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Jim Jordan (American politician)

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James Daniel Jordan (born February 17, 1964) is a politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Ohio's 4th congressional district since 2007. A member of the Republican Party, he has been the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee since 2019. Jordan is a founding member of the Freedom Caucus, which he chaired from its establishment in 2015 until 2017. His district stretches from Lake Erie to just below Urbana in the north-central and western portions of the state and includes Lima, Marion, Tiffin, Urbana and Elyria.

Jim Jordan
Jim Jordan official photo, 114th Congress.jpg
Ranking Member of the
House Oversight Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byElijah Cummings
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2007
Preceded byMike Oxley
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 12th district
In office
January 3, 2001 – December 31, 2006
Preceded byRobert R. Cupp
Succeeded byKeith Faber
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 85th district
In office
January 3, 1995 – December 31, 2000
Preceded byJim Davis
Succeeded byDerrick Seaver
Personal details
James Daniel Jordan

(1964-02-17) February 17, 1964 (age 55)
Urbana, Ohio, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Polly Jordan
EducationUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison (BS)
Ohio State University (MA)
Capital University (JD)

In 2019, Jordan's plan to run for house speaker, a position that would become vacant upon Paul Ryan's retirement,[1] came to an end when Democrats took the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. After the election, Jordan campaigned for house minority leader, but lost his bid to California Republican Kevin McCarthy in a 159–43 vote.[2] Jordan is often identified as a particularly ardent supporter and close ally of President Donald Trump.

Early life, education and early careerEdit

Jordan was born and raised in Champaign County, Ohio and attended Graham High School. He obtained a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1986.

A two-time NCAA Division I wrestling champion, Jordan won the 1985 and 1986 NCAA championship matches in the 134-pound weight class.[3][4]

Jordan earned a master's degree in education from Ohio State University in Columbus and obtained a J.D. degree from Ohio's Capital University Law School[5] in 2001. He never took the bar examination.[6]

Political careerEdit

Ohio General AssemblyEdit

Jordan was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in November 1994 and represented the 85th Ohio House district for three terms.

In 2000, Jordan defeated independent candidate Jack Kaffenberger to win a seat in the Ohio Senate with 88% of the vote. In 2004, Jordan defeated Kaffenberger again, this time with 79% of the vote.

U.S. House of RepresentativesEdit

Jordan and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff inspecting border fences and patrols at the Mexico–United States border, 2007

Jordan won the Republican primary for the 4th district in 2006 after 26-year incumbent Mike Oxley announced his retirement. Jordan defeated Democrat Rick Siferd in the general election with 60 percent of the votes. After his election, Ohio's 4th congressional boundaries were re-drawn to resemble a giant letter "J".

Jordan was reelected in 2008, defeating Democrat Mike Carroll with 65 percent of the votes.[7]

Jordan chaired the Republican Study Committee[8] during the 112th Congress[9] while turning down a position on the Appropriations Committee.[10] Princeton University historian Julian Zelizer wrote that during Obama's presidency, "Jordan proved to be a master of the technical side of public policy and understood how to play the legislative game."[11]

During the 114th Congress, Jordan helped found the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservatives working to "to advance an agenda of limited constitutional government" in Congress.[12] He served as the group's first chairman.[13]

Jordan received a vote for speaker of the 113th Congress from a fellow conservative, Tea Party Caucus chairman Tim Huelskamp of Kansas. Jordan received two votes for speaker during the 114th Congress.[14]

On July 26, 2018, Jordan announced his bid for house speaker following resignation of Paul Ryan,[1] but lost to Kevin McCarthy.[15]

Jordan with Dave Brat and Rod Blum in 2015

Committee assignmentsEdit

Caucus membershipsEdit


On May 2, 2014, Jordan introduced House Resolution 565 entitled Calling on Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr., to appoint a special counsel to investigate the targeting of conservative nonprofit groups by the Internal Revenue Service that passed on May 7, 2014.[20] The resolution asked Holder to appoint a special counsel to investigate the IRS after the agency revealed it had selected political groups applying for tax-exempt status for intensive scrutiny based on their names or political themes.[21]

In March 2017, Jordan criticized the newly introduced American Health Care Act, the Republican replacement bill for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, calling it an unacceptable form of "Obamacare Lite."[22] On May 4, 2017, he voted to pass a revised version of the legislation.[23][24]

Criticism and controversiesEdit

In a Politico article published October 29, 2017, John Boehner, former Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives, stated "he (Jordan) is an idiot. I can’t tell you what makes him tick." Boehner described Jordan as "an asshole". Boehner said "Jordan was a terrorist as a legislator going back to his days in the Ohio house and senate."[25]

Jordan, along with Warren Davidson (R., Troy), were the only members of the Ohio Congressional delegation that voted in October 2019 against a bipartisan resolution that passed the House 354-60 condemning President Donald Trump's unilateral withdrawal of U.S. Military forces from Syria.[26][27]

On October 23, 2019, Jordan joined two dozen other Republicans in a coordinated attempt to disrupt a hearing United States House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence where Republican and Democratic congressional members planned to take testimony from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Laura Cooper.[28] One committee member said, "It was the closest thing I've seen around here to mass civil unrest as a member of Congress."[28] The group staged a sit-in outside the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF) hearing room.[29][30] Curiously, some of the Republicans who participated (notably Jim Jordan) actually already did have access to the hearings as members of three committees participating in the testimony. Furthermore, contrary to some claims made at the time, Republican committee members had the opportunity to ask questions of the witnesses during the deposition.[31]

In describing the "stand-in", Jordan said: "the members have just had it, and they want to be able to see and represent their constituents and find out what's going on."[32] The next day, Jordan appeared on Fox News to reminisce about the events of the prior day, saying that "Adam Schiff is doing this unfair, partisan process in secret and our members finally said, 'Enough'...We're sooo frustrated. They reached a boiling point and these guys marched in and said 'we want to know what's going on.'"[33] As a member of the Oversight Committee, Jordan had full and unfetterred access to the hearing that he stood on a milkcrate to theatrically protest for the benefit of the assembled media.[34]

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson wrote to the House Sergeant-at-Arms about Jordan, Alabama Representative Bradley Byrne, and others, requesting that he take action regarding their "unprecedented breach of security." South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham admonished his House colleagues for their tactic, calling them "nuts" for having made a "run on the SCIF."[33][35] In the 116th Congress, the chair and twelve Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee were appointed by the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, who is an ex-officio member,[36] as is the House Minority Leader, Kevin McCarthy, who appointed the ranking member, Devin Nunes, and eight other Republicans.[37] Each side gets equal time to question witnesses appearing before the committee.[38]

Political positionsEdit

According to The Dayton Daily News, Jordan "is known for being one of Congress' most conservative members."[39]

In Congress, Jordan is among the most conservative Republicans, earning a perfect score from the American Conservative Union.[40] He has voted consistently for pro-life legislation and was endorsed by Ohio Right to Life in 2012.[41] During the 112th Congress, he was one of 40 "staunch" members of the Republican Study Committee who frequently voted against Republican party leadership and vocally expressed displeasure with House bills.[42]

Jordan has been a leading critic of President Barack Obama's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) program, advocating for its shutdown.[43]

Jordan has supported the continued production and upgrades of M1 Abrams tanks in his district.[44]

Asked by Anderson Cooper in April 2018 whether he had ever heard President Trump tell a lie, Jordan said "I have not" and "nothing comes to mind."[45] He also said, "I don't know that [Mr. Trump has ever] said something wrong that he needs to apologize for."[46]


While serving in the Ohio Senate, Jordan supported the Tax and Expenditure Limitation Amendment, a state constitutional amendment that would require a vote of the people to raise taxes or increase spending over certain limits.[47]


In July 2008, Jordan was the first member of Congress to sign the "No Climate Tax" pledge drafted by the conservative political advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, founded by the Koch brothers.[48]

In Congress, Jordan voted to open the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling, prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases, and bar greenhouse gases from Clean Air Act rules. He voted against enforcing limits on carbon dioxide (CO
) global warming pollution, tax credits for renewable electricity, tax incentives for renewable energy and energy conservation, and curtailing subsidies for oil and gas company exploration.[49]

Planned ParenthoodEdit

Jordan is against Planned Parenthood and supports ending Medicaid reimbursements to the organization.[50]

Pharmaceutical industryEdit

In April 2019, Jordan warned pharmaceutical companies not to comply with a request for information sent by Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chair of the House Oversight Committee, about how pharmaceutical companies set prescription drug prices.[51][52][53] Jordan suggested that Cummings would leak cherry-picked information in an attempt to harm the stock prices of pharmaceutical companies.[51]

Trump administration, Special Counsel and FBIEdit

Jordan has been a stalwart supporter of President Donald Trump.[54] In December 2017, Jordan sought to discredit the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[55] Jordan questioned the impartiality of Mueller, and called on Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein to use his authority to disband the Mueller investigation or create a second special counsel to simultaneously investigate Mueller himself.[55] Rosenstein rejected the request, saying that he could not appoint another special counsel as there was not any credible allegation of any potential crime.[55] The New York Times noted that Republicans increasingly criticised Mueller's investigation after it "delivered a series of indictments to high-profile associates of the president and evidence that at least two of them are cooperating with the inquiry".[55] In July 2018, Jordan led efforts to impeach Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as a way to shut down the Special Counsel's investigation.[56] During a hearing on July 12, 2018, Jordan repeatedly interrupted FBI agent Peter Strzok while Strzok tried to explain that he couldn't answer specific questions in order to preserve the confidentiality of an ongoing investigation. Jordan's behavior caused committee Democrats to protest his dilatory tactics and to allow Strzok to respond. They also objected to Jordan's exceeding his allowed time for questioning. House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte, admonished Jordan for his repeated interruptions of the witness.[57]

In July 2018, Jordan, along with Mark Meadows called on the Department of Justice to "review allegations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein threatened to subpoena phone records and documents from a House Intelligence Committee staffer". In their written request, the two wrote that in his use of investigative powers, Rosenstein had retaliated "against rank-and-file (congressional) staff members", therefore abusing his authority.[58] Talking to John Catsimatidis on WNYM, Jordan said he would force a vote on the impeachment of Rosenstein if the DOJ does not deliver documents Congress requested.[59]

In March 2019, Jordan came under criticism from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler on the grounds of anti-Semitic messagery on Twitter while urging Nadler to resist calls for presidential impeachment.[60][61]

During Robert Mueller's testimony to two congressional committees on July 24, 2019, Jordan asked Mueller why he never charged Joseph Mifsud with lying to the FBI while George Papadopoulos was charged for lying about Mifsud. Jordan said: "Mifsud is the guy who told Papadopoulos [about Russian dirt], he was the guy who started it all, yet when the FBI interviews him, he lies three times. You don't charge him." Mueller responded: "Well I can't get into it and it's obvious, I think, that we can't get into charging decisions."[62]

On Nov 8th, Republicans formally made Rep. Jim Jordan a temporary member of the House Intelligence Committee, allowing him to lead the defense for President Donald Trumps public impeachment hearings. GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted about the move for Jordan, stating that Jordan's position was temporary and that Rep Rick Crawford would rejoin the Intelligence Committee "when this Democrat charade is over."[63][64]

2013 U.S. government shutdownEdit

Jordan criticized Speaker John Boehner's plan to raise the debt ceiling. In 2010, Jordan was chair of the Republican Study Committee, and during the U.S. government shutdown of 2013, he was still considered its most powerful member.[65] That group was the primary proponent and executor of the Republican Congressional strategy to force a government shutdown, in order to force changes in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.[65]

Political campaignsEdit

U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio 4th District

2008 - defeated Mike Carroll.

2010 - defeated Doug Litt (D) and Donald Kissick (L).

2012 - defeated Jim Slone (D) and Chris Kalla (L).

2014 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).

2016 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).

2018 - defeated Janet Garrett (D).

Ohio State University abuse scandalEdit

Jordan was an assistant wrestling coach with Ohio State University's (OSU) wrestling program from 1987 to 1995.[66] OSU opened an investigation in April 2018 that looked into allegations of sexual misconduct by the former wrestling team's physician, Richard Strauss; Strauss was the team physician during Jordan's tenure as assistant coach.[67][68] Dr. Strauss committed suicide in 2005.[69] In early July 2018, at least eight former wrestlers said that Jordan had been aware of, but did not respond to, allegations of sexual misconduct by Strauss.[70][71] At least two of the former wrestlers stated that they told Jordan directly about the inappropriate touching and that Jordan did nothing to intervene.[citation needed] In July 2018, Jordan's congressional office released a statement in which he and former head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson denied knowing about Strauss's alleged abuse.[72]

Former Ohio State wrestling team member David Range told the Washington Post that teammates spoke of Strauss' inappropriate sexual behavior often in the locker room while Jordan was present; he added that "Jordan definitely knew that these things were happening".[73] Former OSU wrestler Mike DiSabato told the Dayton Daily News in July 2018 that Jordan's denials that he knew about Strauss's inappropriate sexual behavior were "frankly unbelievable" and "beyond comprehension". DiSabato described a daily environment at OSU where "the showers would fill up with deviant, lewd male predators who wanted to come in and shower with elite male wrestlers" and who sometimes masturbated publicly. He added that Strauss routinely gave athletes medically unnecessary, extensive groin examinations and took as many as half a dozen showers a day with athletes. DiSabato said "Jordan's locker was located right next to Doc Strauss and Jimmy said that if he (Strauss) ever tried anything with him (Jordan) he'd kill him'. It was an open, running joke that Doc Strauss was a serial groper." [74]

Another Ohio wrestler, Dunyasha Yetts, told Politico he had asked both Jordan and Hellickson to be present for a medical examination to avoid inappropriate touching by Strauss. That allegation was denied by Jordan's office. One former wrestler said that he saw Jordan kick a male voyeur out of the wrestlers' sauna. None of the wrestlers accused Jordan of personal sexual misconduct.[75]

Jordan has said that the timing of the abuse allegations was "suspect", adding that one of the many former wrestlers who have gone public had a "vendetta" against Ohio State and Jordan's family.[76] After news of the scandal broke, Jordan criticized CNN for "asking for dirt" from his former staffers and interns.[77] Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz suggested the allegations were intended to damage Jordan's criticism of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[78] In response to USA Today's request, Doug Andres (a spokesperson for then-House Speaker Paul Ryan) said: "These are serious allegations and issues...the university is right to investigate the claims" that Jordan turned a blind eye to sexual misconduct.[79][80]

On August 9, 2018, a press release supplied by Jordan's congressional office that was prepared by the noted conservative PR firm Shirley & Banister Public Affairs,[81] former UFC world champion Mark Coleman, who was one of the wrestlers abused by team physician Dr. Richard Strauss, purportedly recanted his earlier statements that Jordan was aware of Dr. Richard Strauss's inappropriate behavior.[82] Coleman could not be reached to corroborate the retraction made in his name and has not confirmed the retraction.[83]

Jordan has refused to cooperate with investigations into Strauss.[84] According to Newsweek, Jordan's alleged inaction in response to sexual misconduct at OSU has earned him the nickname "GYM Jordan" in many circles.[85]

Retired Ohio State wrestling coach Russ Hellickson, who was Jordan's mentor, allegedly reached out to two ex-team members and pressured them to support Jordan a day after they accused the congressman of turning a blind eye to alleged sexual abuse, according to the wrestlers and text messages they shared with NBC News. The former wrestlers said their ex-coach made it clear to them he was under pressure from Jordan to get statements of support from members of the team.[86] DiSabato provided a text message reviewed by NBC News that states that Mark Coleman was pressured to issue a retraction statement after Jordan, his brother, high school wrestling coach Jeff Jordan,[87] and former Ohio State team coach Russ Hellickson each called Coleman’s parents. DiSabato's account of the pressure placed on Coleman was corroborated by another former wrestler, who has spoken to NBC News before and asked not to be identified.[88]

A lawsuit filed on 7 November 2019 claimed that Dr. Strauss had masturbated in a shower in front of at least one wrestler who then reported it to Jordan who took no effective action. The lawsuit was filed against OSU and not against any individual, by 43 men who claim they were "sexually assaulted, abused, molested and/or harassed by Dr. Strauss."[89]

Jordan has responded to the allegations describing his accusers as "pawns in a political plot," telling Fox News that the "lies" against him are "sequenced and choreographed" by "the left," Jordan, ignoring several accusers who have said they supported and contributed to his campaigns. Jordan has stated that he takes pride in being targeted. "I view it as a compliment," he told WMAL.[90]

On January 30, 2019, the editorial board of the Cleveland Plain Dealer asserted that "Jim Jordan must acknowledge what he knew".[91]

Personal lifeEdit

Jordan and his wife Polly live near Urbana in central Champaign County. He was introduced to his future wife by Polly’s brothers. Jim Jordan explained in an interview with the Washington Examiner in 2014 that he competed in wrestling with Polly’s brothers. He told the newspaper, “I decided it would be a lot more fun wrestling with Polly than her brothers.” They started dating when he was 13 and she was 14.[92] They have four children and two grandchildren.[93]

Electoral historyEdit

Election results of Jim Jordan[94]
Year Office Election Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1998 Ohio House of Representatives General R 23,763 68.36% Robert Burns D 10,999 31.64%
2000 Ohio Senate General R 99,803 76.94% Jack Kaffenberger Sr. D 15,545 11.98% Debra Mitchell NL 14,373 11.08%
2004 Ohio Senate General R 118,193 79.27% Jack Kaffenberger Sr. I 30,902 20.73%
2006 U.S. House of Representatives General R 129,958 59.99% Richard E. Siferd D 86,678 40.01%
2008 U.S. House of Representatives General R 186,154 65.17% Mike Carroll D 99,499 34.83%
2010 U.S. House of Representatives General R 146,029 71.49% Doug Litt D 50,533 24.74% Donald Kissick L 7,708 3.77%
2012 U.S. House of Representatives General R 182,643 58.35% Jim Slone D 114,214 36.49% Chris Kalla L 16,141 5.16%
2014 U.S. House of Representatives General R 125,907 67.67% Janet Garrett D 60,165 32.33%
2016 U.S. House of Representatives General R 210,227 67.99% Janet Garrett D 98,981 32.01%
2018 U.S. House of Representatives General R 164,640 65.41% Janet Garrett D 87,061 34.59%


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  76. ^ ""It's false": Rep. Jim Jordan slams accusers amid accusations he ignored sexual abuse at Ohio State". Washington Post. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
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  82. ^ Wehrman, Jessica (August 9, 2018). "Ohio State wrestler who accused Jordan of knowing about sex abuse now recants". Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  83. ^ "Wrestler Changes Story After Accusing Rep. of Ignoring Abuse". NBC 10 Philadelphia. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  84. ^ "Powerful GOP politician accused of turning blind eye to sexual abuse at Ohio State". NBC News. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
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  86. ^ "Former Ohio State wrestling coach urged Rep. Jim Jordan's accusers to recant, texts show". NBC News. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
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  94. ^ "Election Results". Ohio Secretary of State. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2014.

External linksEdit

Ohio House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jim Davis
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 85th district

Succeeded by
Derrick Seaver
Ohio Senate
Preceded by
Robert R. Cupp
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 12th district

Succeeded by
Keith Faber
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Mike Oxley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Ohio's 4th congressional district

Preceded by
Elijah Cummings
Ranking Member of the House Oversight Committee
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tom Price
Chair of the Republican Study Committee
Succeeded by
Steve Scalise
New office Chair of the Freedom Caucus
Succeeded by
Mark Meadows
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Hank Johnson
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Doug Lamborn