GOP lawmakers caught on video telling activists to thank Manchin and Sinema for not blowing up the filibuster: ‘Without that we would be dead meat’

andy biggs
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), votes no on the first article of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2019.

  • GOP congressmen were caught on tape telling activists to thank Manchin and Sinema for holding firm on the filibuster.
  • “Without that we would be dead meat and this thing would be done,” a GOP congressman said.
  • The filibuster has emerged as a barrier to a major chunk of Biden’s agenda.
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Several Republican lawmakers were secretly filmed imploring conservative activists to flood a pair of centrist Democrats with messages of gratitude for holding firm on the filibuster, a 60-vote threshold that most bills need to clear the Senate.

It’s the latest video posted by Democratic activist Lauren Windsor, only days after posting another one showing a GOP congressman calling for “18 months of chaos” to jam Democrats. Both sets of remarks were made at a June 29 Patriot Voices event attended by a large group of conservatives.

In the newest video, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said Democrats were “pushing as hard as they can” to enact President Joe Biden’s agenda.

“Fortunately for us, the filibuster’s still in effect in the Senate. Without that we would be dead meat and this thing would be done,” he said in the video. “Then we’d be having a little more frantic discussion than we’d be having today.”

He went on: “But thank goodness for Sinema and Joe Manchin,” referring to Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, both of whom have resisted a mounting chorus of Democratic calls to abolish the filibuster.

Then Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida urged activists in attendance to call the pair of centrist Democrats and thank them for refusing to blow up the filibuster.

“All of you in this room, people at home on Zoom, let me tell you right now, if you want to do one thing to keep the republic afloat, call Joe Manchin’s office, call Kyrsten Sinema’s office,” he said.

Donald’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Biggs’s office declined to comment on the record.

The filibuster has emerged as a barrier to a substantial chunk of Biden’s agenda on the economy, voting rights, policing reform, and immigration. Given Democrats’ 50-50 majority that relies on a tiebreaking vote from Vice President Kamala Harris, many in the party are calling to get rid of it so they can pass legislation without Republicans.

But Manchin and Sinema have dug in on preserving it. “There is no circumstance in which I will vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster,” Manchin wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in April.

Rick Santorum, a former Republican senator and 2016 GOP primary candidate, also attended the event. He acknowledged the difficulty Republicans face rolling back social programs once they’re in place – a possible reference to their failed attempt to scrap the Affordable Care Act under President Donald Trump in 2017, and others proposing cuts to safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.

“It’s a lot easier to pass giveaways than to take them away. And everybody thinks, ‘Oh, well you know, we’ll just take them away,'” he said in the video. “No we won’t! No we won’t.”

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Former NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton says he ‘can’t understand’ how Rudy Giuliani became ‘subsumed by Trump’

rudy giuliani
Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner William Bratton in 1995.

  • Bratton said Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” due to his close ties to Trump.
  • “I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said.
  • Bratton served as Giuliani’s police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996.
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Former New York Police Department commissioner William “Bill” Bratton said in a recent interview that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has “made a caricature of himself” by his close association with former President Donald Trump.

In a conversation with New York Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd, Bratton remarked that Giuliani, a former lawyer for Trump, has diminished his legacy with his public appearances over the past few years.

“As somebody who’s got a big ego, speaking about another guy with a big ego, I can’t understand how he allowed himself to be subsumed by Trump,” Bratton said. “He’s made a caricature of himself and he’s lost the image of America’s mayor because of the antics of the last two or three years.”

Bratton served as police commissioner from January 1994 to April 1996 under Giuliani’s mayoralty and again from January 2014 to September 2016 under current Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Throughout much of the 1990s, New York City battled high rates of violent crime.

In 1994, the first year that Bratton took over as commissioner, there were 1,561 homicides in the city, according to The Village Voice. The following year, there were 1,177 homicides in the city.

Read more: We identified the 125 people and institutions most responsible for Donald Trump’s rise to power and his norm-busting behavior that tested the boundaries of the US government and its institutions

Bratton describes the fight to reign in crime as trying to “take back a city that was out of control.”

After Bratton was featured on the cover of Time magazine in January 1996, with the periodical noting that he was “a leading advocate of community policing,” his relationship with Giuliani soured.

In March 1996, Bratton announced that he would resign from his post the next month.

Bratton also told the Times that Giuliani “had such awful relations with the Black community and the Black leadership, it really prevented police commissioners, myself included, from developing relationships that we would love to have made with the Black community.”

Giuliani, who in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential campaign traveled the country in an attempt to overturn the election results through a series of unsuccessful lawsuits, made numerous media appearances that were nothing short of bizarre to most observers.

In January, Dominion Voting Systems sued Giuliani for $1.3 billion, alleging that the former federal prosecutor pushed debunked conspiracy theories that the company produced faulty election results in favor of now-President Joe Biden.

Giuliani sought to dismiss the lawsuit in April, but Dominion responded the next month, asking the judge to bring the case to trial.

In late April, the FBI searched Giuliani’s Madison Avenue apartment and Park Avenue office in Manhattan, seizing cellphones and computers as part of an investigation into Giuliani’s dealings in Ukraine, according to The New York Times.

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Obama says ‘a jury did the right thing’ after Derek Chauvin guilty verdict in George Floyd’s death

Barack Obama
With a tear running from his eye, President Barack Obama recalls the 20 first-graders killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School, while speaking in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016,

  • Former President Obama expressed relief at Derek Chauvin being found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
  • “Today, a jury did the right thing,” he said in a statement.
  • Obama has called for policing reforms in the US.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday expressed relief after ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.

In a statement, Obama praised the verdict, while also voicing the thoughts of many who want to see criminal justice reforms in the US.

“Today, a jury did the right thing,” he said on Twitter. “For almost a year, George Floyd’s death under the knee of a police officer has reverberated around the world – inspiring murals and marches, sparking conversations in living rooms and new legislation. But a more basic question has always remained: would justice be done?”

He added: “In this case, at least, we have our answer. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, we know that true justice is about much more than a single verdict in a single trial.”

Obama went on to describe the tense experiences and prejudices that Black Americans endure when dealing with law enforcement.

“True justice requires that we come to terms with the fact that Black Americans are treated differently, every day,” he wrote. “It requires us to recognize that millions of our friends, family, and fellow citizens live in fear that their next encounter with law enforcement could be their last. And it requires us to do the sometimes thankless, often difficult, but always necessary work of making the America we know more like the America we believe in.”

He also reaffirmed that the push for justice would not end with the conviction in Floyd’s case.

“While today’s verdict may have been a necessary step on the road to progress, it was far from a sufficient one,” he wrote. “We cannot rest. We will need to follow through with the concrete reforms that will reduce and ultimately eliminate racial bias in our criminal justice system.”

Obama expressed that he and former first lady Michelle Obama were thinking of the Floyd family, along with those who have never received justice.

“Michelle and I send our prayers to the Floyd family, and we stand with all those who are committed to guaranteeing every American the full measure of justice that George and so many others have been denied.”

Last week, Obama called for a full investigation in the police killing of Daunte Wright, a 20-year old Black man who was shot dead by police during a traffic stop in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center, not far from where Floyd was killed.

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