The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: gerry connolly

As Virus Surges, Republicans Throw ’Temper Tantrum’ On House Floor

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

Republican lawmakers repeatedly tried to adjourn the House of Representatives on Wednesday, preferring to head home rather than comply with new coronavirus safety measures.

On Wednesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that "masks will be once again be required in the Hall of the House," for all members and staff, except while members are recognized to speak.

The change came due to an order from Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress' attending physician, deeming masks necessary to keep members and their employees safe.

It followed new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on Tuesday warning that the delta variant can be caught and transmitted by some fully vaccinated people and urging some face mask use in indoor public places, even among those who have been inoculated.

At 11:26 a.m., Texas Rep. Chip Roy made the first motion to adjourn. He had just completed an angry floor speech in which he argued that the "institution is a sham and we should adjourn and shut this place down," because the Democratic majority had reinstituted a mask requirement in response to the spread of the delta variant.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, a staunch opponent of COVID-19 safety measures, who reportedly threw a face mask at a House staffer who had urged her to comply with the rule earlier in the day, tweeted, "If the threat of the Biden Border variant is truly so dangerous in the U.S. House of Representatives, we should adjourn."

After 38 minutes of voting, Roy's motion failed — but 197 House Republicans backed his attempt to leave work for the rest of the day and head home.

At 1:31 p.m., Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) proceeded to the floor and made another motion to adjourn. After a 34-minute vote, his motion too was defeated, 174-216.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) described the motions in a tweet as a "mass temper tantrum over Covid guidance."

In total, more than an hour was wasted on the two motions, on a busy day when the House was considering funding bills for several branches of the federal government.

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) slammed the stunts, tweeting that the Republicans "want to go home instead of working for the people," and noting that "anyone else trying to leave work in the middle of [the] work day would be fired."

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) mocked his GOP colleagues for throwing a "temper tantrum" just because representatives "were asked to do what the rest of the country has been asked to do: wear a mask."

The attempts to adjourn, rather than comply with COVID-19 safety requirements, are at odd with Republican leaders who accused the Democratic majority over a year ago of dereliction of duty for opting to let some members work from home, rather than coming to the Capitol during a pandemic.

"Across our nation, Americans of all stripes are making sacrifices and doing their part to defeat this virus — and they expect Washington to do the same," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois — the ranking member of the Committee on House Administration — and Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the ranking member of the Committee on Rules, wrote in a May 2020 joint statement.

"Unfortunately, far from being 'captains of this ship' as Speaker Pelosi recently proclaimed, the Democrats' proposal calls for the House of Representatives to abandon ship — potentially for the remainder of the session," they claimed at the time.

In just the past 10 days, two House Republicans have announced that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

Florida Rep. Vern Buchanan said last Monday that he contracted the virus despite being fully vaccinated. Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins revealed Sunday that he and his family also have COVID-19, even though they had it previously.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Far-Right Republicans Vote No On Congressional Medal For Capitol Police

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Democrats are criticizing their GOP colleagues after 21 Republican members Tuesday night voted against awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to law enforcement officers who responded to the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

The bill passed the House on Tuesday by a vote of 406-21 — with every "no" vote coming from Republican lawmakers. All but two of the 21 House Republicans who voted against the award for the law enforcement officers also voted to overturn the 2020 election results.

A number of the members have also tried to downplay the attack, such as Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) saying the violent riot was just a "normal tourist visit" and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) falsely saying the rioters weren't armed.

"I think this is a new low for this crowd. They voted to overturn an election. But in their vote today, they kind of sealed the deal of basically affiliating with the mob," Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) said in an interview with CNN.

Connolly added, "They now are part of the insurrectionist mob. They brought enormous disrepute and dishonor on themselves in not honoring the brave men and women who defended the Capitol of the United States — everybody in it, but also defending the symbol of democracy in the world, not just here in the United States."

Meanwhile, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) tweeted that the Republicans who voted against the award amount to "a sad commentary on the @HouseGOP."

And Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) called the Republican votes against the award "sick."

"I mean, they have to live with themselves," McGovern told Politico. "It's sad, pathetic."

The vote was made by agreement between members of the House and Senate. The Senate had voted only to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman — who helped steer the insurrectionists away from the Senate chamber to give senators time to safely evacuate — with the Congressional Gold Medal.

But the bill that passed the House on Tuesday awarded four Gold Medals, to the entire Capitol Police force, to the Metropolitan Police Department officers who responded to the attack, and two to be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution and in the Capitol.

The House had passed a similar bill in March, and at the time 12 Republicans voted against it. But that number grew on Tuesday to 21.

Republicans said they voted against it because they took issue with the fact that the legislation called the rioters "a mob of insurrectionists."

"I wouldn't call it an insurrection," Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) told Politico of the January 6 attack, when a Donald Trump-supporting mob tried to block the peaceful transition of power from Trump to President Joe Biden.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Bonanza For Defense Contractors Hidden In New Relief Bill

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

When they passed another bill this month to help the tens of millions of Americans left unemployed and hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, Democrats in the House of Representatives touted the $3 trillion legislation's benefits to working people, renters, first responders and others struggling to get by.

They made no mention of the defense contractors.

Read Now Show less

Trump Exploits Migrant Child Deaths, Blames Democrats

On Saturday afternoon, President Trump blamed Democrats for the recent deaths of two migrant children held by Customs and Border Protection. In a series of angry tweets, he exploited those tragedies to justify his insistence on a border wall as the government shutdown entered its second week.

“Any deaths of children or others at the Border are strictly the fault of the Democrats and their pathetic immigration policies that allow people to make the long trek thinking they can enter our country illegally,” he wrote on Twitter. “They can’t. If we had a Wall, they wouldn’t even try!”

Trump claimed that both children, Guatemalan migrants who had crossed the border from Mexico, were sick before federal agents apprehended them. But their medical condition and the events leading to their deaths remain under investigation by authorities. His tweets, Trump’s first public comments on the children’s deaths, deflected responsibility and expressed no concern for the bereaved families.

The deaths of Jakelin Caal, 8, and Felipe Gomez Alonzo, 8, have renewed public outrage over the “zero tolerance” immigration policies of the Trump administration — and raised serious concern about the treatment of immigrants in custody at the border.

Democrats swiftly denounced Trump’s indecent political opportunism. “The first reaction to the news of a death of a child in our custody ought to be empathy for the family and, frankly, enormous distress that that happened at all. It’s now the second such death,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-NY), who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

.”And instead, our President––who apparently lacks any capacity for human empathy––decides to use the death of two children as a political tool, something he can hit his opponents with. I think it’s really yet another new low in a president filled with new lows,” Connolly added.

Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) promised that under new Democratic leadership, the House would investigate the migrant children’s deaths.
“Even #MAGA folks would concede that @POTUS is not a doctor. He’s just making stuff up again,” wrote Lieu in a tweet responding to Trump. “In January the House of Representatives will hold hearings with witnesses under oath and find out what happened.”