Freedom Caucus Leader Jim Jordan to Seek House Speakership

Paul Ryan leaves Congress in January 2019, a departure sure to spark a hot fight to succeed him

House Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) announced Thursday he will be running for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I plan to run for Speaker of the House to bring real changes to Congress,” Jordan wrote in a letter to his colleagues, which was obtained by CNN. “I believe we have given the American people reason to question our commitment to reform.”

Jordan outlined his goals, which include welfare reform, border security, making individual tax cuts permanent, and repealing what’s left of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.

Jordan would succeed retiring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) if his bid for the seat is successful. Ryan is leaving Congress entirely when his current term expires in January.

Related: House Freedom Caucus Leaders Call for Rosenstein Impeachment

Jordan is among the best-known and active conservatives in the House, appearing regularly on cable news and in internet headlines, thanks to his aggressive advocacy of strong congressional oversight, limiting federal spending and debt and reducing government regulation.

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Jordan was a co-founder of the House Freedom Caucus, the 31 conservative and libertarian Republicans who often find themselves at odds with the speaker and Establishment GOPers. Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows quickly announced his support for Jordan’s run.

“I can honestly say Jim is one of the most honorable, thoughtful, and principled men I’ve met in Washington,” Meadows said in a statement provided to LifeZette. “Jim is a fighter, a leader, and a true conservative in every way. He never backs down from a fight when his values are on the line.”

Meadows and Jordan introduced articles of impeachment  Wednesday against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in their latest clash with House leadership. The duo, plus nine caucus members, believe the Department of Justice (DOJ) has illegally stonewalled congressional investigations.

Related: Paul Ryan Opposed to Rod Rosenstein Impeachment

Meadows and Jordan introduced the impeachment proposal after fighting with the agency for nine months for documents and subpoenas. The investigations are reviewing questionable decisions the DOJ has made during two major FBI investigations related to the election of 2016.

The Freedom Caucus also had friction with leadership when it came out in opposition to the American Health Care Act. The legislation was supposed to replace Obamacare but was pulled due to a lack of votes in March 2017.

The Freedom Caucus’ opposition was a big reason for the bill’s failure amid the prevailing opinion among House GOPers that the measure did not go far enough in terminating Obamacare.

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows quickly announced his support for Jordan’s run.

Jordan was recently accused by former wrestlers at Ohio State University, where Jordan once coached, of ignoring their complaints about inappropriate groping by a team doctor. The congressman vigorously denied ever having been told of such complaints and called for the perpetrator to be prosecuted if convicted.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Jim Jordan, CC BY-SA 2.0, Cropped, Gage Skidmore)

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