News On Russia Investigation Distracts Congress From Getting Work Done, Top Conservative Says

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows said Monday lawmakers have lost sight of accomplishing their legislative goals due to the extensive media coverage of the Russia investigation.

The North Carolina Republican argued in an op-ed published on CNN Monday that journalists and Beltway insiders are less interested in the drama surrounding the “near-hysterical coverage of the latest ‘scandal’” in the Trump administration than they are the policies that directly impact their livelihood.

“Political media and DC elites often forget that the average American family is struggling to save for the future — and in fact almost half couldn’t cover an unforeseen $400 expense,” he wrote. “Despite the fact that millions of men and women across this country are working second and third jobs, they are struggling to feed their families.”

Meadows said he believes members of Congress need to redirect their attention toward finding solutions to the nation’s largest problems.

“And, in Washington, we have done an abysmal job of maintaining our primary focus on those issues,” he continued. “Passing important policy that impacts every day Americans requires consensus building, marketing our ideas to constituents through media and building coalitions of support. With the constant focus on Russia, big important policy items like tax reform have been stalled.”

Meadows said, while he thinks members need to get to work on major issues, he understands the importance of conducting proper oversight and holding those in power accountable.

“Now, make no mistake, it’s critical that we not gloss over any potential wrongdoing in the Russia investigation,” the op-ed stated. “If there were improper activities, we need to get to the bottom of the issue — and no one will be more committed to getting to the truth on a bipartisan basis than I will.”

He noted he has sat through multiple congressional investigations during his time on the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform, some of which took months to gather information and led nowhere.

“There is real work to be done for the American people. Much of it can and should be possible to accomplish on a bipartisan basis. Now is not the time to circle the partisan wagons, but a time to deliver on the commitments we made to the American people,” he wrote. “We need to deliver on undoing the harmful regulatory environment that stifles businesses, reforming the tax code to leave more money in the pockets of hard working Americans, replacing our broken health care system with one that will bring down premiums for American families and properly supporting our men and women in uniform.”

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