LIMA — Following a tumultuous four or five months on Capitol Hill — where acrimony greatly outpaced civility during the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump — Republican Congressman Jim Jordan believes lawmakers can put their differences aside and produce meaningful legislation before the year is over.
Jordan, who represents Ohio’s 4th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, met with the editorial board of The Lima News — a sister newspaper of the Sidney Daily News — on Friday before serving as the guest speaker at the monthly Allen County Republican Party luncheon.
Jordan said productive talks are currently being held on legislative proposals in the House, including the re-authorization of FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) Act and others.
“We’re also working with Democrats on basic legislation to study how facial recognition technology is being used by the federal government. Quite simply, we want no expansion in the use of that technology. Our concern is that the federal government not be allowed to go into a Trump rally or a (Bernie) Sanders rally and figure out who’s there.”
But is it possible for Republicans and Democrats to work together following months of partisan and rancorous impeachment battles? Jordan believes finding common ground is possible.
“You just focus on being consistent in doing what you told the voters you were gonna do, and if it’s for the good of the country then you work with whoever you can and do what you have to do,” the Republican lawmaker said.
“But I would argue it’s not conservatives who have been polarizing — it’s the left. Today’s left applauds Colin Kaepernick when he refuses to stand for the national anthem and they embrace Gov. (Mario) Cuomo when he says as governor of New York that America was never that great. They cheered (California congresswoman) Maxine Waters when she went on her rant and said that if you see anyone in the Trump cabinet you should push back and tell them they’re not welcome anywhere. That is dangerous, and I would argue its the left that’s creating the polarization. It’s not healthy,” Jordan said.
During a speech late last year to Allen County GOP, however, Jordan seemingly attempted to drive a wedge between Republicans and Democrats at every turn by using phrases such as “us” and “them” in discussing the political process. The congressman on Friday stayed true to form, repeating that “they” created the hostility that prevails in the country, a criticism aimed directly at Democrats.
“I wish it wasn’t that polarizing, but when Maxine Waters says, in essence, that Jim Jordan isn’t welcome in the country any more, you have to debate that; and you have to win,” said the congressman. “This in my judgment is an attack on the fundamental principles that make our country so special. So you can’t just say, ‘Oh, we’ll all get along even though you did that.’ I don’t see how you do that.”
Jordan touched on several other topics during his visit with the newspaper’s editorial board on Friday:
Less than six weeks after three men were shot and killed in downtown Lima, Jordan stayed consistent in his support of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
“Enforce the laws that are on the books. The last thing we need to do is take away people’s Second Amendment liberties. Law abiding citizens have a right to firearms, and we should not be curtailing those rights,” Jordan said.
“And these Red Flag laws that are being proposed are dangerous to fundamental liberties in this country. We’ve got to be so against that kind of legislation. I’m very nervous about that.”
“We’ve been in Afghanistan for what, 18-19 years? At some point we need to bring home as many of our troops as we can. I think the president’s position on this is exactly right. The president said that we can’t be sending troops all over the world, but we also have to have a strong defense to deter aggression from bad people. And when somebody does something really bad, we’re gonna kick ‘em in the teeth.
“I think you’re gonna see a smaller presence in Afghanistan, which is appropriate.”
“I feel very good about President Trump’s chances of being re-elected. I think he’s gonna win. I don’t see any way the Democrats are going to beat Donald Trump. He’s cut taxes, he’s reduced regulations, job numbers are up, lowest unemployment in 50 years and wages are up.
“He’s gonna win and we’re gonna have another great four years under President Trump’s leadership because so many people appreciate that this president is doing things he said he’d do. There is no way the Democrats are gonna beat him.”
Jordan, 56, has represented Ohio’s 4th district, which includes Lima, in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007.
Three Democrats have filed nominating petitions to unseat Jordan. The winner of the Democrat primary on March 17 will face Jordan in the fall.