Politics

Freedom Caucus Member: Don’t Rule Out Shutdown

Rep. Jim Jordan says 2013 government funding impasse preceded massive GOP electoral gains

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) criticized Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Monday for promising up front to avoid a partial government shutdown at all costs.

“There’s no incentive, frankly, for either side to go to the brink,” McConnell said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend.

“No one wants a shutdown, but I don’t understand why we’d say that.”

Jordan suggested on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that threatening a shutdown can be an important tool for fiscal restraint.

“No one wants a shutdown, but I don’t understand why we’d say that,” he said.

Ingraham noted that, despite much hand-wringing in the media during a brief shutdown at the end of 2013, Republicans went on to make big gains in the 2014 midterm elections, including capturing the Senate.

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“It certainly didn’t hurt it,” Jordan agreed.

The congressman, a member and former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, also urged his colleagues not to drop health care reform after the collapse of efforts to pass the American Health Care Act.

Repealing Obamacare is a big reason why Republicans have control of the White House and Congress, Jordan said.

“Let’s not forget what that mandate was about,” he said.

Jordan said he has been in regular contact with fellow ideological travelers in the Senate, Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), about the issue.

“I think we can get there,” he said. “I really do … We are determined to do what the American people elected us to do — plain and simple.”

That is true even if it means incurring the wrath of President Donald Trump and primary challenges against Freedom Caucus members, as the president has threatened to support. The latest target is Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), whose primary defeat Trump’s social media director called for in a Saturday tweet.

If it comes to a primary challenge, Jordan said, “I’ll do whatever I can to help him.”

Jordan called the process for drafting the health bill a “mess” that included hearings without witnesses and a fast-tracked schedule that prevented members from proposal amendments.

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“That’s not how you get to a good product,” he said. “And we know that because only 17 percent of the entire country actually thinks this bill’s worth approving,” he said.

Jordan also came out against a border adjustment tax, which would tax goods sold in the United States rather than profits earned on American-made goods sold abroad.

“I have big concerns about that because it’s a whole new tax put on the American economy” he said.

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