Ohio Representative and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan’s distinctive approach to GOP leadership, emphasized by his strategic focus on oversight and a unique stance on antitrust, as well as legislative efforts like the Free Speech Protection Act, underscores his commitment to shaping policies in alignment with constitutional values and traditional conservative principles, challenging critics who argue he prioritizes headline-grabbing confrontations over substantive policy engagement. Market Institute President Charles Sauer has a new article in Real Clear Markets supporting the Chairman’s efforts.
“Reason.com writer Eric Boehm recently wrote that Ohio Representative and House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan is the perfect speaker for the GOP Congress because he has no interest in policy. Instead, Chairman Jordan is concerned with throwing red meat to cable news networks and the MAGA right by attacking President Joe Biden and defending former President Donald Trump.
It is true that since assuming the Judiciary Chairmanship, Jordan has focused on investigations and oversight of both the Biden Administration and the Biden family, and not on advancing legislation. However, Chairman Jordan’s focus on oversight does not necessarily suggest a lack of interest in policy. Rather, it is likely a strategic calculation given the House’s narrow Republican majority, the Democratic control of the Senate and the White House, and the best use of his chairmanship. He is exposing the malfeasance and mistakes of the Biden Administration in order to help “shape the debate” in 2024.
Furthermore, there is a major policy area that Chairman Jordan has shown a great interest in, and he has taken a position that puts him at odds with both progressive Democrats and much of the “MAGA” right. That issue is antitrust. Conservatives’ anger over “Big Tech” suppression of news and opinions that contradict the progressive agenda has led some conservative politicians to call for expanded use of antitrust to punish big tech. I call these conservatives “Khanservatives”, since their views on antitrust parallel those of Federal Trade Trade Commissioner Lina Khan, who is the leader of the progressive effort to turn antitrust into a tool to allow government bureaucrats to second guess any decision made by any big business. Lina Khan supports legislation like the American Innovation and Online Choice Act. This bill would forbid large large tech companies from requiring that smaller businesses use the big companies’ shipping and warehousing services in order to use those big companies’ platforms. This bill would all but officially outlaw Amazon’s popular Prime program, yet its support goes well beyond the Bernie Sanders-AOC wing of the Democratic Party. The bill’s Senate sponsor is “centrist” Democrat Amy Klobuchar, while one of its leading champions in the House is conservative and Freedom Caucus member Ken Buck. Representative Jordan, while critical of big tech, has been consistently opposed to using antitrust to “punish” big tech. Jordan’s opposition may be a key reason why this, and similar bills, have not reached the House floor.
Representative Jordan also refused to allow Khanservative Ken Buck to Chair the Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust subcommittee. Instead, Jordan gave the Antitrust subcommittee’s gavel to Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie, who is the most principled defender of liberty in the House.
While it does not get as much media attention as his investigations of “the familia Biden”, Jordan is also conducting an investigation into Lina Khan’s (mis)management of the FTC. Amongst the issues the Committee is examining are: whether she violated ethics rules by refusing to recuse herself from the FTC case against Amazon and Meta (parent company of Facebook); why morale among the FTC employees has plunged under her tenure; and why she complains that the FTC is underfunded yet somehow finds money to send FTC bureaucrats to Europe to “help” European bureaucrats implement new laws that will weaken U.S. companies.
Jordan has also teamed up with Senator Rand Paul to introduce the Free Speech Protection Act. This legislation forbids any federal government or federal contractor employee from using their position to undermine legitimate First Amendment activity. It thus puts an end to government bureaucrats pressuring social media companies to censor any American citizen. This bill addresses the root cause of big tech censorship- which is big tech executives and employees desire to please progressive bureaucrats and politicians. The bill subjects anyone who violates the act to fines of at least $10,000 and suspension, demotion, or termination, as well as a lifetime ban on ever working for the federal government again. The bill thus addresses big tech censorship in a manner consistent with the Constitution and traditional conservative principles.”