Politics

Jordan: Congress Should Be Like Trump and Keep Promises

Ohio congressman seeking to become speaker of the House argues lawmakers have failed to live up to their vows

In his bid for speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Friday that he would push Congress to be more like President Donald Trump.

Jordan (pictured above), a founding member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, announced his bid last month to replace retired Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Most observers consider him a long shot against Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who has not formally announced his candidacy.

Jordan said on “The Laura Ingraham Show” that congressional Republicans have not lived up to their promises.

“I don’t think Congress has done what we told the American people we’re gonna do, at least not enough of it … We need to behave more like the president and actually do what we said we’d do,” he said.

Jordan said lawmakers did their part on Trump’s tax overhaul, but have come up empty on most of the rest of his legislative agenda — repealing the Affordable Care Act, requiring able-bodied welfare recipients to work, controlling spending, and building a border wall.

The House has not funded the wall and has contributed to Washington’s profligate spending. But Jordan did not mention that the House has tackled other parts of the agenda, voting to repeal Obamacare and adding a work requirement to the food stamp program. It is the Senate that has failed to follow through on these items.

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House leaders should take a more aggressive approach to pushing the Senate, Jordan said.

“When we get back in September, put the border wall funding in the appropriation bill, send it to the Senate, and have a month-long debate.”

“When we get back in September, put the border wall funding in the appropriation bill, send it to the Senate, and have a month-long debate,” he said. “We’ve got a pretty good guy in the White House who’s able to reach out and debate it and taking the message out there. Let’s put that funding, the wall funding, in that funding bill and let’s have the debate. Let’s get it done.”

Jordan also took on one of his other favorite topics — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, with whom congressional Republicans have tangled over documents related to the FBI’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential campaign.

Rosenstein on Thursday laughed off his critics in a speech to a group of lawyers in Chicago, referring to the “unpleasant duty” former Attorney General Robert Jackson faced in “responding to congressional inquiries.” He paused for effect, basking in laughter and applause.

“We have caught them hiding information from us, redacting stuff they have no reason to redact. It was just potentially embarrassing to the FBI,” Jordan said.

Despite a lukewarm response from Ryan, Jordan said he intends to continue pushing for Rosenstein’s impeachment if he continues ignoring congressional subpoenas.

“If he won’t, we’re gonna impeach him,” he said. “It’s that simple … If he gives us the information, there’s no need for it. If he doesn’t give us the information, we have to use the remedy that the Constitution allows us to have.”

Related: Freedom Caucus Leader Jim Jordan to Seek House Speakership

Although most consider Jordan an underdog in the race for speaker, he exuded confidence.

“I’ve been, frankly, just surprised and pleased with the support. I don’t know that anyone’s ever announced for speaker three months ahead of time and run this kind of campaign,” he said. “But we got all kinds of folks endorsing us. Every major conservative organization, it seems, has come out in support of us. That’s good. But in the end, it’s a student council election.”

Jordan declined to criticize McCarthy directly but added, “If you like the way the House is run, then you probably don’t want to vote for me.”

(photo credit, article image: Jim Jordan, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)

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