Rep. Jim Jordan, the incoming chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is slamming the lame-duck Congress for taking up huge spending bills he says demonstrate “total disrespect” for voters, adding that Democrats seem to have missed the message that angry voters sent Nov. 2 to rein in big government.
In an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, Jordan said Thursday he intends to vote against the tax-cut deal that Senate Republicans struck with President Obama, because it is laden with billions in additional government spending.
“That’s what the election was about,” an exasperated Jordan told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview Thursday. “The election was about ‘Quit the crazy spending, keep the tax rates in place but cut the crazy spending.’
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“And what do we have? A bill before us that says, ‘OK, we’re going to keep the tax rates in place for a little while, temporary not permanent. And we’re going to increase spending with this unemployment insurances that’s not paid for, with these refundable tax credits that are just spending.’
“So that’s what the American people spoke out against — yet the first major piece of legislation is going to have an increase in spending,” Jordan said.
The Ohio Republican, who was re-elected to his third term in November, said the big-ticket items that are now under last-minute consideration should have been brought to the House floor for a vote before the midterm elections.
“The total disrespect for the American taxpayer that the current Congress, and I would argue the White House, has displayed over the last two years is just amazing,” he said. “And again, it’s why I think we saw what we did see on Nov. 2.”
Jordan, who was selected this month to chair the Republican Study Committee that promotes a conservative agenda in Congress, also called the $1 trillion-plus omnibus spending measure that has more than 6,600 earmarks “ridiculous.”
He added the budget-busting bills presented during the lame duck session are “par for the course” in this Congress, because they reflect an ongoing indifference to public opinion.
“They have had very little respect for the American taxpayers over the last two years. And so why should we expect it to change here in the lame-duck session?” Jordan asked in the exclusive Newsmax interview.
“Obviously, they did not get the message of Nov. 2. And the truth is, they’re not adhering to the Constitution [because] spending matters are in fact supposed to starting the House of Representatives,” he added.
“Both in this tax bill, which went to the Senate first, and now this omnibus that they’re adding even more to, I think this demonstrates a lack of respect for the American taxpayers,” Jordan said.
Other highlights from the exclusive Newsmax interview with Jordan:
- Despite its flaws, he believes some form of the Bush tax-cut extension probably will be approved before year’s end. “I have real problems with it and plan on voting no . . . I do think we could have gotten a better deal,” Jordan tells Newsmax.
- He said Republicans should try to hold out against the activist Democratic agenda until conservative reinforcements arrive in the new Congress. “It’s simple arithmetic, the odds get better, the numbers get better for us with those new freshmen coming in, 63 net gain,” he said. “I think we have a much better chance of getting a permanent extension of the rates and getting things in place without an increase in spending.”
- Rep. Jordan told Newsmax that Republicans already have plans to overhaul the U.S. tax code. “In a broad context,” he said, “we need a much simpler system with a lower rate and one that’s simplified without all the hundreds and hundreds of different credits and deductions and different things in play … a more simple, lower rate, flat rate system would be, I think, be advantageous to families, advantageous to business owners.”
- He predicts a repeal of Obamacare will be one of the first votes the new Congress will take. The goal is to get a bill on the president’s desk. Although he expects the president would veto any such measure, he said the House would then attack specific sections of Obamacare legislatively, and move to defund its implementation.
- According to Jordan, the voters said three things in November: “They said repeal Obamacare, they said don’t raise taxes, and they said quit the crazy spending. And Obamacare represents all three of those.”
- The most important change that should be made in any tax-code reform is actually lowering the tax burden on families and small-business owners, he said. “ To me that’s the most important thing, reducing the overall tax burden so that we can have job creation and so that families can keep more of what they earn,” he said.
- Jordan said this is the wrong time to repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy toward openly gay service personnel in the military. “I was opposed to it and hopeful it will not get through the Senate and hopefully it will not change,” he said.
- He said the recent rock-bottom, 13 percent approval rating of Congress is “well deserved,” adding: “I’m surprised that 13 percent think Congress is doing a good job. You think about the taxing, the spending, the regulating, the borrowing, the $1.3 trillion dollar deficit, the $14 trillion national debt. I mean this is unbelievable.”
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