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N.C. Rep. Meadows talks Syria, refugees & health care

News 13 spoke with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-11th District) before he toured the Selee Corp. plant in Hendersonville on Tuesday. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

Congress has adjourned for the Easter holiday and North Carolina Representative Mark Meadows (R-11th District) is spending his time back in the mountains.

On Tuesday, News 13 caught up with him as he was given a tour of the Selee Corp. plant in Hendersonville. The plant makes ceramic aluminum filters.

"This is a manufacturing operation that provides filters for aluminum that will go for everything from a Rolls Royce engine to a Tesla engine to iPods to iPads working for Apple," Rep. Meadows said. "So here it is, right here in Henderson County a great success story."

News 13 also took the opportunity to speak with the congressman about President Donald Trump's decision to launch a missile strike on a Syrian base following last week's chemical attack.

Some have said that the President should have sought congressional approval prior to the missile strike.

Related article| Capitol Hill weighs war powers and Trump's Syria strategy after missile strike

"Anytime there's a declaration of war, congressional approval is required," Rep. Meadows said. "But that's not to hamstring the administration with strategic strikes, as this was in the national security interest of the United States."

He went on to say, "Now any further action, obviously, that would deploy troops on the ground or having major military intervention would certainly need congress' approval to weigh in on that."

Back in August 2016, Rep. Meadows held a town hall meeting, where he said that while we should be compassionate to refugees, we need to maintain national security first. In the wake of the President's decision to launch the airstrike and his sympathy towards the people, we asked if Meadows' stance had changed.

Related article| Crowd fills auditorium for Mark Meadows' town hall on refugees

"Whether it was that town hall or a town hall 3 years ago where I said the Syrian issue really is problematic because of Russia and Iran's influence in the region, and the unbelievably horrific things we're seeing going on," Rep. Meadows said.

"We need to create safe zones within Syria, the Syrian refugee problem is not one that is just unique to Asheville or to Turkey or to Jordan or Lebanon or those countries around it."

Meadows says that despite the attacks like the recent chemical attack that killed dozens of people, including children, he believes the travel ban should remain in place for now.

"I think from a national security standpoint we've got to make sure that American citizens are safe," he said. "There are people who seek to do harm to us each and every day, and so making sure that American citizens are protected is key."

Before Congress adjourned, the House was unable to reach an agreement on the American Health Care Act, however House Speaker Paul Ryan did announce an amendment for a high-risk pool to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

Related article| House leaving town with GOP health care bill in shambles

"The high-risk pools are actually something that members of the Freedom Caucus put forth as an amendment," Rep. Meadows said. "Not only does it have the support of the President and the administration, but I feel like it has broad support among those in Congress, whether they be Democrat or Republican."

He said he had been on the phone multiple times already on Tuesday to make more progress.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that we're going to find that sweet spot that drives premiums down and make sure that everyone has quality access to affordable health care."

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