MANSFIELD -- U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan on Wednesday said the 118th Congress is about three three things -- approving legislation, addressing spending and investigating the federal government.
The veteran conservative Republican lawmaker from Champaign County offered the insights during his remarks at the Mansfield Noon Optimist Club meeting inside the Kobacker Room at the Dan Lew Exchange.
"Pass legislation to fix the problems. We know what the problems are: No border. Record crime. Record inflation. Bad energy policy. Bad education policy. Government weaponized against the people," said Jordan, first elected to represent Ohio's 4th District in 2006.
"If (the legislation) it doesn't get through the (U.S.) Senate or (President) Biden doesn't sign it, that's OK.
"That's how our government works. That's how our process works. They will have to answer for that in 2024 when we are all up for election again," said Jordan, who now chairs the powerful House Judiciary Committee.
Jordan, who was re-elected in November with almost 70 percent of the district's votes, said Congress has to find a way to curb federal spending.
"We have got record spending, record inflation, record debt. That's not a good place. Interest payments (on the national debt) this year are going to be around $600 billion," Jordan said, adding defense spending will total about $800-plus billion.
"When interest and the debt service starts to match what we spend to defend the country, that's a dangerous place to be. We're going to have to change it and the first step is with the debt ceiling (discussions) coming up.
"We cannot just do what the Democrats want, which is, 'Here is more money. Go spend it,'" Jordan said.
Jordan has said he will lead efforts to provide oversight over what he called the "weaponization of the federal government."
As an example, he cited what he described as Biden administration efforts to silence conservative voices on social media platforms.
"Part of our Constitutional duties is to do the investigation," Jordan said. "We are going to do that in a way that is consistent with the Constitution, but in a way that I think needs to be done when you think about what we have seen from the government in the past few years.
"So that's how we do it. Our job is to do our duty, pass what we can get out of the House and go from there. But the people have a way of weighing in at election time on what they think should happen if we don't get all that done," Jordan said.
Other highlights from his appearance, which included a Q&A with club members, were:
-- Jordan said the best line offered Feb. 7, the night Biden delivered his State of the Union address to Congress, came during the rebuttal from Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
"She said the divide in America today is normal versus crazy. And it really is. You hate to say it, but it's truly the thing."
-- He repeated his commentary that too many "unelected folks" get to make decisions that impact the lives of all Americans.
"I put my name on the ballot when I run for office. You guys don't want me in there? Fine, if you don't, you can throw me out. But you, the people, are in charge. And you want the folks that you elect making the decisions because that keeps the power and authority with the people.
"I can get on a rant, but I always say when did Dr. (Anthony) Fauci ever put his name on a ballot? What did he ever run for? But he ran our lives for two and a half years, right? Remember that when we first started? What's the old joke? The hardest part of 15 days to slow the spread is always the first two years," Jordan said.
-- He cited what he called an attack on the 1st Amendment as "the thing that scares me most" about the government's "censorship by surrogate" with social media platforms.
"That's one of those fundamental things. And if you aren't allowed to speak and to speak in a political fashion and be free to do that without being harassed by your government, it's no longer this great thing, this great country we call America.
"And so I'm committed to doing everything we can to get to the truth, get the facts on the table, and then proposing the legislation that needs to be done to correct the problem and fix the situation."