HH: Joined now by Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio He’s the chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Congressman Jordan, welcome back, always a pleasure ot have you.
JJ: Good to be with you this evening.
HH: What do you think is going to happen on the vote on the Boehner bill?
JJ: Well, I mean, it’s anybody’s guess, Hugh. I mean, look, there’s not the votes there right now, obviously, or we’d be having the vote. We’d be on the floor voting. So I don’t know. I really don’t know what the outcome will be. We’re just going to have to wait and see. But I do know it’s time to call the question. Let’s see what the score is, and then we can figure out about, if it doesn’t pass, where we go from here.
HH: Congressman Jordan, you’re one of the most visible of the opponents of the bill. My friend, John Campbell, was another one, was on yesterday. What is your biggest objection to the bill as it is currently written?
JJ: We’ve been saying this for a couple weeks. And this is so true. Washington wants a deal, America wants a solution. And we’re at a point in American history where the financial situation is so bad, so dangerous, and the window of time to fix it is closing so rapidly, that we’ve got to do some big, bold things. And frankly, while I’m pleased that the Speaker kept tax increases out of that, and he’s actually reducing some spending, the fact is, this thing raises the debt ceiling now, and the real spending cuts Congress promises to get sometime over the next ten years. And it’s always funny how it works. Raise the debt ceiling now, borrow more money now, and we promise we’ll cut spending later. Raise taxes now, we promise we’ll cut more spending. I mean, tell folks all the time, this is not your spouse promising something. This is not your pastor or priest promising something. This is the United States Congress, for goodness sake. So there’s that element of the bill, there’s this debt commission in the bill, which I think could potentially lead to higher taxes. So for a whole host of reasons, I just don’t think it solves the problem like the plan we put forward last week, which actually did pass the House with bipartisan support.
HH: Now Congressman, I just asked Pete Roskam about the supercommittee, because that’s got me worried as well, because I don’t know who’s going to be on it. And he said don’t worry, great, solid conservatives, no tax hikes coming out of that. And why not get the names out?
JJ: Yeah, well, don’t worry, that’s the kind of…don’t worry, we promise we’ll do the right thing. Well, the American people have been hearing that for how many years now? So yeah, let me think, it’s twelve members, evenly divided amongst the House and the Senate, evenly divided amongst Republicans and Democrats. So let’s just say you’ve got six Democrats to say I want to raise taxes, and one Gang of Six Republican from the Senate who says okay, I’ll go along with the tax increase. The Speaker can’t keep it, so it’s fast-tracked to the floor. So the bill comes directly to the floor. It also, here’s the important thing, it goes directly to the Senate floor, and the 60 vote filibuster number over there is not in play.
JJ: So a simple majority in the Senate, which the Democrats control, you know they’re going to vote to raise taxes. And in the House, if you have some Republicans decide to go along with all the Democrats, you get a tax increase in the House, and suddenly we have a tax increase when we’re trying to grow our economy. And that can happen as early as the next four of five months when this commission comes back for the second phase of this debt ceiling bill.
HH: So Congressman, have you seen anyone go from support of the Boehner bill to opposition today?
JJ: You know, it’s hard to tell, probably more movement the other way, frankly. When it gets down to the wire like this, typically, you’ll see some people who were, who thought this was wrong and all, but think you know, maybe there’s no better option, and they feel like they have to go that way, and they’ll say they’ll vote yes. So probably movement the other way, but you know, obviously, I learned a long time ago, you have the vote on the legislation when you have the votes.
JJ: And we’re not having a vote right now, so there are not the votes for the bill as we speak.
HH: Now let me ask you about a story that very much disturbed me, that says you will be singled out for retribution and redistricting in our shared home state of Ohio. That would be disastrous on so many levels. What kind of merit do you put into that story, that they’re going to wipe out your district as payback, Jim Jordan?
JJ: Well, you know, look. I got into this business to fight for families. And you know, it’s just disappointing, if fighting to reduce spending, and balancing the budget is a reason Republicans are going to eliminate your district. I mean, I just find that very disturbing. The Speaker called me an hour or so ago, and said that he is not in support of that, and I take the Speaker at his word. But obviously, somebody is saying things like that, and so, you know…
HH: That would be very un-John Boehner like, and I think it would absolutely backfire on the Machiavels, the small-town Machiavels, who want to punish you for being a visible proponent of small government. So Jim Jordan, when this is over, how quickly does the Republican conference repair whatever damage has been done?
JJ: Well, I mean, look. People are going to vote yes, people are going to vote no. I mean, that’s between them, the good Lord, and their district. And I always think that you work with your colleagues after this is over. But I do believe that as I said earlier, there is one plan in this whole debate that has been put forward, and I know people think that it can’t happen in the Senate, and the President said he would veto. Well, they’re saying the same thing about the plan on the table today. There is one plan that solves the problem. We passed it last week. It’s the Cut, Cap and Balance plan. And it is the type of thing that fixes the problem.
HH: Congressman Jim Jordan, always a pleasure, thank you, Congressman.
End of interview.