|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Michigan's 3rd district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2021
|Preceded by||Justin Amash|
Peter James Meijer
January 10, 1988
Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.
|Relatives||Hendrik Meijer (great-grandfather)|
Frederik Meijer (grandfather)
Doug Meijer (uncle)
|Education||Columbia University (BA)|
New York University (MBA)
|Branch/service||United States Army|
|Years of service||2008–2016|
|Unit||325th Military Intelligence Battalion|
Peter James Meijer (//; born January 10, 1988) is an American politician and business analyst serving as the U.S. representative for Michigan's 3rd congressional district since 2021. The district is based in Grand Rapids. He is a member of the Republican Party.
He is a member of the Meijer family, the founders and owners of the Meijer superstore chain. Meijer was one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump during Trump's second impeachment.
Meijer was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the oldest son of Hank Meijer and the grandson of Frederik Meijer, whose father, Hendrik Meijer, founded supermarket chain Meijer after he emigrated to the United States from the Netherlands. Forbes has recognized his family as one of the wealthiest in Michigan, with a net worth above $6 billion. His financial disclosures list more than $50 million in assets, primarily from a Meijer family trust.
Meijer graduated from East Grand Rapids High School in 2006. He initially studied for one year at the United States Military Academy at West Point before transferring to Columbia University in 2008, graduating with a bachelor's degree in cultural anthropology in 2012. At Columbia, he was an advocate for reinstating the Reserve Officers' Training Corps on campus. He was also a volunteer emergency medical technician for Columbia University's emergency medical services. From 2008 to 2016, Meijer served in the United States Army Reserve and was deployed to Iraq from 2010 into 2011, serving as an intelligence advisor.
In 2017, Meijer graduated from the New York University Stern School of Business with a Master of Business Administration.
From 2013 to 2015, Meijer worked as a conflict analyst for an international NGO. He was later employed by Olympia Development of Michigan of Ilitch Holdings as an analyst from April 2018 to January 2019. During this time, Meijer also worked on veterans projects such as Project Rubicon, was on the advisory board of the With Honor super political action committee, and assisted with urban renewal projects throughout Michigan.
Following Justin Amash's departure from the Republican Party in July 2019, Meijer announced his candidacy for Michigan's 3rd congressional district, competing in the Republican primary. He voiced his support for Trump, saying he would work with Trump to "make sure that we advance policies and an agenda that is in the best interest of West Michigan." In his primary campaign, Meijer received funding from several wealthy Michigan-based business families and outraised the other Republican candidates.
The DeVos and Van Andel families, who co-founded Amway, contributed to Meijer's campaign, though United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos abstained from fundraising efforts. Mark J. Bissell of Bissell home-care products and the late businessman Peter Secchia also donated to Meijer's campaign. Vice President Mike Pence, Representative Dan Crenshaw, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, and Senator Tom Cotton endorsed Meijer. Meijer defeated Lynn Afendoulis in the August 4 primary election. Meijer faced Democratic nominee Hillary Scholten in the general election. He raised $2.7 million during the campaign, to Scholten's $3 million. The 3rd has historically tilted Republican; the district and its predecessors have been in GOP hands for all but 35 months since 1913 (it was numbered as the 5th before 1993). But the race was very close; Cook Political Report rated it a toss-up.
Ultimately, Meijer defeated Scholten, 53%-47%. It was the closest race in the district since Harold S. Sawyer was held to 53% in what was then the 5th district in 1982, and only the second time since 1982 that a Democrat had managed 40% of the vote (Amash's Democratic opponent had taken 43% two years earlier). He ran slightly ahead of Trump, who narrowly carried the district with 51% of the vote.
Meijer is running for reelection in the district for the 2022 elections.
Meijer accepted the 2020 presidential election results, announcing publicly that he accepted the outcome and recognized Joe Biden as president-elect. After experiencing the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol, he called on Republicans to take responsibility for their "lies" about election fraud. On January 13, 2021, he voted to impeach Donald Trump alongside nine other Republicans. The next day, Meijer stated in an interview with MSNBC that he had purchased body armor and made changes to his daily schedule due to threats against his life in reaction to his vote for impeachment. On January 20, 2021, the day of the inauguration of Joe Biden, Meijer was one of 17 newly elected House Republicans to sign a letter congratulating Biden and expressing hope of working across the partisan divide.
On May 23, 2021, Meijer condemned Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's comparison between having to wear face masks on the House and the Holocaust. He was the first Republican to condemn Greene's remarks and said that "such comparisons demean the Holocaust and contaminate American political speech."
On August 24, 2021, Meijer and Representative Seth Moulton flew unannounced into Hamid Karzai International Airport during the 2021 Taliban offensive amid evacuation of Americans and allies. The Defense Department and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi were not given advance notice. The next day, Pelosi sent a letter to all House members saying that "the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger" because such travel "would unnecessarily divert needed resources" from the evacuation efforts.
On May 19, 2021, Meijer became one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in voting to approve legislation to establish the January 6, 2021 commission meant to investigate the storming of the U.S. Capitol.
In June 2021, Meijer was one of 49 House Republicans to vote to repeal the AUMF against Iraq.
In 2021, Meijer was one of 29 Republicans to vote to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. This bill expanded legal protections for transgender people, and contained provisions allowing transgender women to use women's shelters and serve time in prisons matching their gender identity.
On October 21, 2021, Meijer was one of nine House Republicans who voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress.