Jim Jordan was called out for his failure to pass any legislation during his 16 years in Congress just before he lost the first vote in his bid to become House speaker.
Democratic Rep Pete Aguilar of California offered a scathing rebuke of Mr Jordan’s record in a speech nominating Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries against the Ohio Republican on Tuesday.
Mr Aguilar slammed Mr Jordan as a “legislative terrorist”, claiming his actions are “not the actions of someone interested in governing or bettering the lives of everyday Americans.”
He began by citing Mr Jordan directly: “He once said, quote, ‘I didn’t come to Congress to make more laws.’”
“His words speak for themselves,” Mr Aguilar continued. “When New Yorkers recovering from Hurricane Sandy needed Congress to act, he said no. When wildfires ravage the West, destroying homes and businesses, and those residents needed disaster assistance, he said no.
“When the Mississippi River floods devastated the South and communities across state lines needed Congress to act, he said no. When our veterans were suffering from disease and dying as a result of their service to our country, and Congress passed a bipartisan solution, he said no.
“When our ally in Ukraine looked to Congress for additional support to help defeat Putin, he said no. And just before Hamas’ brutal terrorist attack on Israel, he said no to fully funding military aid for our ally.”
Mr Aguilar went on to claim that Mr Jordan, who ultimately failed to win enough support in the first round of voting to elect a new speaker, had “not passed a single bill in 16 years.”
“These are not the actions of someone interested in governing or bettering the lives of everyday Americans,” he said. “This is nothing less than the rejection of the oath that we swore to uphold as duly elected members of this body. But on this side of the aisle and throughout this chamber, I’m convinced, our oath still matters.”
Mr Aguilar then urged both Democrats and Republicans to vote for Hakeem Jeffries as speaker.
Mr Jordan, who as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee has pursued an aggressive investigation into President Joe Biden and his family in an effort to impeach him, won an endorsement from Donald Trump to be House speaker.
But on Tuesday, Mr Jordan failed to secure the top job after 20 Republicans voted against him.
Mr Jordan was nominated as the GOP’s candidate for speaker after House Majority Leader Steve Scalise removed himself from the running despite the fact he beat Mr Jordan in an internal vote within the GOP conference.
A second vote on Mr Jordan’s speakership bid will be held on Wednesday at 11am ET, the GOP nominee announced on Tuesday.
The vote against Mr Jordan came as the House marked two weeks since Rep Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate, which led to seven other Republicans and every Democratic representative present to depose former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Congressman Mike Lawler of New York told The Independent he voted against Rep Jordan because he did not believe Mr McCarthy should have been removed.
Mr McCarthy was stripped of his title as House speaker after he helped to avert a government shutdown by approving stopgap legislation to keep the government running for the next 45 days.
But far-right Republicans claimed he broke his word to them after he sided with Democrats to prevent the shutdown.
The former speaker has insisted that he does not regret supporting the stopgap funding bill.
“Doing the right thing isn’t always easy, but it is necessary ... I don’t regret standing up for choosing governance over grievance ... I do not regret negotiating for government is designed to find compromise, I don’t regret my efforts to build coalitions and find solutions. I was raised to solve problems, not create them,” he said after he was ousted.
“So I may have lost the vote today, but as I walk out of this chamber, I feel fortunate to have served the American people”.
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