U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) has been Ohio’s Fourth District representative since 2007, sitting on judiciary, oversight and government reform committees, but said he returns to Ohio most weekends and is currently touring the district to speak with constituents.
“Things are great,” he said. “The economy is good. We were all over the district from Shelby County, Auglaize County, Allen County… and people are really pleased with the economic growth. I’ve talked to a number of business owners, so it’s been positive, very positive.”
Jordan said that President Trump has had an amazing year and a half, reducing regulations, lowering taxes, growing the economy at an unbelievable rate – recently charted at 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018 – and bringing unemployment to its lowest in 20 years.
Jordan said he was pleased with Justice Neil Gorsuch’s placement on the Supreme Court, the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the U.S. exit from the Iran nuclear deal, the Israel embassy relocating to Jerusalem and the hostages returned from North Korea.
“By anyone’s definition it’s been an amazing year and a half,” he said. “People feel it, they sense it. They’ve got more money in their pocket because they get to keep more of their tax dollars, and the economy is growing strong and there are lots of job opportunities.”
Jordan said he understands that some farmers are a little concerned about fallout from the ongoing trade war, but that the president was clear at the recent G7 meeting that his goal was to have no tariffs.
”I use automobiles as an example. If you make an automobile in the United States and you ship it to Europe, you’re hit with like a 10 percent tariff,” he said. “Those companies that make automobiles in Europe and ship it to the United States, they have a two and a half percent tariff. How is that fair? That’s the president’s point, he wants to change that, and most of the people I talk to are supportive of the president’s efforts to get to no tariffs. That’s what I want. That’s true free markets, free economies … there’s going to be some uneasiness, I think, in the interim as we’re working to get to better deals, so I understand that. I share the goal of getting to zero tariffs.”
Jordan said the Mueller investigation into Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election has been ongoing for 16 months, but has shown no evidence for any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia that impacted the election. He said he has been involved in the real concern, getting to the bottom of what the FBI and the department of justice did.
“We do know the other campaign tried to work with Russians to impact the election because the Clinton campaign hired the law firm Perkins Coie, who hired the opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who hired Christopher Steele, who went and talked to Russians to try to dig up information on the president,” Jordan said. “They put that information in what has been called the dossier. The FBI took that dossier, even though they couldn’t corroborate it, it had no credibility, they couldn’t validate it – they took that dossier to the secret court to get a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign. That’s as wrong as it gets.
“When they went to the court, they didn’t tell the court two important facts,” he continued. “They didn’t tell the court who paid for that document – the Clinton campaign – and they didn’t tell the court the guy who wrote it, Christopher Steele, had been fired by the FBI because he was out leaking information to the press… If you or I go to a court we have to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth; the FBI should have had to do the same thing.”
Jordan helped lead a group of conservative lawmakers in filing articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for not being responsive enough, as House committees have requested documents related to the beginning of the Russia investigation and a closed investigation into Democrat Hillary Clinton’s emails. Current House Speaker Paul Ryan rejected the motion, but is retiring at the end of the year, and Jordan said that if he becomes speaker he will move forward with the impeachment effort.
“We’re entitled to documents and information,” Jordan said.
Jordan said one of the most important problems facing Ohio is the opioid epidemic. He said he has talked to employers finding it difficult to get employees who can pass the drug screening.
“There are opportunities people can’t have because they have this drug problem,” he said. “It’s very important that we do all we can to help families that have been hit by this and help individuals that have this drug addiction problem. Certainly the federal government has appropriated dollars for treatment programs and help, but I think in the end most of this is going to get solved on a family, community and frankly in faith-based programs at that level. To the extent that federal dollars can be supportive of all that I think that’s important, but for us to get a handle on this problem it’s going to have to be solved on a local level.”
Jordan agreed with his opponent, Janet Garrett, that there is a lot mandated testing in education, but that the most important focus should be on giving parents opportunities to send their children to the schools where they will get the best quality of education.
”In a fundamental sense this is probably the most important thing that needs to change about education is that local schools should be run locally,” he said. “We don’t need the federal government weighing in on how we run schools. Let your teachers, your parents, your local school boards, your faculty, your staff, your administrators on a local level run your school. You don’t want the federal government involved. We’ll just mess it up.”
Christopher Selmek can be reached at 937-508-2304