Rep. Jim Jordan, a former college wrestler and coach, looks ready to pounce from his chair as he taps his feet and leans forward his burly frame during a discussion about his expectations for the newly elected speaker of the House, Rep. Paul Ryan.
“I hope going forward, the new leadership, the new speaker, will understand what we have called ‘go early, stand firm,’” says Jordan, using a phrase that sounds like a wrestling mantra.
“What I mean is that when certain big issues come up, typically the spending issues, we need to determine a plan as an entire Republican conference. We need to rally around a position that is good for the American people, is consistent with what we told Americans we are trying to accomplish, and then just pass that. And then we tell the Senate and White House. ‘That’s where we’re at.’ And we’re going to stand firm on that position because that’s exactly what we told the voters we were going to do.”
For Jordan and the House Freedom Caucus, the group of 39 conservatives he leads, a surprise budget deal secretly negotiated by House and Senate leaders and the White House is exactly what they don’t want.