Politics

Republicans Missed Opportunities to Retain House Majority, Jim Jordan Says

‘If we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House’

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, waits to do a television news interview in Statuary Hall in the Capitol on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, the day after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Freedom Caucus co-founder Jim Jordan, who is running for minority leader, has a tough message for his colleagues: If House Republicans had done more to change Washington and deliver on their campaign promises, they would still be in the majority.

“This might be a tough pill to swallow, but I believe that if we’d handled the past two years differently, we would still be the majority party in the House of Representatives,” the Ohio Republican wrote in a dear colleague letter first obtained by Roll Call.

Jordan will run against California Rep. Kevin McCarthy for the top minority spot. His letter seemed to cast blame on the current leadership team, in which McCarthy has served as the No. 2 under Speaker Paul D. Ryan, for conducting “business as usual” the past two years instead of shaking up Washington after the voters elected President Donald Trump to do just that.

“As the minority party in the House, the top priorities of our conference for the next two years should be to defend the president and to regain the trust of the American people so we can win back the majority and enact good policy,” Jordan said. “To do this, we need new leadership. We can’t just stay on the same path and expect different results.”

Jordan is offering himself as the leader who can put the Republican Conference on a different path.

“Even though the American people share our conservative values, we need to play strategic defense on policy in the minority,” he said.

Those policy defenses include promoting limited government and fiscal responsibility, stopping the expansion of the 2010 health care law, protecting the GOP’s tax law, securing the border and defending the Constitution.

Jordan also pointed out the importance of Republicans defending Trump as Democrats “attempt to thwart” the administration with endless investigations.

“They will likely try to impeach the president as well,” he said. “Though their impeachment efforts will not succeed, their effort must be met with a valiant defense, which I am prepared to lead.”

Jordan concluded his letter by talking about process changes, saying while Republicans won’t control the House and therefore its rules, they should demonstrate in their actions that they’re willing to decentralize power and open up the legislative process.

“The next two years of Congress and the presidential election of 2020 will define the future of our country,” Jordan said. “If we are to regain the majority, we cannot continue on the same path.”

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