Rep. Jim Jordan told a crowd of cheering supporters Wednesday if he becomes speaker of the U.S. House he will push to “replace” the 2010 health law known as Obamacare, build President Donald Trump’s border wall, and end federal dollars for Planned Parenthood.
With the Capitol dome as a backdrop and a crowd of between 500 and 1,000 people waving signs supporting Jordan and Trump, the Urbana Republican said as speaker he and his GOP allies would “focus” on “one simple thing: Doing what we told the American people we were going to do.”
Jordan, who leads a bloc of the House’s most conservative voters, plans to challenge House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana for speaker if the Republicans hold the House in the November elections.
Jordan has led the fight to repeal Obamacare, which extended health coverage and insurance to more than 20 million low and middle-income Americans through federally subsidized individual insurance policies and expanding eligibility for Medicaid, the joint federal and state program which provides health care for low-income people.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich relied on hundreds of millions of federal dollars to expand Medicaid coverage to more than 700,000 low-income people.
But congressional Republicans could not muster the votes last year to scrap Obamacare and replace it with a more market-oriented system.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is stepping down at the end of this year and retiring from Congress.
Although most analysts believe Jordan has little chance to emerge as speaker, he may control enough votes to decide who the next GOP leader would be. Throughout his years in the House, Jordan has antagonized many Republicans, including former House Speaker John Boehner of West Chester.
In addition, the Republicans are in danger of losing control of the House for the first time since 2010, which would mean they could not pick the next speaker. The GOP holds 236 seats compared to 193 for the Democrats while six seats are vacant.
“This election in 41 days is … about one person whose name is not even on the ballot,” Jordan said. “This is about the president of the United States, President Donald Trump. The left is out to stop the president and stop his policies.”
Jordan predicted if Democrats seize control of the House, “they will try to impeach our president.”
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