Is House Freedom Caucus Chair Jim Jordan the Worst Legislator in Washington?






Contemptuous of convention.

That’s Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, the only member of the House Benghazi Committee who ignored decorum and took off his suit coat before cross-examining Hillary Clinton during yesterday’s marathon Benghazi hearing. (He was the strident, animated guy in the blue shirt and yellow tie.)

Jordan was elected in 2006, after veteran Congressman Michael Oxley retired. His district is solidly Republican, so he can only be unseated by a primary challenge from the right, which is unlikely because he is “the right.”

He chairs the House Freedom Caucus, the 30 to 40 conservative extremists who muscled John Boehner out of the Speaker’s chair.

He won’t be Speaker but received three protest votes in the past two Speaker elections, from right-wing purists who couldn’t stomach casting a vote for Boehner.

Jordan has proven himself to be a relentless inquisitor. And he was working a legitimate line of inquiry that might have yielded results yesterday, if Hillary Clinton’s composure and carefully calculated responses had not completely disarmed the Ohio Congressman’s Savonarola-esque tactics.

What he is not is a legislator.

In the 114th Congress, Jordan has filed one bill.

One. Which must be the record, unless the record is no bills.

One bill? Really? Half a million residents of Ohio’s 4th congressional district send this guy to Congress and all they get is one lousy bill.

And it’s a bill that is an ideological manifesto that might make it out of the House but will never pass the Senate. If it were to pass the Senate, it would be vetoed by President Obama.

Not only is it a bill that will be vetoed. It’s a bill that has nothing to do with Ohio’s Fourth Congressional District.

In the 114th Congress, Jordan is the author of a bill that would repeal gun-control ordinances passed by the Washington, D.C., City Council, strip the Council of its authority to enact gun-control restrictions, require the District chief of police to issue concealed carry permits, and allow residents of the District to purchase guns in the wide-open gun market that is Virginia.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate. Neither bill has a prayer of passing in the current Congress.

But Jim Jordan manned up and put Hillary Clinton in her place during yesterday’s Benghazi hearings.

For a national constituency, if not the Ohioans who sent Jordan to Washington, that’s more than enough. They understand that he didn’t go to Washington to legislate, but to agitate. And obstruct.

“They’re not legislators, they’re just assholes,” a senior GOP aide told CQ’s Roll Call. “These guys have such a minority mindset that the prospect of getting something done just scares them away, or pisses them off.”

The only thing better than one bill would be no bill.

By the standard described by the unnamed congressional aide, Jim Jordan should be Speaker of the House.


Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Lou Dubose is the editor of The Washington Spectator.