Thirteen House Republicans crossed party lines earlier this month to help pass Joe Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. GOP support proved vital as six Democrats from the party’s progressive wing voted against the bill after a failure to secure nearly $2 trillion in additional spending for the related $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act.
Former President Donald Trump lashed out against many of the “sellout” Republicans who voted in favor of the Infrastructure, Investment, and Jobs Act on Saturday, promising to support any candidates who challenge them in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections.
“Any interest from good and SMART America First Republican Patriots to run primary campaigns against Representatives Tom Rice, John Katko, Don Bacon, Don Young, Fred Upton (challenge accepted), Andrew Garbarino, Peter Meijer (challenge accepted), David McKinley (challenge accepted), Nancy Mace, Jaime Herrera Beutler (challenge accepted) and Chris Smith?” Trump asked in a statement issued to followers of his ‘Save America’ Political Action Committee.
“You will have my backing!” Trump promised. “[Anthony] Gonzalez, [Adam] Kinzinger, and [Tom] Reed already QUIT, they are out of politics, hopefully for good,” he added.
“Warmonger Liz Cheney (challenge accepted) is on the SKIDS with a 19% approval rating,” the former president said, referring to the never-Trump Republican and daughter of former vice president and Iraq War architect Dick Cheney, with whom he has clashed repeatedly in recent years.
“Saving America starts by saving the GOP from RINOs [‘Republicans in Name Only’], sellouts, and known losers,” Trump quipped, adding that “in the Senate, the ‘Disaster from Alaska’, Lisa Murkowski (challenge accepted), must go. There is ‘almost’ nobody worse!”
He did not elaborate on who could be “worse” or why he put air quotes around the word “almost.” Trump’s list did not align completely with House Republicans’ vote on infrastructure, with Rice, Meijer, and Herrera Beutler included on it despite voting against the bill, while representatives Nicole Malliotakis, Jeff Van Drew, and Brian Fitzpatrick did not appear on it even though they voted for the infrastructure package, according to the Washington Post.
Trump reportedly ripped into the 13 members of the GOP who voted in favor of the $1.2 trillion bills at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner on Monday, with Malliotakis, a freshman congresswoman from New York, listening from the audience and appearing “visibly shaken” following the diatribe, according to the New York Post.
Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill passed in the House on 5 November by a vote of 228 to 206, with 13 Republican representatives’ votes taking it over the top after six Democrats from the progressive “Squad” voted against it. The Senate passed the bill in August, with 19 Republicans led by Trump naysayer and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joining all 50 Democrats in voting for the funding package.
Trump slammed McConnell over his support for the bill earlier this month, calling him and others “RINOS” who voted in a “politically correct” to shore up the Democrats’ agenda.
Until its passage earlier this month, the infrastructure bill was held up by House lawmakers seeking to tie it to the separate but related Build Back Better social and climate change spending agenda, which has been whittled down from $3.5 trillion to $1.75 trillion by conservative Democratic senators led by “DINO” Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
Trump wasn’t the only Republican to condemn the 13 House lawmakers who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill, with representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene, Matt Gaetz, Madison Cawthorn, and Lauren Boebert leading the charge in attacking their fellow lawmakers and threatening to “primary the hell out of” them in the coming midterms.