SIDNEY — U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan visited Shelby County to give congressional updates at four different Sidney locations, Friday.
Jordan, R-Urbana, 4th District, delivered a speech for Workforce Partnership students at the Sidney High School first thing Friday morning, then met with local business owners for a roundtable discussion at the Amos Memorial Public Library. After lunch he visited the Sidney Fire Department’s Station 1 and then ended his visit at the Sidney Police Department later in the afternoon.
Jordan told business owners during the library discussion he thinks the proposed tax bill will pass on Tuesday night or Wednesday. He said although Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) may “have some concerns” with the bill, Jordan said he believes Rubio will ultimately vote “yes.” The other senator he mentioned who may have some resistance was Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who will want a “deal in the spending bill,” he said.
The three main principals that conservatives focused on within the tax bill, Jordan said, were to cut taxes, simplify the tax code and to produce a tax code that is “conducive to growth” by bringing down the corporate tax.
“The plan is, the bill is rolling out. We got a conference call today with all of the Republicans so we will get any (details) — sort of have a better handle on (the tax bill). Twenty-one percent corporate rate, working better on the S corps and LLCs and actually the trust issue on what we call the pass-through companies. The individual mandate, the idea that we are going to get the individual mandate in ObamaCare is a good thing,” Jordan said at the top of the library meeting.
“I think they have actually done something that I didn’t know that could get done. They took some of the best elements from the House bill, best elements from the Senate bill. And a lot of times these conference committees go the other direction. They take the worst of each and you get a bill that’s not as good as either. I think (this tax bill) actually got better, other than the rate going up a little,” Jordan said. “Over all, it is good.”
When asked why he was in support of the proposed tax bill and how it will help the average Sidney resident, Jordan responded that the bill will be able to accomplish the three main principals listed above. He also noted that the vast majority of middle class families will be able to keep more of their own money by doubling the standard deduction. And, he said, it will encourage more people to file their taxes more easily.
“We want this to be a tax cut for everybody,” Jordan said. “Because we think, fundamentally, that this is your money and you should be able to keep most of it.
“The bill could be better, but it’s moving in the right direction. I think you are going to see the vast majority of Republicans support it in the House,” Jordan told the Sidney Daily News. “The economy is already — under President Trump — the confidence level and our economy in general is up. The economy is growing at, I think, 3.9 percent, last quarter. The last two quarters are better than anything we have seen under Obama, so that’s positive, but this bill’s going to help growth even more. We need to get above the 4 percent growth rate.”
He said Congress will vote next week on the spending bill for the next fiscal year, which always “gets ugly” between Republicans and Democrats. Jordan said Republicans will always fight for increased military spending, and this can often be held back by the Democrats over a fight for social welfare spending.
Jordan also spoke of his work within the Oversight and Judiciary committees, the latter of which is investigating the Justice Department’s activity during the 2016 campaign. He said there is evidence the FBI “tried to tip the campaign“ in favor of presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
When asked why the committee is calling for a second special council into the matter, Jordan told the Daily News that anti-Trump text messages have been discovered between FBI Agent Peter Strozk and FBI lawyer Lisa Page discussing a plan to undermine the Trump campaign. Jordan said the legislative branch, which is Congress, cannot prosecute, only the judicial branch can do that, but Congress can conduct a congressional investigation to get the facts out.
“Frankly, I prefer we didn’t have to (have a second council assigned), but I don’t see any other way that we can get to the truth in a way that the American people will accept,” Jordan said. “In the meantime, we need to do a congressional investigation to get as many of the facts and truth out as we can. But always remember, Congress cannot prosecute anyone, only the justice department can … .” said Jordan.
About 14 business people gathered at the library, and several posed questions on the tax bill, health care, friviolous spending and North Korea.
Jordan touted Trump’s projection of strength, in light of North Korea. And he thinks one of the reasons the president wants to have a better relationship with Russia is because of the threat from North Korea.
“I like the president’s overall (projected strength) — I think of it like Reagan: project strength. We’re America, for goodness sake,” Jordan said. “I think most common-sense Americans like the way this administration says the best way to help us have peace is to project strength. We are not backing (down). When we say something, we mean it. But you just don’t know with (North Korea). … In desperate places like that, that always makes you nervous. But I feel better with President Trump there with what I call that Reagan vision.”
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.