LIMA — U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, visited Lima Thursday to give perspective to the national debates concerning Congressional budget talks and immigration.
“The easiest way to look at it in my judgment is to look at it the way the American people do,” Jordan said. “The American people don’t trust Washington to do the right thing on immigration. They trust one individual, and that’s the president because he was elected on this issue, made it a central part of his campaign. I would argue that’s why he got the nomination and certainly one of the reasons he became president of the United States.”
President Donald Trump promised a number of immigration-related actions while on the campaign trail. In recent days, he has asked Congress for $25 billion to build a border wall on the Mexican border, and although he has eliminated President Barack Obama’s executive order known as DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a federal judge has ordered the adminstration to keep renewing DACA applications earlier this month. Trump’s approval rating has consistently hovered near 40 percent throughout the last year.
As for the likelihood of an agreement on immigration, Jordan admitted that there isn’t much time to make a deal before potentially triggering yet another possible government shutdown, which was delayed until Feb. 8 as part of Congress’s negotiations.
“Monday is a short (work)day. Tuesday is the ‘State of the Union.’ Wednesday, the Republican conference goes and meets — we have this retreat where we focus on policy issues, you know, what we want to accomplish this week. The following week is the same kind of week when the Democrats go have theirs,” Jordan said.
The main point of contention for immigration, Jordan said, is that Republicans want 22 immigration security issues — border wall construction, elimination of end-chain immigration, ending of the visa lottery, reformation of asylum programs, dealing with sanctuary cities, etc. — to be considered before they talk about DACA. Democrats, however, Jordan said, want to put DACA first.
Budget negotiations in Congress tend to follow the same trends. Both parties are pushing for increasing the national deficit, but they disagree on how the funds should be appropriated.
“We Republicans are for increasing defense spending, but Democrats are for increasing non-defense spending,” Jordan said.
Congressional Republicans are asking for $80 billion to be appropriated to defense budgets, and Democrats are asking for $63 billion to be appropriated to non-defense-related departments. Along with the $90 billion paid out to deal with emergencies this last year, total discretionary funding would be increased by more than $250 billion and push the annual deficit past $1 trillion if both parties got what they want, Jordan said.
Jordan will be running for re-election in 2018. He has served as Ohio’s 4th Congressional District’s Representative since 2006, and has consistently won by wide margins.
“We just filed yesterday up in Lorain, so we’ll see,” Jordan said. “I always leave that up to the good voters and families in the 4th District.”
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.