Republican Jim Jordan is seeking the top leadership spot in the U.S. House of Representatives Tuesday. If successful, the 59-year-old, nine-term congressman’s accession to a place second in the presidential line of succession will mark a victory for one of the founding members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus.
In a letter last week to House colleagues announcing his candidacy for speaker of the House, Jordan outlined his values, writing, “Far-left progressive policies are destroying our communities, our security, and our future. We have soaring crime across the country. We have an administration with open-border policies that have caused chaos and left our country vulnerable.
“We’ve seen federal agencies turned on the American people silencing speech online, targeting parents at school board meetings, and flagging pro-life Catholics as potential threats and we’ve witnessed blatant double standards in federal law enforcement. We continue to spend too much money and Americans are suffering under President Biden’s economy.”
Although Jordan has never successfully sponsored a piece of legislation during his time in the U.S. Congress, he has built a reputation for pursuing investigations into Democrats as the current chairman of the powerful House Judiciary Committee and as the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee from 2019 to 2020. Jordan is also a prominent supporter of former President Donald Trump, signing on to lawsuits challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election.
A former college wrestling coach and Ohio state representative with a law degree, Jordan was elected to represent Ohio’s 4th congressional district in 2007. According to his congressional website, Jordan has also led the fight against tax increases throughout his career.
“He is a fiscal conservative who believes that families and taxpayers, rather than government, know best how to make decisions with their money,” his congressional biography says.
In January 2015, Jordan and eight other members of Congress founded the Freedom Caucus, a right-wing voting bloc within the Republican conference. The Freedom Caucus pushed for the removal of Speaker John Boehner from power in late 2015 and gradually became a more populist group supporting strict anti-immigration policies as Trump rose to power.
Boehner said of Jordan that he’d never met someone “who spent more time tearing things apart.”
According to the committee that was set up to investigate the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, Jordan played a key role in the effort to overturn the November 2020 presidential election results. The investigators, known collectively as the January 6 Committee, say Jordan participated in a December 21, 2020, meeting to pressure then-Vice President Mike Pence into using his ceremonial role to overturn the election. They also say he participated in phone calls and meetings throughout January 2021 to object to the election certification.
Jordan also called Trump twice on the day of the attack. Jordan is one of 139 House representatives who voted to overturn certifying the results of then-President-elect Joe Biden’s win on January 7, 2021, one day after Trump’s followers stormed the Capitol.
If Jordan wins the speakership by securing nearly every single Republican vote, he will be the leader of one-half of the nation’s legislative branch, a member of the so-called “Gang of Eight” in congressional leadership circles who receive higher-level briefings and will be a representative of the United States on a global scale.