservatives in the Gen. assembly are seeking ways to make sure that this big pot of money that's been set aside for emergencies is used properly. Becky Gray is senior vice president with the John Locke foundation. She's been following the story about fiscal stewardship in North Carolina. Becky welcome back to the shell. Thanks, so this special legislative session that happened just a few days ago. They really looked at needing to tap some of the funds that were in the rainy day fund for victims of these two disasters. The hurricane in the wildfires. Good thing we had that money on absolutely no and towards the end of the session there was some criticism of this conservative general assembly for putting as much money aside the the rainy day fund savings was are as large. It is as it is ever been in history and there was some criticism of them for doing that within the hurricane hat and the wildfire started, and all of a sudden those naysayers were saying thank you instead of being critical. A couple hundred million dollars. I believe has been tapped out that fund. That's what the Gen. assembly did in the special session. That's why they came back to look at these funds to get those damn in those areas on both the East and the West to help to those people that need it united. The damage has just been devastating. I we have people that are without homes without shelter. They don't have anything to eat that have been staying in hotels many times you have miles and miles away from their community, their families, we also have small businesses that have been very hard hit by this some infrastructure things at local governments are controlled with your water and sewer and roads and bridges and those kind of things that we need immediate help. With this said the decision was made by the Gen. assembly was for two over over $200 million to be sent immediately to these areas that need the help out half of that money was taken out, the reserve account. About half of it was taken out the surplus in revenue so you again. What were saying are the signs of really strong leadership of fiscal management of making sure that all of the money is, is not only being used for the right thing to get help to people that need it but is been taken out of the general fund and the savings reserve fund to keep those things solvent as well. Now that there is adequate sources of funding to respond to emergencies like this in the rainy day fund. You have some members of the legislature, who are now thinking you know what I look closely at this fund may be start setting some parameters about how it's used, or ask questions about how much do we really need. In fact there Artie talking about right and several good things have come of this. One of it is for us to go through a disaster relief procedure if you will. With this money in hand they are learning how to get the money. The quickest way when we have to do it through sort of some avenues. What is the best avenue with the most accountability with measures put into place and also there's no money that is available for these kind of thing said the one of the other things that they're doing is they're leveraging some of North Carolina funds in order to get federal funds think it's important to note to in this this action that they took us $200 million.

This is just the first phase that they're going to be allocating. There are still assessments being done at the state level as well as the federal level of exactly what the needs are where they are needed, how much is needed.

So one thing that I know you can expect when they come back in January, is to revisit this. They have Artie said as part of of this bill in the discussion that we sought the Gen. assembly is. This is phase 1, we will be doing face to and most likely doing phase 3 again so this is been of great learning lesson and were coming out of this much stronger than we were there we went and not only with the money set aside but how you use this money at what point you get it to people that need it and then how do you work with federal partners and other partners, nonprofits, and to maximize every single resource that we have available. How have legislators been deciding how much money goes into the rainy day fund are the rules already know, not really.

And interestingly enough, again because of this commitment, and I think because saying how important this was on. There's been a legislative research commission that's been going on since the long session stop. This is that been meeting regularly to look at these things.

Look at see what other states do look what we need and how much we need to build up our reserve with these emergency kind of things and so there is legislation of what it actually was just on the last week or so by this led legislative research commission is recommending legislation that would require in our statute that 15% of any actual revenue year-to-year revenue surplus 15% would automatically without any question with any negotiation would just as part of the budgeting process automatically go into a savings reserve account so that we continue to replenish this, we continue to build it up so that North Carolina has this very important cushion when were faced with the kind of things like we've been face this fall and North Carolina's economy has been growing plus some added that there's been pretty strong fiscal stewardship restraining the growth of government, restraining spending so if that were to continue, potentially, that's a lot of money again. I'm really have to command Gov. McCrory and the leadership in the general assembly because there is extra revenue. Norcal is economy is doing great. Doing better than our neighbors were doing better than the national economy. We have a strong economy that results in extra revenue for the state one Tim Tatian Don would be just to spend after you know to grow government to create more programs you know to do that they have taken another tact and gone in a different direction is that you know what they can use that money for is to shore up the savings account put that money aside so that again when North Carolina's faced with these disasters, like we've had, we've got a cushion there in order to sustain that. Is this legislative commission or committee that you been talking about looking at putting down specific parameters about what the fund could be used as a map that they do outline that it is things like these natural disasters, and then you should. The general fund run short and this would really be in a circumstance where the economy takes a nosedive where we go through another recession and you have many economists are telling us that we are overdue for a recession. The way the pendulum swings back and forth in economies. I'm so not only do we need to put this money aside for these natural disasters that we've experienced just recently but also these economic disasters in these recession said that when we're short on money, we don't have to raise taxes in order to pay our teachers payer state employees pay our law enforcement officers. I'm so glad there's a lot of of needs for having a savings account just like you do in your family mean just, you know. Think about that how important it is to put some money aside for all kinds of things that make him come up in the general simile has designated what I think you and I would agree or surveys emergency circumstances where you would need it unbeknown not to go out and just spend it foolishly on shiny new objects they were real needs in a been identified in again with the leadership that we have on unit. These are strong fiscal policies and ones that and as our listeners know of John Lott and is advocated for and work for for our entire existence. And so it's very rewarding to see that kind of fiscal responsibility really being implemented. Becky, we obviously have a new governor who will be taking office that would be Democrat Roy Cooper, the former Atty. Gen. to be proposing his own budget he talked during the campaign about things that he felt the state needed to spend more on so is there to be a conflict there between those fiscal reformers in the legislature and a governor who may want to do some more spending.

It certainly appears that what you are one of the questions it some folks have asked is okay Roy Cooper you want to do all the stuff. How you gonna pay for. That's the million that is literally the $1 billion question. Yes, I would anticipate you will see to it was a real will see a clear line of what the priorities are coming out of the new Democratic governor and what the priorities are coming out of a very conservative general assembly and I suspect that were to see some some differences there talking with Becky Gray. She is senior vice president at the John Locke foundation. Thanks Don say with as much more Carolina journal radio to come in just a moment, North Carolina is changing not just day-to-day but outward to our minute to minute and 2nd to 2nd, how can you keep up with the changes, especially the ones that affect you, your family, your home, your job, make the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal part of your social media diet on Facebook like the John Locke foundation like Carolina. Journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal news, insights and analysis you'll find nowhere else. Thanks to the experts at the John Locke foundation and thanks to the first-class investigative reporting of Carolina journal. Don't wait for the morning newspaper. Don't wait for the evening news if it's happening now it's happening here the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal. Have you covered with up to the second information like us on Facebook the John Locke foundation and Carolina journal follow us on Twitter at John Locke in the sea and at Carolina journal. Welcome back Carolina journal radio. I mixed coca the boat to been cast. The results mostly finalized and now it's time to ask what does the 2016 election mean for the future in the United States and particularly in North Carolina joining us with thoughts on that topic is John Hood, longtime analyst of North Carolina politics and chairman of the John Locke foundation job will go back thank you very much Mitch. So you had a chance to think about what happened with the 2016 election and as you're assessing what is this all me what you said yourself about what it actually means. The first thing that I been trying to avoid is what I fear.

Lots of other people have just dealt just dived into, which is to over analyze and draw sweeping generalizations on the basis of what is essentially a pretty rare flu sort of a presidential race. There were lots of other races and they all tell us something important, but not necessarily something transformational about American politics were about North Carolina politics mode trying to downplay the significance of the 2016 elections.

All elections, including particularly the ones that are on the presidential cycle so that you can North Carolina that determines not just presidency but governor's race and counsel state racism and other things they always matter. There always important, but to say that the 2016 elections transformational in some permanent sweeping sense of think this is a mistake. Both the presidential race nationally in the governor's race or North Carolina were essentially ties now you don't get the have a tie-breaking gamer you don't share the the office somebody wins and somebody loses in the the wins and losses at the governor's race are determined by the number of votes, even if the margin is small and the presidential race is determined by the electoral college of the popular vote, so lots of people going on tangents talking about just as in 2000. We've got a Republican president who's elected despite not winning a plurality of the popular vote and the answers are also fairly common. Well, that's the way the system works. Electoral college is embedded in our process all of the statements are true in the sense that if the presidential race have been running the popular vote night nationwide ballot, total kind of owes those spaces then you would've ended up with different campaigns you would've ended up with Donald Trump trying to turn out for Republicans in places like Texas and Hillary Clinton trying to turn out more Democrats in places like New York or California.

We don't really know what the popular vote outcome would have been other than to say it's likely it would've been very close so Donald Trump won the presidency fair and square. On the basis of the system that we have the rules of the game, but it is also fair to point out that he didn't get an overwhelming mandate from the general public of America. Indeed, he got a slightly smaller percentage of the nationwide vote in 2016 than Mitt Romney did in 2012.

Now why did Mitt Romney not become president because Barack Obama got a higher percentage and wouldn't have as many third-party candidates getting a larger percentage and the electoral college distribution was different. So if Mitt Romney got more votes in Texas and fewer roads in Ohio but in doing many good Trump got fewer votes in Texas and more votes in Ohio that did him a great deal of good. So at the presidential level, there are very important subject implications for public policy federal budget, national defense, etc. and from North Carolina.

The federal situation is that you got a Republican Congress and incoming Republican administration and presumably pretty soon a conservative leaning Supreme Court again, all of which, if the various entities follow their hearts or follow their rhetoric or whatever means less intrusion onto states and localities.

So if the Republican Congress and the Trump administration do what they say they want to do that will move decisions out to places like Raleigh and Sacramento and Montgomery in Tallahassee and that means that at the state level, public policy and public officials matter even more where chatting with John Hood.

He is chairman of the John Locke foundation also president of the John William Pope foundation John a lot of people look at elections and try to think okay what is this mean for the future if I'm advocating this particular issue, or that particular issue or sets of issues. How do I function moving forward being in the freedom movement and advocating liberty. What does the election suggest to you is the course that that folks are going to have to fall to give you two observations. One of them is that generally speaking more often than not candidates in 2016 who espoused freedom message is limited government, lower taxes, less regulation they did better than candidates who advocated larger government lot in every single race, but in most races. This was the case in most tax increases that were on the ballot in North Carolina. They were defeated sometimes handily by the voters.

I think that a clear message of the 2016 elections in most races was people want a more fiscally conservative, more freedom oriented government than they currently have less number one and the beyond number one other things that you found well. The other thing I would say is that the coalitions for the two parties are changing but there changing on the margins.

They didn't know a large number of Republicans didn't walk away from the party because Donald Trump or a large number of non-Republicans didn't walk towards the GOP because of Donald Trump.

There were some marginal changes that they matter. Again, I just don't want to turn this into some transformational event when it probably isn't quite that knowing what we know about the messages that the voter said about taxes. Liberty and freedom of good sign. I think it is the other observation I would make very quickly as people's opinions on some matters worse, fixed and stable. But on other matters. Things like foreign policy or trade policy people's opinions change according to who the leaders are.

We tend to think people come up with your ideas and then the shop for a leader who will exemplify those ideas know so they vote for, but on a number of issues where people don't have a lot of personal experience, they tend to follow their nuclear leaders so back during the Bush years. Most Republicans favored free-trade. Today, most Republicans don't favor free-trade.

According to the fact that they is just a certain percentage of them are following the lead of their presidential candidate. It's not very much difference is about as many Trump voters who were in favor free-trade is were opposed to free-trade. But that's a different story than we saw during the Bush years. That's a conformity effect.

That means there are some affects of leaders on their followers and we need to keep that in mind, and so folks who are advocates of free trade will have to double down on getting that message out and perhaps having a better message absolutely, but also a prevail on public officials to make decisions that within lead people to believe trade is good.

In other words, don't give up on the Trump administration of the Republican Congress and assume they used to be for free enterprise and other for government control. No push them to be free enterprise and the public will follow another potentially good message. I think for folks who advocate freedom and limited government is the whole anti-crony message that not only Donald Trump but also the very popular Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders even tapped absolutely.

Populism is a very, very real for so you can measure. You can determine any people for the populist category.

They have a mixed reviews, some of which I is a free-market person find abhorrent. But others like opposition to court to crony capitalism and corruption. Very congenial to me is a limited government person. I think you when you're trying to build coalitions and alliances to get things done. You define what you have in common.

In this case being against crony capitalism and that of course is one of the messages sent by the selection Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both tapping into this anti-crony sediment. We know one person is going to be watching as these events unfold in the weeks and months to come is John Hood. He is chairman of the John Locke foundation John, thanks for joining us.

You're welcome. Blood-borne Carolina Journal radio just at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying.

In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business.

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You'll also support freedom. Don't forget log on to today by something nice and help defend freedom. Support the John Locke foundation will go back to Carolina Journal radio let Mitch go guy. After digging out of a 2 1/2 billion dollar hole. North Carolina continues to rebuild its reserve fund for unemployment benefits Ted Brin of the division of employment security recently offered state lawmakers and update trust form with a $2.214 billion of which is remarkable video for your turnaround was still seek to be at a level that we believe is what all wise people Department of Labor and other people so I would need to be which is 3.4 billion to be able to weather any kind of potential downturn and qualify the word any con based on what went through in 2008 nine. The definition that likely is changed but the processing of we believe a very stable position to be able to weather whatever economic downturns that we so you and your future Republican representative Dena Bumgardner questioned Brennan about the trust fund. You said we needed balance of 2.4 billion. Where do you think we'll get to that number projections are always little little wall scary, but I feel pretty confident that the late April or early Monday.

Republican Sen. Bob Joe chimed the merit of having those resources. Those trust fund monies upwards upwards of 2.2 billion are there to protect the citizens when there's an economic downturn and is and is we've seen just recently a natural disaster so that in your opinion as it is heading this department. Do you feel that that is critical that we maintain that kind of a reserve so that we can react to any kind of flow episode that might cause problems to the unemployment because you are a key component of what is the safety net in North Carolina source Drive. I think it's critical to get to that level and do our very best to stay at that level. But that does. Also an attribute of that is it allows us to do as we get more more more solvent and ready for any kind of downturns. It allows us a DS to work in process improvement and quality work and things like that when when you're having to think about not having enough money to pay benefits to people that deserve then you have. You don't get the time that you need to expand on quality scores, and in getting things right. To begin with an adjudication process and an it is the justice of Mary much of a pressure relief valve for us to work in this in this world to have a very solvent unemployment trust fund that's Ted Brin of the state division of employment security, updating state lawmakers on efforts to build North Carolina's reserves for unemployment will return with more Carolina Journal radio.

If you love freedom we got great news to share with you now. You can find the latest news, views, and research from conservative groups all across the state. All in one place North Carolina one-stop shopping for North Carolina St. movement had North Carolina You'll find links to John Locke foundation blogs on the days news Carolina reporting and quick takes Carolina Journal radio interviews TV interviews featuring CJ reporters and Locke foundation analyst plus opinion pieces and reports on higher education. All of that from the Pope Center for higher education policy commentary and polling data from the Cintas Institute and news and views from the North Carolina family policy Council. That's right, all of that, all in one place North Carolina that's North Carolina spelled out North Carolina Log on today will go back to Carolina Journal radio I Mitch go guy North Carolina Congressman is taking a lead role in one of the most conservative groups on Capitol Hill Republican Mark Walker has been elected chairman of a group called the Republican study committee during a recent event at the American Enterprise Institute Walker discussed his top priorities as the group's new chairman. It's interesting how those have grown exponentially in the last 30 days as a body we move from trying to work harder to throw legislation against the wall and hope it sticks as opposed to, say, listen, got a chance to push for policy and really laws that impact many generations.

A couple of things to my mind the spectra for coming decades, and we were talking about tax reform. This administration has added another 8000 pages of text code regulations were closing in on 75,000 pages now small businesses and individuals who get in the crosshairs of the iris.

They don't have a chance so be able to literally lay that out. Got some good ideas from early and still keep three major deductions, higher education, survey, charitable giving, but also something that's a part of the American dream.

The mortgage interest reduction. Keeping those three simplifying the tax code.

I think it's something that's a huge when the American people would be would have been clamoring for some time. Obviously without getting too much to a talking point the refill of Obama care, enjoyed working with Sen. Lee Rubio source of budget reconciliation.

This is an opportunity for us to sink your teeth into it very quickly in early on. The reason why think it's so important what we do with that repealed want to make sure another's arguments will cloture 1651. We got a standard here. We got a chance to really go after the heart of Obama care, even under Rick reconciliation 51. Majority threshold. I think those two priorities are something that we need a partner lead on the RSC but also partner with the whole conference to get done early on in the spring. Walker also discussed the Republican study committee's focus as Congress returns to work on Capitol Hill were focused on his effective conservatism in there's no reason that we can attract where there is leadership with the cultures of group members, which is another faction if you will, as well as the house. Brin Caucus will bleed over the RSC from several those groups, even though we are the largest and historically conservative caucus effective conservatism was a challenge. The guys however long were privileged to serve here for this two years or 20 years. Can you look back and say you know what was it simply about winning the argument, or was it about making a difference. Other measured marks of success were you move the needle for now. I think that consist of three things. One, the right policy to the right approach, and three.

The right voice.

What I mean by the right voice. If you go back to it in business and in working some of you may have worked in that arena of products that can sometimes reach what the color maturity stage, people walking past on the shelf at the grocery store Kellogg's corn flakes had that problem in the late 1980s. So in 1990 they release this commercial is a big New Englander Inc. despicable or cornflakes, but the tagline was this case them again for the first time and when you talk about when your question is for the different factions of conservatives as a whole crossed the conference. I feel like it's humorous again for the first time we have an opportunity incredible moment in history right now to allow our voices be heard more elaborate too long on this, but that's where I believe the approach is incredible important Republicans and conservative specifically many times are guilty of simply preaching to the choir. That's our culture that's where the if you want to use the metaphor continuum analogy. That's what the Menzel is the easy place, but the aspect of the goal should be how do we get that conservative message into new communities into new places and sometimes it's not always leaving the policy with its leading by the relationship to visit to listen to grow those relationships are getting in the sense of giving example, if you go to look at a new car use Courtney going a lot and you're looking at all the different bells and whistles upon the salesman and I sit there look at your used car. So that's the nastiest piece of of automotive love ever see my life will automatically defensive nature flag comes we've got to do better across the board. That's conservatives and I believe that really comes down to messaging. That's what drove me to run for Congress. Originally Morgan stay consistent with that. Probably the RSC provides an incredible place to exhibit that conservatism across the board when your leadership in the freedom caucus or were there and Tuesday's groups will that's North Carolina Congressman Mark Walker, newly elected chairman of the conservative Republican study committee during his speech to the American enterprise Institute. Walker also emphasized the importance of making policy arguments that makes sense to real people. I have one of the finest legislative director drinkers day. But there are times I disappoint him when he gets in 30 minute policy rents in one had to say. I don't think the people care what I mean by that, even though it's very valuable to have the comprehensive policy like this. I'm married to a family nurse practitioner trauma nurse who flies a helicopter and does real work.

If I am in that situation were I'm eating that attention. I don't really want to hear her or hear about the Hippocratic oath or have any species on the need to make my pain go away. I just I just thought there's a crises and we need some help with American people are so when we get involved in this.

This this policy. Elitism told him we just need to make sure that our messaging is very strong idea when I first begin to think about running for office. And so a minister. Remember attending the Republican national convention in Tampa in 2012 was a delegate to the founder taken from some lodging and went down there just was, looking all around and one of the things that I noticed was this great lip service and genuine intentionality about reaching all communities and different generations of minorities and as soon as we finish the speech, and now put your hands together for the what what gathered in that moment was what we were doing versus what we were saying all was a contrast and I feel like to answer the questions for us where we need to go point we need to make sure as we talked American people that were able to do these condescending terms of political Greek and Latin. But the Buena Vista listen. This is where hurting work point A. We need you to point being, here's the to three steps we can get there.

I believe if were able to do that communicate the way you have buy-in we haven't seen this in generations.

Walker touched on the difficulty of forging bipartisan relationships on Capitol Hill is an environment where what is the outside groups or other entities pressing when they were in this when this boxing ring where were having to dodge Bob and we will review the same time. So it's very difficult that they're the real place for that can develop Moses at the local level is this thing grows up, it actually augments or spreads out more makes it more challenging and doesn't delineate our responsibility to make every effort that we can weather rubber dinner where they are going out and playing some sports together, whatever it might be that that's an opportunity.

If you always use it. It doesn't dumb down, but that harsh rhetoric that sometimes we seem to see Republicans now control the White House along with both chambers of Congress. But Walker says that should remind the GOP of a lesson he learned watching the legendary Alabama football coach bear Bryant wing with humility. We don't have the spiked football because we have to ask ourselves long term of what certain goal is is it to accomplish isn't to, as you suggested to build those bipartisanship relationships.

There's a moment here work were hit were winning we can go out to we can attack attack attack attack so we can say you know what, let's revisit some this not to set up a little bit of a Pollyanna viewpoint.

It is, but even if it moves a few percentage points worse here in commerce or in our districts. I believe that something would force that's Mark Walker Republican US representative for North Carolina's sixth district is also the newly elected chairman of the influential conservative Republican study committee will return with more Carolina drone radio and about at the John Locke foundation where leading the effort to clean up the mess left behind by big government liberals for decades. The powerful left in our state had piled on rule after rule, regulation after regulation never really caring about the people whose lives are caught in the nightmare of complying. In other words, you their handiwork had made it tougher to get a job even increase the legal risk of operating a business. We say enough is enough that it's just not fair to you. That's why reform minded lawmakers have turned to the Locke foundation for answers and acted to lighten your burden were proud that our intellectual firepower has improved lives. You can count on the John Locke foundation to watch out for your interests. The special interests. We would be honored to have your help in this fight. John and make a tax-deductible donation. Right now the John Locke foundation where fighting for you where fighting for freedom back to Carolina Journal radio I'm Donna Martinez, North Carolina's US congressional delegation has quickly become a coalition of leaders at least two Republican members of that delegation are now serving in key roles beyond service to their districts. Rick Henderson is editor-in-chief of Carolina Journal he joins me now to talk about two particular members of Congress Rick welcome back to the show thank you first about Congressman Mark Meadows. He is now taking a position in a pretty, yes, he has become the head of the Republican freedom caucus house freedom caucus, which is a group of conservative Republicans who articulate a very, very much of a principled limited government position on a number of issues and he's serving about the service charge third term in the U.S. House, the freedom caucus is an offshoot of something we'll talk about later called the Republican study committee and this is this is the group that has worked a lot for tax cuts.

It's worked a lot toward coming up proposals for repealing Obama care been very active in regulatory reform and also subissues are very important to to the conservatives across the country and it has been a thorn in the side to some of the leadership in the U.S. Congress over the past several years because these folks are fiscal conservatives there very concerned about the size and scope of government and dad. There have been times when Republicans themselves. Other Republicans have really made votes that would expand government expense minute yesterday been. They have been adamant opponents of earmarks. They have been certain certainly opponents of porkbarrel spending. And there have been times when they have threatened to withhold their support for legislation is been supported by the house leadership and their their threat to withhold support for that legislation may well have led it to be changed to the more conservative direction and so what they've done is they've use their leverage. Think there are about 40 of them or something like that and they use that leverage and a house that has less than a 40 member majority to suit to move legislation or direction they've had a pretty good relationship with speaker Paul Ryan but previously with John Bader. It was a much more yes and they are big enough that they simply can't be ignored. That's right, that's right.

And they also tend to be very cohesive as well so they do tend once they take a position, they tend to move forward with some unity. Mark Meadows really does seem to have developed a very public profile. He does a lot of national cable network news programs you see him a lot.

You read about them a lot. How is it that someone such as Congressman Meadows has become so public so quickly while he is very affable for one thing, he has a reputation as being somebody who gets along very well with members of his own caucus and also I has thinks of some fairly cordial relations with numbers. The credit caucus course is very media friendly so he someone who's very accessible and he someone who just seems to have a natural affinity for the public setting so that certainly helps when you're in a position which are trying to articulate a minority position because the house freedom caucus position is not the position that is necessarily the position of the Republican caucus as a whole, but he is very articulate in pressing that agenda and also he does so in a way that's it was forceful but that is not perceived as nastier or any kind is not snarky about now.

His sixth district currently Congressman Mark Walker also is in a new leadership role in it. So with the group you mentioned a couple minutes ago called the Republican study committee. Yes, this is in some ways even more surprising because Mark Walker currently is a freshman member of Congress he was just entering his second term and will in January and so he's risen to this end, Republican study committee is is has had more direct influence over the years than the freedom caucus is certainly veteran caucuses were broke off from the study committee because the study committee is essential to policymaking caucus of the House Republicans. So this is where different sorts of alternatives to administration legislation will come forward if the surgeon has an agenda is different than that of the House Republicans also supplies where they craft their own legislation that sometimes outside the regular committee structure and so if the Ways and Means committees with your tax package. The study committee may actually go for to do some research about it and conserve and submit to the bones if you will for put forward an agenda and other study committee very famously was of these, one of the sources of what became the heritage foundation that the think that's her gelation was in some ways I think tank that provided research for the study committee way back when, so it's been around for a long time. It still has a great deal of influence. It is as is more is more accommodating toward the leadership the freedom caucuses so it tends to be the policymaking wing for the leadership's perspective on something and that I could you have Mark Walker who is such a junior member of Congress to to be chairing that is is really a feather in his cap, but they are not the only two among the North Carolina congressional delegation.

There are several other members who are very well respected among the entire U.S. Congress. One of them is for district Congresswoman Virginia Fox and she has several plum assignments she has served as the Sec. of the Republican conference, and now chair of the House committee on education and the workforce.

Yes, that's a huge plum assignment for her. She has been previously was was chairing their subcommittee on higher education policy to someone who is a former teacher also was believe if I'm not mistaken, a board member official in the community college system and so she is someone who has great ties to higher education also has ties to the more technical and career-oriented aspects of higher education and now she's actually going to be the top House Republican dealing with education policy, and also dealing with that with labor policy as well and so this is something that's that's it's going to be given a very important assignment is something that's going to be someplace where I North Carolina in the basically the role of North Carolina's community colleges and technical schools in training institutions and the like. Her expertise there will be felt in North Carolina's influence. We filter quicker.

We looking at a future House Speaker among the North Carolina congressional delegation.

It's indeed possible IME could conceivably imagine Mark Meadows being one Nelson what is actually in the leadership now is a Patrick McHenry of the 11th district, who is TIF district who is that one of the deputy quips. That is been a post for which several speakers have come in the past decades and so it's a possibility.

Patrick McHenry, someone who would be considered along those lines, but you have people like the eighth District Richard Hudson is very active in the military community may well consider if he doesn't run for statewide office.

They will look towards leadership position in the house as well and on the Democratic side, you have Congressman GK Butterfield and Charlie S congressional black caucus cells, right plum position as well. On the other side of the aisle. There will even talking with Rick Henderson. He is editor in chief of Carolina journal about North Carolina's US congressional delegation and several members taking leadership roles in the Congress.

Rick, thank you very much. Thank you. That's all the time we have for Carolina journal radio this week. Thank you for listening on behalf of my cohost Mitch. Okay I'm Donna Martinez. We hope you'll join us again next week for another edition of Carolina journal radio Carolina journal radio is a program of the John Locke to learn more about the job donations support programs like Carolina journal radio send email to development. John 1866166554636 Carolina journal radio airline is present on this program nearly no more foundation airline radio again

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