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Jim Jordan as Speaker is change America needs to move forward

Greg Nash

Just how good a leader is House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy? Not very, if you consider the current immigration-related discharge petition predicament in which the House Republican “leadership” now finds itself.

McCarthy is from California. So is Rep. Jeff Denham, whose resolution — a “Queen of the Hill” rule proposing guidelines for consideration of four immigration-related bills — is at the center of the trouble. So are Reps. Steve Knight and David Valadao, who along with Denham, have signed the discharge petition aimed at wresting control of the House floor from McCarthy and the rest of the GOP leadership.

McCarthy cannot even lead his own state delegation to unity on this issue. How can he be expected properly to lead all the Republicans in the House as Speaker? Leaders, by definition, are those who succeed at getting others to follow. Great leaders envision bold possibilities, understand how to describe their vision, and are guided by steadfast principles. People gladly follow great leaders.

On the most important leadership test of the 115th Congress, McCarthy is failing, and badly. How badly? After he spoke to his House Republican colleagues at a meeting of their conference last week, cautioning them of the dangers of the discharge petition, urging them not to turn the floor over to the Democrats, warning them of the electoral disaster to come if they pass an amnesty bill that depresses GOP voter turnout in the November elections, two more of his fellow Republicans signed the discharge petition, despite his plea.

McCarthy’s last leadership assignment of significance was when he was the lead negotiator for House Republicans on the disastrous $1.3 trillion omnibus bill, the one that was so bad that President Trump swore he would never sign another one like it, ever again. It’s no wonder that Tea Party Patriots and its supporters opposed McCarthy’s ascension to the Speakership in the fall of 2015, when John Boehner abruptly exited.

At the time, we designed and printed 500 shirts featuring a caricature of McCarthy as Boehner, with an absurdly tanned face, casually holding a glass of wine and a lit cigarette together in one hand, Dean Martin style. The caption was simple: “McBoehner.” We passed them out at the entrance to the Capitol South Metro stop one Wednesday morning, and they were all gone by 9 a.m. The demand from congressional staffers for those shirts foretold McCarthy’s failure to ascend to the Speakership in the days to follow. Perhaps members of the House Republican Conference should look elsewhere for their next Speaker.

Perhaps House Republicans should look to a member of their conference who has demonstrated real leadership, with the vision to determine what is achievable, the determination to devise and implement a plan to achieve the goal, and the ability to unite others in a cause greater than self, to the benefit of all over the long term, even when it might cause pain to some of them in the short term.

Perhaps they should look to Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio. During his 11 years in Congress, he has distinguished himself as a leader among those committed to defending our constitutional liberties and the conservative principles of personal freedom, economic freedom, and a future without debt for our children.

Jordan has demonstrated repeatedly that he has the vision, the determination, and the team-building ability necessary to engineer legislative wins. He was the driving force behind “cut, cap and balance,” which gave us the sequester, the best spending increase reduction tool Washington has seen in decades. While it did not cut spending, it did reduce the rate of automatic increases. He fought for the impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, for allowing the destruction of subpoenaed evidence in the IRS targeting scandal.

From his positions on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, he has conducted the best grilling of witnesses in the Benghazi investigation, and the committees looking into how the FBI and Justice Department conducted their investigations of both Hillary Clinton’s private email server and possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign.

Jordan is determined to support President Trump’s call for increased border security and the construction of a wall along the border. Perhaps most importantly, he will champion Trump’s agenda rather than resist it. He already guards it to ensure the bills the House passes actually move toward the Trump’s agenda, rather than continue the way things have always worked in Washington. Jordan and Trump understand better than others how the president’s agenda impacts the daily lives of regular Americans, and how much they want to drain the swamp.

America voted in 2016 to change things in Washington. The election of Donald Trump proves that beyond all doubt. Electing Kevin McCarthy Speaker to replace Paul Ryan, who replaced John Boehner, does not and cannot represent change. Electing Jim Jordan as Speaker, on the other hand, is the change we need, and the change we deserve.

Jenny Beth Martin is chairman of Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund.

Tags America Boehner Congress David Valadao Donald Trump Hillary Clinton House Jeff Denham Jim Jordan John Boehner Kevin McCarthy Paul Ryan Republicans

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