AMHERST TWP. — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, confirmed his interest in running for speaker of the House at a town hall meeting Wednesday that was presented by the Totally Engaged Americans (TEA) group in Lorain County.
Jordan is running for re-election for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District, which includes sections of Lorain County including Elyria, and is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative voting bloc in the House founded in 2015. Jordan, who has served in the House since 2007, is on the House Judiciary Committee and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan has announced he is not seeking re-election. Jordan said he is interested in running for the position, but reminded attendees that Republicans need to keep their campaign promises for him to do so.
“More important than who the speaker is next year, is what Republicans do this year,” he said. “If we don’t get back to staying focused on the things that we were elected to do, then we may not have a race (for) speaker, maybe it’s for minority leader. … I do think if we do what we’re supposed to do in the next few months, I do think Republicans can keep a majority of the House and I think we can pick up seats in the Senate. But if we don’t, then it’s going to be tough.”
Topics for the night jumped from parallels between President Donald Trump and President Ronald Reagan to Jordan’s criticism of the latest spending bill, the opioid epidemic and gun control.
His opening speech, and a video played before it, touched on equal treatment of the law. He used the difference between Michael Cohen’s warrant — when they “kicked in his door at 5 a.m. and grabbed everything” — and Cheryl Mills turning over emails from Benghazi at her convenience to illustrate the law’s differing treatment of individuals.
“It is important that we continue to push to get to the bottom of what took place (at) the highest levels of the FBI,” he said. “Have you ever seen where they took an opposition research document, dressed it up, made it look like legitimate intelligence, took it to a secret court to get a warrant to spy on a fellow American citizen associated with the other campaign? They did that in this country. … And for that, people need to be taken to account.”
Jordan’s largest criticism of the night was of the latest spending bill, which was signed by President Trump on March 20. He was critical of the increase in spending, saying that the national debt is equal to the gross domestic product and that the bill should not have increased social spending alongside defense funding.
“The position that the Freedom Caucus and conservatives were advocating in the house was go ahead and do what you need to do for national defense but … just hold the line on nondefense discretionary spending,” he said. “We’d have saved $63 billion if we’d done it our way.”
As Tuesday’s primary election nears, Jordan has been holding town halls and visiting businesses across his district; he visited Sandusky Wednesday morning and will visit Norwalk today. He said he enjoys talking to the people he has the privilege of representing.
“The founders, in their wisdom, wanted the House of Representatives to be the body closest to the people, that’s why there’s an election every two years,” he said. “So it’s tough to be a representative if you don’t go out and talk to the people you get the privilege of representing. We try to do this a lot, and we have people who agree with us, we have people who disagree with us. That’s the way this great American experiment in freedom works.”
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