One-term former Rep. Peter Meijer announced Monday that he will join the crowded 2024 Republican primary for Michigan’s open U.S. Senate seat. Though his January 2021 vote to impeach President Donald Trump on charges of inciting insurrection helped cost him renomination in 2022, Meijer’s record in Congress was not moderate on reproductive rights, gun safety, or tax fairness.
After announcing in August that he was exploring a Senate campaign, Meijer said in a kickoff video: “We should be making it easier for people to get married, buy a house, and just have more babies. My wife and I just had a son and I can tell you babies need to be the vision for our future.”
Like the other Republican candidates in the race, Meijer opposes reproductive rights. On his 2022 campaign issues page, he said, “I am 100% pro-life and will defend Life from conception to natural death.” He co-sponsored the Life at Conception Act, which could have banned all abortions from the moment of fertilization without exceptions. In July 2022, Meijer voted against a bill that would have codified the right to access contraception.
Although he voted for a bipartisan 2022 gun safety compromise law, Meijer has opposed most efforts to curb gun violence.
“I proudly support the Second Amendment and exercise my own right to keep and bear arms, and I will strongly defend this right against any infringement,” he said on his 2022 campaign issues page, adding that he opposes red flag laws to temporarily disarm those judged an imminent danger to themselves and others because it might create stigma. Meijer voted against background checks, a ban on the possession of semiautomatic assault weapons and large-capacity magazines, and an age minimum of 21 years old for firearm purchases. He also co-sponsored bills to roll back existing gun regulations and a tax cut for gun purchasers.
Meijer advocated for Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which slashed tax rates for the richest Americans while raising them for 10 million families. In 2022, he co-sponsored a bill to make those tax cuts permanent.
His record on other issues was also out of the mainstream.
In 2021, he co-sponsored the so-called National Right-to-Work Act, which would have overridden the authority of states that protect the right of workers to engage in collective bargaining. Labor unions oppose such a bill, noting that Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows workers in right-to-work states make $6,109 less annually, on average, than those in the rest of the country.
Meijer voted against Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges and against capping out-of-pocket insulin costs for people with diabetes.