Rep. Peter Meijer, the new GOP congressman from West Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District, grew up looking at “The Daily Present” when comic Jon Stewart would roast lawmakers for their hypocrisy by contrasting their past responses with videos of their new transform of heart.
Meijer was turned off by how politicians’ principles could be so squishy that they could condemn a president for undertaking anything, but four many years later praise a new president for carrying out the same detail just due to the fact their get together is in cost. The segments created an impact on Meijer, who resolved he’d under no circumstances act that way.
Now Meijer, 32, enters Congress as just one of the youthful customers and delivers to Washington a dedication to extended-time period planning and a pledge that his ideas will never modify with the political winds.
“I don’t want to be a hypocrite,” Meijer, R-Mich., said in an job interview with Fox News in the course of congressional orientation. “I never want to be a partisan hack.”
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Meijer is an Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq and a previous civilian conflict analyst who worked in Afghanistan to help humanitarian help endeavours. Those encounters informed Meijer’s perception that America needs to invest in long-expression setting up of, say, 50 decades down the highway, rather than continuously responding to small-term crises.
He mentioned he made the decision to operate for business because no politician could influence him that America has a very long-term program to deal with pressing challenges.
Meijer launched his congressional bid against incumbent Rep. Justin Amash, who became disillusioned with the GOP beneath President Trump’s grip and eventually left the celebration to become a Libertarian. Amash afterwards determined to retire from Congress, and Meijer won the aggressive open up seat.
“As anyone who is planning to be all-around for 50-additionally yrs, I am incredibly nervous about the lengthy-term tendencies in our financial debt and deficit,” Meijer advised Fox Information. “I am pretty concerned about where health treatment price projections are likely. I’m obviously concerned about our involvement in the world more broadly, but also just the perpetuity of our conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and somewhere else.”
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He’s concentrated on extensive-time period planning for the excellent of the nation.
“A person of the principles that is inherently conservative is the thought of sustainability,” Meijer mentioned. “Quite often, we use it in an environmental sense and which is definitely a element, but also fiscal sustainability, political sustainability [and] civic sustainability.”
Meijer campaigned on bringing “solid, secure, and powerful” representation to West Michigan. He invoked the steady leadership of previous President Gerald Ford, who represented the Grand Rapids district for 25 yrs in Congress before his ascension to the vice presidency and the Oval Office environment.
In one particular of his 1st functions of Congress, Meijer stood up versus President Trump’s requires that Congress toss out the electoral votes of swing states that President-elect Joe Biden won. Meijer authored a letter with other Republicans before the Jan. 6 vote to say it would be unconstitutional for Congress to steal ability away from the men and women and states. “[W]e have sworn an oath to market the Constitution above our plan ambitions,” the letter claimed.
Immediately after professional-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in a fatal mob, Meijer condemned his fellow Republicans for spreading falsehoods that the election was stolen and Trump followers could reverse the outcome by displaying up on Jan. 6.
“They lied. They deceived. They did it possibly to help save their very own political skins or to make a rapid fundraising buck,” Meijer reported in a scathing video clip in the aftermath of the assault. “It is really contemptible.”
Meijer grew up in Grand Rapids, born into a single of the most outstanding and richest family members in Michigan. He is the grandson of Frederik Meijer, the founder of the Meijer grocery store which started out in West Michigan but has considering the fact that ballooned to a regional force with 240 supercenters in six states. His father, Hank Meijer, is the executive chairman of the family organization.
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Right until now, the Meijers have been more lower-crucial about politics. Which is in distinction to another rich West Michigan residence — the DeVos household — that have been deep-pocketed GOP donors and both Betsy DeVos and partner Dick DeVos public Republican figures.
Meijer reported he’ll be the first 1 of his loved ones in elected business office. The household has typically centered on group contributions alternatively than politics, currently being mindful their customers have assorted political views. “I’ve taken a decidedly variety of different route than quite a few many others in my spouse and children,” Meijer acknowledged.
Meijer graduated from East Grand Rapids Large School, the inspiration for the iconic teen film “American Pie.” Meijer mentioned his high college days were being a far cry from the motion picture, as he starting a group for East Grand Rapids teenaged Republicans, labored for the faculty newspaper and ran cross region. “It was very all-American, but also pretty, pretty PG-13.”
His expertise in the family enterprise has been restricted to investing summers stocking shelves and corralling purchasing carts in the parking great deal, Meijer reported.
Just after high school, Meijer set out to forge his possess independent path outside of the comforts of Michigan.
He started off in New York at West Level Armed service Academy in 2006, but claimed he left following a year due to the fact he was significantly uncertain if he preferred to be an Army officer and on lively obligation.
He transferred to Columbia College and enlisted in the Army Reserves. He took time off from his training for Military education and his eventual deployment to Iraq. He graduated in 2012.
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Meijer became involved in veterans causes such as College student Veterans of The united states, where he urged Congress to go the put up 9/11 GI Invoice, alongside with the bipartisan tremendous PAC called With Honor that aims to elect more principled veterans to minimize political polarization.
He joined the veterans’ company team Crew Rubicon to enable with catastrophe reaction in areas like South Sudan and the Philippines.
Throughout his operate in Afghanistan helping non-governmental businesses function in conflict zones, Meijer purposely stopped working with his prominent last name to keep away from acquiring a greater concentrate on for a bounty kidnapping. He went by his two center names: Peter James Frederik.
“There is already a higher ample kidnapping and ransom danger [for Americans] without having throwing in any much better monetary incentive,” Meijer said of his perform in Kandahar.
Meijer served a full of 12 yrs in the Army reserves, an encounter that helped him defeat the individual issue of whether or not his achievements were being due to his possess endeavours or because of the benefits of his upbringing.
“There are really few issues that will bolster your self-self confidence than acknowledging you can get off a plane at just about any airport in the world such as a war zone and figure out how to not die,” Meijer reported.
He favored being enlisted in the Military fairly than becoming a commissioned officer via West Position.
“I almost certainly tended in direction of enlisting simply because just about every chevron on my sleeve was one thing I attained entirely based mostly on advantage,” Meijer reported.
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Throughout the marketing campaign, he was strike with damaging assault adverts that he is out of contact with the struggles of West Michigan mainly because of his far more than $50 million have confidence in fund.
Meijer responded by speaking of his decades of placing himself in harm’s way to support many others.
“How come the spoiled prosperous child is paying a few several years in destinations wherever you get malaria in South Sudan and get rockets landed in close proximity to him in Iraq and dwelling on his own in Kandahar town?” Meijer said.
Meijer went on to total a master’s in organization administration at New York College and decided to make his way home to Michigan about 3 years back. He started off working in true estate development with Detroit’s Olympia Improvement, launched by the famed Illitch household that owns Little Ceasars, the Detroit Purple Wings, and the Detroit Tigers.
While he was at NYU in 2017, Meijer registered several internet sites to himself which includes domain names for MeijerforPresident.com, in accordance to opposition analysis revealed all through the marketing campaign.
Questioned irrespective of whether he intends to stick to in Ford’s footsteps to the White Household, Meijer brushed off the idea, stating it was just just one of a few of hundred domains he registered to have his identify.
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“I do not have any designs along these strains,” Meijer claimed.
“I also in all probability registered Meijer for puppy catcher just to make confident I was covering the wide swath of every chance.”