Mark Meadows is the chair of the House Freedom Caucus, the conservative organization which has remained skeptical about the American Health Care Act and was part of the reason for the bill being pulled on Friday.
Meadows assumed office in 2013 after being elected in November 2012. He became chair of the House Freedom Caucus in 2017.
Here’s what you need to know about Meadows’ wife Debbie.
1. They Went to High School Together
Mark Meadows and his future wife Debbie both went to the same high school.
That was a high school in Tampa Bay. According to the Smoky Mountain News, Mark lost a significant amount of weight while at school to the point that Debbie thought he as a new student.
“I wasn’t the new guy. I had gone there the whole time,” Meadows said. “When you’re overweight, you know, you a lot of times blend in, and nobody pays attention at times, or they all pay attention.”
Meadows and Debbie dated in high school but broke up when they went to different colleges. They later reconnected and began dating again.
2. They Started a Small Restaurant Together
In the 1980s, Mark Meadows and his wife Debbie started a business together.
Mark and Debbie in 1987 started “Aunt D’s,” a restaurant in Highlands, North Carolina. They did so with a $25,000 credit line, according to Mark Meadows’ website.
Mark later sold Aunt D’s and used the money to help start a real estate company.
3. She Recently Criticized Paul Ryan’s Position on Health Care
Mark Meadows’ wife herself recently chimed in on the situation surrounding Paul Ryan’s American Health Care Act.
In an email to North Carolina Republicans, Debbie called the bill “Ryancare” and said that it will not truly repeal and replace Obamacare as Republicans promised to do, according to Politico.
“In a nutshell, for reasons we cannot fathom, Republican leadership is putting forth a so-called Obamacare ‘repeal’ that is not a repeal at all,” she wrote. “Leadership is selling it as a full repeal and has convinced many in the White House that it’s terrific.”
She added that the bill will “actually create a huge new government entitlement program and cost even more than Obamacare.” She’s referring to the bill’s refundable tax credits.
4. She Was a ‘Woman for Trump’ & Defended Trump’s ‘Access Hollywood’ Comments
Mark Meadows’ wife Debbie was a supporter of Donald Trump during the 2016 election.
In October 2016, she and several other wives of Republican congressman held an event in North Carolina in support of Donald Trump, according to The Washington Post.
“Is it offensive? Yes. Can we forgive it? Yes!” Debbie Meadows said, referring to the leaked tape on which Donald Trump talks about grabbing women by the genitals.
She also said that a lot of people don’t want to vote for either candidate because they’re both bad but that “you have got to pick because one of them will be president.”
She also said of Hillary Clinton, “How can she be so offended by his nasty talk, his lewd talk, when she bullied, silenced and intimidated women who had been abused by her husband?”
5. They Have Two Children
Mark and Debbie Meadows have two adult children: Blake and Hayley.
In 2015, Hayley graduated from Lee University.