LIMA — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan said it is an “interesting time” to be working in Washington, D.C.
He said he thinks newly appointed House Speaker Paul Ryan was a good choice to replace John Boehner and that he will be able to keep a somewhat splintered party focused on its core issues.
“It seems he is off to a good start,” Jordan said.
Jordan said Ryan quickly jumped in and has began to change things up while bringing the Republican party together.
“Being a Republican, we are fundamentally the same,” Jordan said. “We want free markets and no corporate welfare, low taxes, less spending, less government growth, traditional values and national defense.”
Jordan pointed out that recent numbers indicate that 60 percent of voters feel their chosen Republican politicians have betrayed them. He said Ryan is geared to win back trust.
“He is committed to the big issues,” Jordan said. “He will push only on the issues that the majority is supporting.”
Jordan said Ryan “began the process of changing the process” with the House Steering and Policy committees, which in many ways dictates how Congress operates.
“By Thanksgiving I think we will see the steering committee adjusted,” Jordan said. “They have a lot of control. We want to add more than rank-and-file politicians. They assign committee chairmen and can kick them off.”
Jordan pointed out the 2012 removal of Tim Huelskamp as just one example of mistakes that needed to be avoided. Huelskamp was removed from two key committees, including the Agricultural Committee, although he possessed advanced education in agriculture and represents two-thirds of the state of Kansas, a highly agricultural community.
Jordan also said Ryan’s approach will help to place viable alternatives to what he called many faulty approaches from the Obama administration, including amnesty, health care and welfare reform and tax code reformation.
“Ryan is a good messenger,” Jordan said. “The candidates have all been putting out their plans. We look back to [Ronald] Reagan in 1980 on tax code reform. He modified Jack Kemp’s plan and it passed.”
Jordan said he was not interested in the Speaker job when his name was being thrown around early after Boehner’s resignation, saying he was busy representing his district. Jordan’s recent agenda has included the Benghazi hearings and working on stopping the immigration bill, which President Barack Obama has now appealed to the Supreme Court. He said there is also the issue of discussions to impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.
“My concentration is there,” Jordan said.
He said he wasn’t surprised that some media outlets gave Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton a high grade of her handling of questions in the Benghazi hearings.
“She has had different things to say publicly and privately,” Jordan said. “It doesn’t surprise me when The New York Times says nice things about Democrats. There are some other questions I would have liked to ask and I wish we could have done things differently. However, politics drove a lot of it.”
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.