21 Republican lawmakers vote against honoring law enforcement for their work during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot

capitol riot military
In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington.

  • More than 20 GOP lawmakers voted against a bill awarding law enforcement officers the highest congressional honor for their work during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  • Not a single House Democrat opposed the measure, which passed with the overwhelming support of 406 members.
  • A few Republican lawmakers took issue with calling the storming of the Capitol an “insurrection.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than 20 Republican lawmakers voted against a bill the House passed on Tuesday awarding all law enforcement officers the highest congressional honor for their work during the January 6 Capitol riot.

Not a single House Democrat opposed the measure, which passed with the overwhelming support of 406 members.

A few Republican lawmakers said they opposed the bill because it referred to the riot led by former President Donald Trump’s loyalists to disrupt Congress’ certification of the presidential election as an “insurrection.”

“I think it was a mob, but I don’t think it was an insurrection,” said Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican.

“I think if we call that an insurrection, it could have a bearing on their case that I don’t think would be good,” Massie told reporters on Tuesday. “If they just wanted to give the police recognition, they could have done it without trying to make it partisan, without sticking that in there,” he added.

Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania conservative, called the legislation “garbage.”

Far-right Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene also said she disagreed with the use of the term and didn’t approve of the bill’s description of the Capitol building as “the temple of our American Democracy.”

Senators have already introduced a similar piece of legislation that will likely pass the chamber.

In March, the House passed a different bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the Capitol Police and the DC Police Department that failed to pass the Senate. A dozen Republican House members opposed that bill. Last month, the Senate honored Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman, who was widely celebrated for protecting lawmakers and deterring rioters inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6.

Much of the current GOP opposition stems from some of the language in the bills, specifically around the Democrats’ use of the term “insurrectionists” to describe the rioters who overtook the Capitol.

Tuesday’s resolution also named the three officers who died in the aftermath of the riots, Brian Sicknick, Howard Liebengood, and Jeffrey Smith, and included Capitol Police officer William “Billy” Evans, who was killed on April 2 during a car-ramming attack at a Capitol Hill security barricade.

Another difference in Tuesday’s version is that it calls for four medals to be awarded to the various police forces who aided the effort, with one medal to be displayed within the Capitol.

Senate leaders struck a deal with the House to broaden Tuesday’s resolution so that all officers who responded receive a gold medal, and not just Eugene Goodman, meaning that the Senate may be more unified in supporting the current bill.

The Republicans who voted against the second version of the bill on Tuesday were:

  • Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona
  • Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky
  • Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado
  • Rep. Michael Cloud of Texas
  • Rep. Andrew Clyde of Georgia
  • Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio
  • Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texa
  • Rep. Bob Good of Virginia
  • Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia
  • Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland
  • Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia
  • Rep. Mary Miller of Illinois
  • Rep. Barry Moore of Alabama
  • Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina
  • Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania
  • Rep. John Rose of Tennessee
  • Rep. Matt Rosendale of Montana
  • Rep. Chip Roy of Texas
  • Rep. Greg Steube of Florida

[Background on what exactly is in the bill and why this version will likely pass as opposed to last version]

Read the original article on Business Insider

Rep. Tim Ryan ripped into Republicans from the House floor for voting against Jan. 6 commission, saying they don’t live in reality

Tim Ryan wears a gray suit and red tie as he delivers an impassioned speech
2020 US Democratic Presidential hopeful Representative for Ohio’s 13th congressional district Tim Ryan speaks on-stage during the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting in San Francisco, California on August 23, 2019.

  • The House voted Wednesday to create a bipartisan commission to study the January 6 insurrection.
  • Only 35 Republicans voted in favor of the bill, with GOP leadership expressing opposition.
  • Rep. Tim Ryan gave an impassioned speech after the vote, ripping into those who voted against it.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio ripped into House Republicans who voted against creating a commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.

Speaking from the House floor Wednesday after the vote, the Democrat thanked the GOP members who supported the commission and accused the rest of “incoherence” and of not “living in reality.”

“Holy cow! Incoherence! No idea what you’re talking about,” Ryan began.

Read more: Secret Service protection would follow Donald Trump if he goes to prison, former agents say

He then compared the multiple investigations carried out by House Republicans into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the 2012 Benghazi attack to their disinterest in investigating the Capitol attack.

“We have people scaling the Capitol, hitting the Capitol police with lead pipes across the head, and we can’t get bipartisanship,” he shouted. “What else has to happen in this country?”

Ryan also said votes against the commission were “a slap in the face to every rank and file cop in the United States.”

He concluded: “If we’re going to take on China, if we’re going to rebuild the country, if we’re going to reverse climate change, we need two political parties in this country that are both living in reality, and you ain’t one of them!”

The House passed a bill Wednesday to create a bipartisan commission to investigate the insurrection in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans voting in favor. Republican leadership in the House and Senate have publicly opposed the bill.

The commission will be made up of five Republicans and five Democrats, and will have the ability to issue subpoenas for relevant information concerning the insurrection.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Nancy Pelosi is keeping a mask mandate on the House floor despite CDC guidance and pushback from Republicans

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference about the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package on Capitol Hill.

  • The CDC announced Thursday vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks in most settings.
  • Biden relaxed mask rules at the White House, but Pelosi said she’s keeping a mandate in the House.
  • Republicans urged her to drop the rule and “show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday that she would continue requiring masks to be worn on the House floor, despite the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance.

The CDC said earlier in the day that fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in almost all settings, including indoors, marking a significant departure from previous guidance. The new recommendations also said vaccinated people no longer need to keep physically distant. However, people who are not fully vaccinated are advised to continue wearing masks.

When asked by CNN’s Manu Raju whether she would drop the House rule in light of the news, Pelosi gave a decisive “no,” asking, “are they all vaccinated?” A spokesperson for Pelosi confirmed to Bloomberg that the mask mandate would remain because it’s not known how many lawmakers and their staff are vaccinated.

Read more: The CDC needs to stop lying to Americans and treating us all like children

Pelosi instituted a mask mandate in the chamber in July, after some Republican members refused to wear one. The Senate does not have a mask requirement.

More than 30 House Republicans, led by Rep. Bob Gibbs of Ohio, urged Pelosi in a letter to return to normal voting procedures in the chamber and to drop the mask requirement in response to the CDC update.

“The @CDCgov guidance today shows its time for Congress to practice what it preaches. There is no reason the House of Representatives should not be fully open and returned to normal operations. Enough with the Mask-erpiece Theater,” Gibbs said in a tweet.

The letter also said that every member of Congress had the chance to get vaccinated, and cited Pelosi’s statement late last month that 75% of House members have done so.

“The United States Congress must serve as a model to show the country we can resume normal life through vaccination. Let’s follow the science and get back to work,” it said.

Pelosi’s decision to keep the mandate also runs counter to President Joe Biden’s response.

Shortly after the CDC announced the new guidelines, a White House aide made an official announcement over a loudspeaker that “masks are optional if you’re vaccinated,” according to Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs, who described a “very happy mood” at the White House.

The president also celebrated the news with a straightforward message on Twitter: “After a year of hard work and so much sacrifice, the rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.”

Despite the CDC’s relaxed guidelines, private businesses and workplaces may continue to require customers or employees to wear masks.

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Liz Cheney’s likely replacement, Elise Stefanik, isn’t nearly as conservative, but she tells ‘MAGA tales about the election with gusto,’ expert says

Elise Stefanik RNC
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) addresses the virtual Republican National Convention on August 26, 2020.

  • Donald Trump endorsed New York Rep. Elise Stefanik to replace Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney as as House conference chair.
  • Cheney’s voting record is more conservative, and more Trumpy, than Stefanik’s.
  • But Stefanik promotes Trump’s election claims, while Cheney’s opposition frustrates the GOP, one expert said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming was ousted from her role as the number three Republican in the House of Representatives this week after refusing to pull back on her criticism of former President Donald Trump.

In a voice vote Wednesday, GOP representatives voted to strip her of her role as chair of the House Republican Conference. Rep. Elise Stefanik has been pegged to take her place.

The New York congresswoman has the support of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and former President Trump himself, despite the fact that her voting record isn’t nearly as conservative – or as Trumpy – as Cheney’s. The key thing she does have going for her: loyalty to Trump and his claims about the 2020 election.

Read more: Anti-Trump Republicans spook GOP with the threat of a spinoff 3rd party

“The litmus test for leadership at this moment is being on message with Trump and his most fervid supporters regarding the election results,” Kevin Kosar, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and co-editor of the book “Congress Overwhelmed,” told Insider. “And Rep. Stefanik has been telling MAGA tales about the election with gusto.”

According to data compiled by FiveThirtyEight, Cheney voted in line with Trump’s position 93% of the time, while Stefanik only voted in line with Trump 78% of the time.

Stefanik’s votes countered the president on issues that included the National Defense Authorization Act, US Postal Service funding, disaster aid to Puerto Rico, and Environmental Protection Agency chemical regulations.

Cheney voted with Trump much more frequently, mostly departing on election issues as well as the National Defense Authorization Act and withdrawing troops from Syria, among others.

Stefanik, who was once considered a moderate in the House, even spoke out against Trump’s rhetoric and policy positions in 2015 and 2016, criticizing his comments on women and Muslims, among other issues, CNN reported.

But she emerged as a staunch Trump supporter in 2019, defending him during his first impeachment. Trump branded her a “new Republican star” at the time. She went on to enthusiastically promote his unsubstantiated and false claims about the 2020 presidential election, Insider’s Eliza Relman previously reported.

She was one of the 147 GOP lawmakers who voted to overturn the results of the election, repeating false claims about widespread fraud. She backed a Texas bid to overturn the results in four battleground states won by Biden, a case dismissed by the Supreme Court.

Trump endorsed Stefanik to replace Cheney, who has consistently pushed back against the former president’s election claims. Cheney was one of just 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump, and has criticized her own party for embracing Trump’s efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the election.

Following her vote in favor of impeachment, she survived a February vote over whether she should lose her position, with McCarthy defending her at the time. But Kosar said her refusal to back down on her defense of the election has created problems for others in her party, including McCarthy and the number two House Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise.

“She refuses to humor former President Trump and has publicly spoken loudly and clearly since February on this issue, which creates headaches for McCarthy and Scalise, who have to deal with Trump, the GOP base, and media inquiries about Cheney,” he said.

Despite Cheney’s record being more conservative and more in line with Trump’s, Kosar said GOP leadership want the election issue to go away so they can focus on 2022, but the Wyoming congresswoman is intent on not letting her party get away with that.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Capitol Police officer reported hearing a radio dispatch to only look for ‘anti-Trump’ protesters on January 6, congresswoman says

Capitol riot
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the US Capitol in Washington D.C on January 6, 2021.

  • The Capitol Police officer reported hearing a radio message to only look for anti-Trump protesters on January 6.
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren said in a hearing that the officer made the claim as part of an internal review.
  • The force’s inspector general, Michael Bolton, said he had no knowledge of the report yet.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A Democratic congresswoman said Wednesday that Capitol Police officer may have put out a radio broadcast on the morning of January 6 telling officers to only keep an eye out for potential disturbances by anti-Trump and not pro-Trump protestors, according to a review of the insurrection undertaken by the Capitol Police’s Office of Professional Responsibility.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the chairwoman of the House Administration Committee revealed the claim in the report in a Wednesday hearing. She questioned Michael Bolton, the inspector general of the US Capitol Police, about whether he had reviewed that report and if he had any knowledge of reports of Capitol Police officers actively undermining the department’s response to the riots uncovered through OPR’s inquiries.

Read more: Congressional staffers are burned out and heading for the exits after a hellish year

In Lofgren and Bolton’s exchange, reported earlier by Politico, Bolton said that he hadn’t yet reviewed the Office’s findings, telling Lofgren he wants to wait until OPR has finished their investigation before examining it.

“In one of those OPR reviews, an officer made specific statements about radio transmissions made to officers outside the Capitol on the morning of January 6. You wouldn’t have that information yet?”

Bolton responded that “at this time, no,” saying he’s planning on reviewing all of OPR’s findings concerning communications on January 6.

Directly quoting from an officer’s statement made as part of an OPR review, Lofgren read: “A radio broadcast was sent to all outside units, ‘attention,’ all units on the field were not looking for any pro-Trump in the crowd, were only looking for any anybody anti-pro-Trump who wants to start a fight.”

The rioters, who sought to disrupt Congress’ counting of Electoral College vote certificates that affirmed former President Donald Trump’s election loss, were almost entirely pro-Trump and/or affiliated with right-wing extremist groups.

Bolton said that he planned to review both the OPR reports and the records of radio transmissions from that day.

In the hearing, Bolton confirmed that six Capitol Police officers are under investigation for their conduct during the January 6 siege.

The force’s lack of preparation and inadequate response to the January 6 insurrection, including whether any officers actively aided rioters that day, is a key focus of congressional investigators probing the riots.

Over 100 Capitol police officers sustained injuries defending the Capitol and one officer, Brian Sicknick, died the day after of two strokes, the D.C. medical examiner ruled.

Expanded Coverage Module: capitol-siege-module

Read the original article on Business Insider

Pelosi says in new book that Trump’s 2016 victory felt ‘like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again’

Nancy Pelosi
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) arrives for an event on Capitol Hill on April 14, 2021.

  • After Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016, Nancy Pelosi said that Trump’s victory was “stunningly scary.”
  • “How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women,” she wondered.
  • Trump’s win drove Pelosi to stay in the House and continue her work in Washington.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In 2016, then-Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California was looking forward to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s ascension to the White House.

In “Madam Speaker: Nancy Pelosi and the Lessons of Power,” an upcoming book about Pelosi’s life written by biographer and USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, Pelosi described how Clinton winning the election would have secured hard-fought legislative victories, including the Affordable Care Act.

Pelosi, then 76, saw herself spending time with her nine grandchildren and enjoying her retirement years.

But then Donald Trump won the presidency that November, throwing Pelosi’s plans into chaos.

When Pelosi spoke with then-Rep. Bob Brady of Pennsylvania about Clinton’s performance in the state, he was initially upbeat. But by the end of the night, he called and said the former secretary of state’s path to victory in the Keystone State was no longer realistic.

Clinton needed Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to win the presidency, and with that state gone, along with narrow losses in the longtime Democratic strongholds of Michigan and Wisconsin, the Trump era would soon begin.

Pelosi expressed that she was “horrified” by Trump’s win and felt “physical” pain, saying it was “like a mule kicking you in the back over and over again.”

Read more: Imagine a 20-car motorcade taking you to dinner. That’s the White House bubble Joe Biden now finds himself living in.

Not only did Trump win, but Republicans retained their House and Senate majorities, leaving Democrats out of power in Congress.

Pelosi, who had led the House Democratic conference since 2003 and served as Speaker from 2007 to 2011, found herself faced with the prospect of another two years in the minority and without a legislative partner in the White House.

She was concerned about the new conservative-oriented direction on everything from healthcare and climate change to education and environmental regulations.

While Pelosi was upset that a woman would not occupy the White House, she thought it was “scary” that Trump could have been elected in the first place.

“That was saddening, but the election of Donald Trump was stunningly scary, and it was justified to be scared,” she said. “How could they elect such a person – who talked that way about women, who was so crude and … to me, creepy.”

Pelosi believed that Trump was “unfit” to sit in the Oval Office, and by the end of that Election night, she knew that her time in leadership would not come to an end, aware of the political turbulence ahead.

Read the original article on Business Insider

House committee approves a bill to study reparations for Black Americans for the first time since it was introduced 32 years ago

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Tex., who introduced H.R. 40, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Judiciary Committee chairman, at a news conference at the Capitol on Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

  • A House committee approved a bill Wednesday to study reparations for descendants of enslaved people.
  • First introduced in 1989, the bill will now head to the full House for a vote for the first time.
  • The bill passed the committee without any Republican votes and faces an uphill battle in Congress.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The House Judiciary Committee approved a bill on Wednesday that would establish a commission to study providing Black Americans with reparations for slavery. The legislation will receive a full House vote for the first time since it was introduced more than three decades ago.

The legislation, H.R. 40, was first introduced in 1989, but Wednesday was the first time the House Judiciary Committee had voted on the legislation, The Associated Press reported.

The bill, which passed the committee despite opposition from Republicans, would establish a 13-person commission to study the effects of slavery and discrimination in the US, and then submit its findings and recommend to Congress “appropriate remedies” for the descendants of enslaved Americans.

Read more: It’s now or never for Democrats: either pass H.R. 1 or watch voter suppression bills like Georgia’s become the norm

“This legislation is long overdue,” said Democrat Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the committee chairman, according to the AP. “H.R. 40 is intended to begin a national conversation about how to confront the brutal mistreatment of African Americans during chattel slavery, Jim Crow segregation, and the enduring structural racism that remains endemic to our society today.”

The bill was introduced by Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee. No Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the bill, which is co-sponsored by 176 representatives, all Democrats.

In his criticism of the bill, Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said it would “spend $20 million for a commission that’s already decided to take money from people who were never involved in the evil of slavery and give it to people who are never subject to the evil of slavery,” ABC reported.

The bill faces an uphill battle in Congress, especially in the Senate where it would require 60 votes in the 50-50 split chamber, AP reported.

Reparations gained renewed traction last year after a summer of protests against racial injustice. President Joe Biden has also said he supports Congress studying the issue. Andre Perry, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Insider’s Bre’Anna Grant that he’s “more hopeful than ever” for reparations since Biden took office.

Perry said that while “executive actions are rarely ever enough, they are a start to allocate and shift resources to address the issue.”

Have a news tip? Contact this reporter at kvlamis@insider.com.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Ted Cruz derides Boehner criticism as ‘drunken, bloviated scorn’ while mocking the former speaker’s penchant for tears

ted cruz filibuster
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

  • Sen. Ted Cruz derided political criticism from John Boehner as “drunken, bloviated scorn.”
  • Boehner slammed Cruz as a “jerk” who likes to “draw a lot of attention” to himself.
  • In February, Boehner went off-script in an audiobook recording, telling Cruz to “go f— yourself.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas on Friday tore into former US House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, labeling criticism from one of the party’s most prominent Republicans as “drunken, bloviated scorn.”

In an interview that will air on “CBS Sunday Morning” this weekend, Boehner, who’s promoting his new memoir, “On the House: A Washington Memoir,” lashed into Cruz, describing him as an attention seeker.

“I don’t beat anybody up – it’s not really my style, except for that jerk,” he said. “Perfect symbol, you know, of getting elected, making a lot of noise, draw a lot of attention to yourself, raise a lot of money, which means you’re gonna go make more noise, raise more money – it’s really unfortunate.”

Cruz was ready with a comeback, slamming Boehner as part of the Washington DC political “swamp,” while mocking the former speaker’s penchant for showing emotion in public.

“The Swamp is unhappy,” he tweeted on Friday. “I wear with pride his drunken, bloviated scorn. Please don’t cry.”

Read more: Introducing Todd Young, the most important senator you’ve never heard of

In February, Cruz hit back at Boehner at the the Conservative Political Action Conference after Axios reported that the former speaker told Cruz to “go f— yourself” after veering off-script from his memoir’s audiobook recording.

“You know yesterday, John Boehner made some news,” Cruz said at the time. “He suggested that I do something that is anatomically impossible. To which my response was: Who’s John Boehner?”

Around that time, Boehner tweeted an image of himself with a glass of wine while recording his audiobook.

“Poured myself a glass of something nice to read my audiobook,” he wrote. “You can blame the wine for the expletives.”

Boehner, who served in the House from 1991 to 2015 and was its speaker from 2011 to 2015, described leading the lower chamber during former President Barack Obama’s tenure as becoming the “mayor” of “Crazytown.”

“Crazytown was populated by jackasses, and media hounds, and some normal citizens as baffled as I was about how we got trapped inside the city walls,” Boehner wrote in his memoir. “Every second of every day since Barack Obama became president I was fighting one bats— idea after another.”

Boehner’s book will be released on April 13.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Matt Gaetz reportedly received talking-to about ‘acting professionally’ in Congress by House staff during first term, per CNN

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in Washington.

  • A new CNN report alleges Rep. Matt Gaetz was a long source of frustration for House GOP leadership.
  • Staff for former House Speaker Paul Ryan reportedly held a discussion with Gaetz during his first term.
  • Two sources said the conversation was about “acting professionally” while in Congress.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Among the barrage of alleged scandals and controversies currently plaguing Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, a new CNN report claims the Republican lawmaker received a “talking-to” about his brash behavior as a freshman lawmaker in DC.

Gaetz quickly made a name for himself as a conservative provocateur and Trump loyalist shortly after entering Congress in 2017. The 38-year-old became a brazen staple on Fox News and Newsmax, frequently causing frustration among Republican House leadership, according to CNN.

Behind the scenes, Gaetz earned a reputation as a showboat among his colleagues. As Insider previously reported, many of his fellow Republicans were gloating about recent news reports that he is under a DOJ investigation. Former Trump aides told Insider they “feel a little vindicated.”

“He’s the meanest person in politics,” one said to Insider’s Robin Bravender.

But a Thursday report from CNN suggests Gaetz has was a thorn in the side of GOP leadership.

According to the outlet, staff for then-House Speaker Paul Ryan held a short meeting with Gaetz in the Capitol during his first term. They reportedly had a discussion with the freshman lawmaker about “acting professionally while in Congress,” two sources with knowledge of the meeting told the outlet.

The discussion was not related to one specific incident, according to one of the sources, and Ryan did not personally lecture Gaetz.

A spokesperson for Gaetz rejected the account to CNN, denying that Gaetz was ever reprimanded by Ryan or his staff.

“That did not happen, no meeting with the speaker or his staff,” the spokesperson told the outlet.

A spokesperson for Gaetz did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl and potentially violated federal laws against sex trafficking in the process. Since The New York Times reported the investigation earlier this week, Gaetz has faced further issues.

Gaetz on Wednesday claimed the DOJ’s investigation is part of “an organized criminal extortion” scheme against him led by a former DOJ prosecutor. In a series of tweets, he said he and his family have been cooperating with the FBI on the matter and he provided emails to Politico on Wednesday that appeared to back up his statements.

But, as Insider’s Sonam Sheth reported, it’s unlikely the sex-trafficking investigation is connected to the alleged extortion plot. The former was launched in the summer of 2020, months before Gaetz said his father was contacted and allegedly extorted.

The saga continued Thursday morning when CNN reported that the Justice Department is also investigating whether Gaetz used campaign funds to pay for travel and other expenses for women.

Later Thursday, a CNN report alleged Gaetz showed lawmakers nude photos of women he said he had slept with, and boasted about his sexual exploits. He reportedly showed off the photos both in private and on the House floor, according to the outlet.

CNN reported that there is no indication the photos in question are connected to the Justice Department investigation.

Sonam Sheth contributed to this report.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An Italian-Jewish US lawmaker said Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene could ‘get lost’ after she referred to him as ‘Rep. Mussolini’

David Cicilline
US Rep. David Cicilline, the Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, speaks during the big tech antitrust hearing on in Washington, DC on July 29, 2020.

  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called a Rhode Island lawmaker who is Italian and Jewish, “Rep. Mussolini.”
  • Greene directed the comment toward Rep. David Cicilline after he said he wanted Greene to stop delaying House votes.
  • Cicilline responded by denouncing Mussolini and saying Greene “can get lost.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Rep. David Cicilline of Rhode Island hit back at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene after she referred to him as “Rep. Mussolini,” a reference to the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini.

Cicilline, a Democrat, tweeted a response Wednesday, denouncing Mussolini as well as Greene.

“Mussolini was a fascist dictator in league with Adolf Hitler, who murdered six million Jews,” Cicilline said. “Marjorie Taylor Greene can get lost.”

Greene’s reference to Mussolini came in response to Cicilline telling reporters he would propose a rule change to stop the Georgia Republican from delaying votes in the House simply because she didn’t like a bill. The chamber passed President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package on Wednesday, with every Republican opposing the bill.

Greene tried to delay the bill’s passage by making a motion to adjourn, which would have required every lawmaker to come to the floor and vote on whether to remain in session. All Democrats and 40 Republicans voted against her motion, so the adjournment did not take place, but her attempt delayed the House proceedings for about an hour.

It is not the first time Greene has used such tactics to put off voting on legislation she does not support.

Cicilline said after the Wednesday incident he wanted to stop Greene from doing so by proposing a rule change that would only allow members on a committee to motion to adjourn, Newsweek reported.

When asked about Cicilline’s plan, Greene referred to the congressman as the Italian dictator.

“Do you mean Rep. Mussolini? Not only did Democrats unilaterally strip away my committees, now they want to remove any powers I have to represent my district,” Greene told Newsweek. “The Democrats run the House of Hypocrites with tyrannical control.”

Greene was stripped of her committee assignments last month after reports revealed she had expressed public support online for violence against Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Read the original article on Business Insider