Jordan standing by Freedom Caucus member targeted by President Trump

Members of the House Freedom Caucus, (L-R) Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) participate in a Politico Playbook Breakfast interview at the W Hotel on April 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
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Members of the House Freedom Caucus, (L-R) Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and Chairman Mark Meadows (R-NC) participate in a Politico Playbook Breakfast interview at the W Hotel on April 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan says he’s prepared to “do everything I can” to help a House Freedom Caucus member who the Trump administration threatened to try to unseat in the aftermath of the meltdown over a GOP bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Jordan, speaking at a panel discussion sponsored by the D.C. newspaper Politico, was referring to Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican who is also a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of far-right conservatives who opposed the GOP bill to repeal the 2010 health care law known as Obamacare because they did not believe it did enough to lower premium prices. Jordan, an Urbana Republican who co-founded the caucus, said he believed other members would do the same. He called Amash “one of the most principled members of Congress.” The caucus’ current chairman, Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., said it was “highly inappropriate” that a White House staffer threatened to try to unseat Amash.

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Jordan and Meadows were among the GOP lawmakers that Trump tweeted attacks at in the aftermath of the health care bill’s meltdown. Yet Jordan said he still had strong relationships with many in the administration, including Vice President Mike Pence and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

“I always say the tweets and statements and the blame don’t change the facts,” Jordan said. “So when it comes to the health care debate, we’ve been focused on the facts.”

He and Meadows were about as critical of the process as they were the bill, saying it was presented as a “binary choice,” and hidden away without real hearings. Meadows said he was hopeful that the health care bill’s collapse will help GOP leadership “get the process right” and establish a template for future work on the budget, the spending bill and the appropriations process.

Meadows suggested that the caucus might be willing to back a bill if the House leadership accepted a series of changes suggested by the Trump administration allowing states to get waivers for specific insurance mandates. “If those offers that were made over the last couple of days actually appear in the legislation, the majority, if not almost all of the Freedom Caucus, will vote for this bill,” Meadows said.

The two also seemed to doubt that there would be a government shutdown this year, with Meadows saying that conservative Republicans have “six or seven different leverage points” that they could use to push the agenda to the right, rather than two or three.

“We don’t want to shut down,” said Jordan, adding that “we should fight for what we promised the American people.”

RELATED: President Trump issues threat to Freedom Caucus

Jordan was also critical of a proposed “border adjustment tax,” saying it would add a “whole new revenue stream” on the U.S. economy without eliminating other streams. He said he was prepared to fight such a tax, which would be imposed on imported goods. The White House has suggested it could be a way to pay for the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico, but critics have said it could spur a trade war.

“This is, in my opinion, not a good tax,” Jordan said.

The group became a key factor in former House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to retire in 2015, and this year, they’ve been a force that has occasionally stood against current Speaker Paul Ryan. But asked if Ryan would last the session, both Meadows and Jordan seemed to think Ryan would stick around.

“Sure,” said Jordan.