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Exclusive—Rep. Jim Jordan on Obamacare Discharge Petition: Let’s Do What We Said, ‘Simply Repeal Obamacare’

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), the former chairman of the Freedom Caucus, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview that GOP lawmakers should “act like Republicans — let’s simply repeal Obamacare.”

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), and other members of the Freedom Caucus filed a discharge petition on Friday to repeal Obamacare. The discharge petition, if it receives 218 signatures in the House, would force lawmakers to vote on a clean repeal bill of Obamacare. The clean repeal legislation was drafted by Rep. Jordan, which passed the House and the Senate in 2015. The bill, H.R. 1436, would repeal most parts of Obamacare by the end of 2018.

Congressman Jordan told Breitbart News why Republicans need to support the discharge petition. Jordan said:

Majority Leader Dick Armey said it best, ‘When we act like us we win, we act like them we lose.’ I’ve spent the last ten days crisscrossing through Ohio and just like other Americans I expect that people are saying, ‘Why don’t you guys act like they did when you campaigned for the job?’  That’s the frustrating part.

Let’s act like Republicans, let’s simply repeal Obamacare and do what we told the voters what we said we would do. Let’s keep our promise. I think if this is brought up to the floor, really, that many people are going to vote for the same bill they voted for 18 months ago. That’s why we started this effort. We’ll see how it unfolds.

Jordan revealed that they hope that the discharge petition can pressure the Republican leadership to take up clean repeal in the House. Jordan told Breitbart News, “The leadership told us that they are not going to bring up the clean repeal. We have to go this route. If we start getting close to the number we need to bring the bill to the floor, then maybe the leadership will bring the bill to the floor. If we can pass it and demonstrate to the Senate, and say ‘the House is keeping their word,’ they can hopefully persuade senators to vote for the bill, to persuade them to do what we told the American people we were going to do and what we all voted for 18 months ago.”

Jordan continued, “Understand this is the route that we all wanted to embark at the start of the session. Congressman Sanford (R-SC) introduced the replacement bill, I introduced the clean repeal, we always said that we should do them same time but in separate bills, and once you pass the bill Democrats can now work with us to figure out what’s in the replace bill. We would have to work out the replace, the free-market stuff, but we will have to give up some other stuff because the replacement bill requires 60 votes in the Senate, although, the repeal doesn’t. Once you combine repeal and replace elements. Democrats will not go against what’s sacred to them, and that’s Obamacare. Our bill is not effective until the end of 2018, there’s time to have the replacement and make it bipartisan to get it through the Senate.”

The Ohio congressman revealed there are rumors floating that Congress might try to continue funding Obamacare’s cost-sharing reduction program through the debt ceiling bill. Conservatives have frequently chastised the cost-sharing reduction program, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who called it an “insurance bailout.”

Jordan explained, “There’s a lot of talk of including the cost-sharing reduction payments in the debt ceiling and I’ve heard some rumors about that. I mean, really? We’re going to increase the limit on the credit card, increase spending, and bailout insurance companies all at the same bill? C’mon. Now, if those cost-sharing payments are coupled with real reform like interstate shopping, that’s a different animal. Right now, I’m not hearing that.”

Congressman Jordan concluded, “If the 4th district of Ohio is anything like the rest of the country, then I’m sure members are reeling about the frustration that voters have with what happened in the United States Senate two weeks ago, because I heard it every day. I agree with their outrage. Let’s continue to push and do what we told the voters we were going to do and keep our promise to the American people.”

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