Former Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) told Breitbart News Saturday in an exclusive interview that moderate and conservative lawmakers have become frustrated with Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republican leadership.
Speaker Paul Ryan failed to pass the Farm bill on Friday after the Republican leadership did not follow through on bringing the President Donald Trump-endorsed Goodlatte immigration bill to the floor for a vote. After the Farm bill failed, Republican leadership blamed the Freedom Caucus for tanking the bill.
Rep. Jordan told Breitbart News Saturday:
We just said that we’re tired of waiting for this promise that we will deal with immigration in a way that was consistent with the election, namely, building the border security wall, doing the things we said we were going to do, and we felt like now that the moderates in the Republican conference have started this process, without getting into technical terms and details, a discharge petition, which in essence is going to be a process which we know will lead to an amnesty type bill getting passed without doing the border security.
One senior Republican source said the failed Farm bill is a symptom of a lame duck Speaker.
The source said, “Obviously, the House Freedom Caucus is to blame, but this is the problem when you have a lame duck speaker who announces he’s leaving eight months in advance. He can make calls to members to urge them to vote for something, but who will care?”
Over 40 conservative lawmakers and leaders have started a campaign to draft former House Freedom Caucus chairman Jordan for Speaker of the House.
“We said that we think it’s important that we deal with immigration before a Farm bill and we should do them together, and that’s what happened yesterday,” Rep. Jordan told Breitbart News Saturday:
We said that if you bring up the Goodlatte legislation, which we think is good, more importantly, in line with what the American people elected us to do for the immigration and the border security issue and then we can actually do that first, we’re willing to help on that Farm bill. Short of that, we said we’re not going to pass a Farm bill. Remember, the Farm bill does not have to be done until September, but immigration, if we get that policy wrong and do it in a way that we were not elected to do it in, that’s a bigger problem.
House Republican leadership promised the Freedom Caucus that they would vote on the Goodlatte immigration bill in exchange for their support for a stop-gap spending bill in January.
Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle remarked that Speaker Ryan’s super PAC, the Congressional Leadership Fund, supported 11 of the 19 Republican legislators who have signed a discharge petition to bring amnesty legislation to the House floor for a vote.
“I don’t see that money being spent on Freedom Caucus members,” Boyle remarked.
Congressman Jordan said, “Let’s hope that the leadership supports Dave Brat the way that the people are signing the discharge petition.”
Boyle asked Jordan whether he believes that Paul Ryan and the rest of the Republican leadership has secretly pushed for the amnesty bill to pass.
Congressman Jordan said:
They said that they’re not, they said that they do not want it to happen. What I know is that there are frustrations from both moderates who are pushing the discharge petition and from conservatives, we were told that on the CR [continuing resolution] vote, on the short-term budget vote months ago that we were going to bring up the right immigration bill, the one that was sponsored by the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, to see that.
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) said on Thursday that he has met with moderate Republicans to discuss a revised immigration bill that could pass through the House.
I can tell you that I came out of a meeting with moderates and RSC [Republican Study Committee] members and I think that we are extremely close on finding a bill that gets to 218 and actually could get to 270, maybe even 300 votes in the House and then we can send it over to the Senate.
Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA), a member of the House Freedom Caucus, told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview this week that “we’re waiting” to see the Republican leadership stop the establishment Republican amnesty discharge petition.
Congressman Lou Barletta (R-PA) told Breitbart News that the “American people have run out of patience” with lawmakers pushing for amnesty.
“That is consistent with what we in the Freedom Caucus are pushing for that’s what’s right for the country,” Rep. Jordan added.
Congressman Jordan explained why he supports the Goodlatte immigration bill: “There is one person the American people trust to do the right thing on immigration, and that’s the president of the United States. It says let’s do border security wall first, let’s deal with chain migration, let’s deal with the visa lottery, let’s deal catch and release, and if we deal with all of that in the right place, then we can deal with the DACA situation.”
Rep. Jordan said, “Congress had better get started on building this border security wall, on making the tax cuts permanent, on reforming welfare; if we stay focused on that then we will be focused on a good race for Speaker when it happens, if we don’t, it will be a race for Minority Leader.”
Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern.