House Republicans threaten punishment for GOP colleagues who voted for infrastructure bill

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The loudest right-wing members in the House are attacking other GOP members for daring to support the Biden-backed infrastructure plan.

A number of House Republicans are pushing to punish their 13 GOP colleagues who voted for President Joe Biden's $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, the website Punchbowl News reported on Tuesday, saying those lawmakers deserve to lose their committee assignments.

The effort is being spearheaded by some of the loudest right-wing members in the House GOP conference, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

"I think right away John Katko should be removed as the Republican lead on the Homeland Security Committee, and everyone else who voted for these bills," Gaetz said Monday in an interview on Newsmax, referencing the New York Republican who is the ranking member on the House Homeland Security Committee.

In a since-deleted tweet, Greene wrote, "These are the 13 'Republicans' who handed over their voting cards to Nancy Pelosi to pass Joe Biden's Communist takeover of America via so-called infrastructure," followed by a list of their surnames.

In addition to Katko, the other 12 House members who voted for the infrastructure bill are Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia, the ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on the Environment; Rep. Don Young of Alaska, who holds the symbolic position of dean of the House as the longest-serving current member of the chamber; and Reps. Don Bacon (NE), Jeff Van Drew (NJ), Fred Upton (MI), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Andrew Garbarino (NY), Anthony Gonzalez (OH), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Tom Reed (NY), and Christopher Smith (NJ).

The infrastructure bill includes funding to fix crumbling roads and bridges, beefs up public transit, expands internet access to rural areas where access is spotty or hard to come by, and upgrades the aging electric grid.

Meanwhile, as Republicans push for punishment for the 13 lawmakers, the party leadership has continued its habit of remaining silent about offensive and dangerous behavior on the part of members of its caucus, most recently Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.

Gosar on Sunday tweeted a video of himself depicted as an anime character murdering Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and injuring Biden.

Twitter put a warning box on the tweet that said, "This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about hateful conduct," but left it up, noting, "However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the Tweet to remain accessible."

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in response on Monday night, "So while I was en route to Glasgow, a creepy member I work with who fundraises for Neo-Nazi groups shared a fantasy video of him killing me And he'll face no consequences bc @GOPLeader [Kevin McCarthy] cheers him on with excuses. Fun Monday!"

Democratic lawmakers called for Gosar to be punished, including Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who tweeted, "Rep. Gosar's conduct is grotesque, dangerous and utterly disgraceful to the United States House of Representatives. We must address his intolerable assaults on the dignity of our body and safety of our colleagues."

The House GOP is continuing its pattern of refusing to punish its own members for violent and hateful rhetoric but doing so when Republican lawmakers either side with Democrats or oppose former President Donald Trump.

Republicans in the House ousted Rep. Liz Cheney (WY) from her leadership role in the GOP conference for her criticism of Trump's role in the Jan. 6. insurrection by his followers at the U.S. Capitol.

But just 11 House Republicans voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments after she boosted social media posts that advocated violence against Democratic lawmakers and pushed antisemitic conspiracy theories. On Monday, Greene spread anti-vaccine propaganda from the antisemitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, yet has so far not been condemned for it by GOP leadership.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's office did not answer a request for comment on Gosar's video and whether he thinks Gosar should be punished for it or on whether he thinks the 13 GOP lawmakers who voted for the infrastructure bill should lose their committee assignments.

"In today's Republican Party, you get cancelled for crossing party lines and applauded for publicly fantasizing about the murder of Democrats. WTF," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) tweeted.

On the move to punish the 13 Republican House members, Murphy added, "Never before has a party contemplated this. But tragically, it would be consistent with the modern Republican party's withering assault on democracy. What matters most to the GOP now is allegiance to the cult. Not allegiance to the country or constituents."

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.