A Jim Jordan Speakership could save 2018 for Republicans

A Jim Jordan Speakership could save 2018 for Republicans
© Greg Nash

For congressional Republicans serious about draining the swamp, cutting spending, and returning to regular order, Rep. Jim JordanJames (Jim) Daniel JordanCummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question Cummings requests interview with Census official over new allegations on citizenship question House Oversight Republicans release parts of Kobach, Trump officials' testimony on census citizenship question MORE (R-Ohio) is the only choice for House Speaker.

When it comes to the obvious qualifiers, Jordan checks all the boxes: good seniority, affable personality, well-liked by his colleagues. But he also maintains a quality noticeably missing from the other top contenders for Speakership: credibility.

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Unlike current Republican leadership, Rep. Jordan has earned the trust of his peers (and the GOP base at-large) with his proven commitment to cut spending and change the status quo in Washington.

You can bet a House with Speaker Jordan at the gavel will not be rushing $1.3 trillion spending bills through Congress without giving lawmakers a chance to read the legislation. It also won’t be taking show votes on balanced budget amendments right after sending the federal government toward trillion-dollar deficits as early as 2020.

Grassroots America genuinely believe a Speaker Jim Jordan would make Congress work again — not because of his words, but because of his actions. That’s why thousands of FreedomWorks activists nationwide launched a campaign this week to draft Rep. Jordan into the Speakership race.

Return the House to Regular Order

The only way to help President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE "drain the swamp" is to fundamentally change the way Congress operates. This starts with the Speaker of the House. Unlike the partisan positions of majority leader and majority whip, the Speakership is a constitutional office.

It is the responsibility of the Speaker to make sure all 12 appropriations bills are passed separately, and to preserve an open amendment process on legislation. The Speaker also takes charge of the House Rules Committee, where the GOP legislative agenda of spending cuts, entitlement reform, and health care reform will live or die based on his/her commitment to giving these issues a vote.

This Speakership race will draw a line in the sand, forcing Republican incumbents to put their commitment to an open legislative process on the record. A vote for Jim Jordan will be a vote for increased transparency in Congress, and a return to regular order. A vote for Rep. Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyGOP hopes dim on reclaiming House GOP hopes dim on reclaiming House Republicans raise concerns over House campaign arm leadership MORE (R-Calif.), by contrast, will be a vote for more of the same.

Trust of Fiscal Conservatives 

Jim Jordan is the only name that received unanimous consent from our FreedomWorks Activist Advisory Council, a coalition of top grassroots leaders from across the country. In less than 24 hours, fiscal conservatives have taken more than 8,000 grassroots actions to contact their representatives and voice support for a Jordan Speakership campaign on social media, using the hashtag #SpeakerJordan.

The level of grassroots energy surrounding Rep. Jordan is something FreedomWorks hasn’t seen in years. Republican incumbents should take this excitement as a strong indicator that selecting a fiscally conservative House Speaker would change the entire momentum of the 2018 midterm election cycle.

Preparing Republicans for the 2018 Election

The fiscally conservative base of the GOP has long understood the swamp is bipartisan. They know that to pass good policy, sometimes you must beat the Republicans before you can beat the Democrats. That’s why the House Freedom Caucus has roughly three-dozen members and continues to quietly grow with every election cycle.

This speakership election is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party, and it will have a profound effect on Republican midterm election turnout. Past election cycles have proven that when Republicans act like Democrats, Republicans stay home. When they act like fiscal conservatives, Republican voters show up at the ballot box in droves.

A Jim Jordan Speakership would be an act of good faith to the fiscally conservative base of the GOP that the Republican majority is finally ready to start keeping their promises.

The path to victory for a true conservative to become House leadership is a challenge. It will require the American people to get engaged in the process and create an environment that forces Congress to do the right thing. It’s happened before, and it can happen again.

This is why FreedomWorks is committing its full institutional support behind Rep. Jim Jordan. If you believe in free markets and a functioning government, you should too.

Adam Brandon is the president of FreedomWorks.