Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID), one of 25 House Republicans who opposed Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) Speakership bid, said Friday that his opposition came from local issues such as “delisting wolves” and the Idaho National Laboratory.
Simpson voted along with 24 other House Republicans to block Jordan, who was the House Republican Conference’s Speaker nominee.
WATCH — Kevin McCarthy: Jim Jordan No Longer Nominee for Speaker of the House After Vote:C-SPAN
In the aftermath of the vote, the Idaho Republican Party condemned Simpson’s vote against Jordan in a written statement:
As such, we would like to express our disappointment in our Republican U.S. Congressman Mike Simpson (ID-2) for not voting with the Republican caucus for Jim Jordan for Speaker of the House today. Our party has constantly championed fair and open deliberation, and it is disheartening to see one of our own Idaho congressmen deviate from a fair process to emphasize the same message as the radical Democrat members of the House.
Congressman Simpson’s inclination to engage in inside-the-Beltway political games rather than focusing on the pressing business that truly matters to our constituents is disappointing. Representative Simpson has served in congress for decades. Perhaps all this time away from Idaho has caused him to lose sight of the real work that Americans need on the important issues that impact them and their families.
We urge our Congressman to reconsider his position and refocus his efforts on addressing the significant issues confronting our constituents — rather than waste his time engaging in protest votes and parliamentary delay tactics. The people of Idaho expect Mike Simpson to represent their concerns and prioritize their needs above political games and partisan divisions. The true measure of his success will be in his steadfast defense of the Constitution and the tangible benefits he delivers to the hardworking families of Idaho. We will be watching. [Emphasis added]
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In reaction to the Idaho Republican Party’s statement, Simpson claimed that Idaho deserves better than Jordan, a Freedom Caucus cofounder and longtime conservative lawmaker. In an op-ed, the Idaho lawmaker claimed that Jordan and the Idaho Republican Party do not appreciate local issues such as the delisting of wolves from the Endangered Species Act:
The Idaho Republican Party is pushing a false narrative that I am not representing my constituents based on not voting for Mr. Jordan. Perhaps Chairwoman Dorothy Moon has not lived in Idaho long enough to understand how important things like agriculture, delisting wolves, our nation’s military, and the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) are for our state.
I came to Congress to fight for Idahoans’ priorities and ensure our farmers, ranchers, INL workers, and most rural community members have a voice. As Idaho’s only appropriator, I have a unique opportunity to fight for Idaho priorities and bring your hard-earned tax dollars back to Idaho instead of going to blue states like California or New York.
This raises the question: If Congressman Simpson claims to be conservative, why doesn’t he support his colleague Jim Jordan for Speaker? The answer is simple. I cannot – and will not – support a Speaker who has repeatedly taken positions against Idaho’s best interests. However, Chairwoman Moon made it clear this is the kind of Speaker she would stand behind.
“Our representative democracy only works when citizens are willing to be involved in their government, and I encourage my constituents to continue reaching out,” Simpson concluded in his op-ed.
Sean Moran is a policy reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.