Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, former chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, delivered a passionate speech from the House floor Thursday during debate on a balanced budget amendment. The amendment fell short of the two-thirds majority vote required. A transcript of his speech is below.
Everyone knows this is a joke. It’s all pretend. Never going to become law. Never going to happen.
People are going to support it because voting for a balanced budget amendment is like voting for motherhood and apple pie, but everybody on this floor knows this is all pretend.
The time to deal with spending was three weeks ago. Three weeks ago, that was the time for political courage, some discipline, some political will was three weeks ago, when we got a 2,232-page bill that we had 15 hours to look at. That was when we needed to deal with spending.
Fifteen hours to look at a $1.3 trillion spending package, the second-largest spending package in American history, and we had 15 hours to look at it.
Guess what? You know how long we got to debate it? One hour.
On a three-page bill that’s never going to happen. You know how long we’re debating this? Four hours.
The time for political courage was three weeks ago. The last vote we (took) before the Easter recess, $1.3 trillion of spending, funding things we, as Republicans, said we would never fund.
Not funding things we told the voters we were going to fund. And then we go home and we come back, and the first thing we do with four hours of debate, not one like we had on that bill, is a bill that’s never going to happen.
No wonder Americans hate this place. No wonder they’re cynical. I don’t blame them.
This ticks me off. There’s just no other way to say it. And more importantly, it ticks off the American people and it should.
The last 24 hours, everyone in this town’s been focused on who’s going to be the next speaker.
Let me tell you something. A much more important question than who’s going to be the next speaker, who’s going to be the speaker next year, is what are Republicans going to do this year?
Are we going to get back to doing what they elected us? What the American people elected us to do on Nov. 8, 2016? Are we going to get back to doing what we told them we were going to do? The mandate of that election. Or are we going to keep doing pretend things like this?
Let’s do what we said. We make this so hard. Let’s just do what we said we would do. That’ll be good politics. And more importantly, that’ll be good policy for the hardworking families of this great country.
Jim Jordan is the U.S. representative for Ohio’s 4th congressional district. He serves as chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules.
A version of this Op-Ed appeared on The Daily Signal website under the headline “Jim Jordan to Fellow Republicans: ‘Let’s Just Do What We Said We Would Do.‘”
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