Ted Cruz has won a lawsuit against the FEC over a loan to his re-election campaign. A federal court ruled that his freedom of speech rights had been violated.

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to an audience in Jerusalem in May
Sen. Ted Cruz in May.

  • Federal court ruling says FEC violated Sen. Ted Cruz’s First Amendment rights with repayment limit.
  • Cruz loaned $260,000 to his 2018 re-election campaign, which was $10,000 over the repayment limit.
  • The “loan-repayment limit burdens political speech” three federal judges wrote.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

A federal court has handed Sen. Ted Cruz a victory, saying a $250,000 limit on post-campaign repayments to candidates violated his First Amendment rights.

On April 1, 2019, Cruz’s campaign filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission after contributing $260,000 to his 2018 reelection campaign. He sued as he attempted to repay his personal loan.

“We find that the loan-repayment limit burdens political speech and thus implicates the protection of the First Amendment,” a trio of federal judges wrote on Thursday in a memorandum opinion.

They added: “Because the government has failed to demonstrate that the loan-repayment limit serves an interest in preventing quid pro quo corruption, or that the limit is sufficiently tailored to serve this purpose, the loan repayment limit runs afoul of the First Amendment.”

Thursday’s ruling amounted to another victory for conservative politicians and donors, who have long sought to remove limits on political fundraising. The Supreme Court in 2010 ruled against the FEC in its case against Citizens United, striking limits on corporate election spending, and giving rise to super PACs.

In the back-and-forth between Cruz and the FEC, the commission’s lawyers said last year that Cruz had intentionally broken the rules, forcing his lawsuit.

Cruz’s campaign staffers started discussing taking action against the repayment limit as early as 2012, according to court filings.

“Those discussions continued for several years, concurrently with Senator Cruz’s preparation to run for reelection in 2018,” FEC lawyers wrote as they sought a summary judgement in 2020.

Cruz had raised more than $35 million during the campaign against Beto O’Rourke. But the day before the election, Cruz loaned his campaign $260,000. As polls closed on November 6, 2018, his campaign had $2.38 million in cash on hand, according to court filings.

Campaign finance law allowed campaigns to repay up to $250,000 in personal loans from candidates, but they had to wait 20 days before distributing the funds.

Within that 20-day waiting period, Cruz’s campaign could have repaid the extra $10,000 using cash on hand on election day, according to the FEC.

“The plaintiff repaid no money during that period, however, because they wanted to bring this lawsuit,” the commission said in a court filing.

Cruz’s campaign waited 20 days, then began repaying the funds.

In an email to his campaign 2 days after the deadline, Cruz said, “Since more than 20 days have passed, it would be REALLY good if we could pay back at least some of the $250k now. Our cash is really getting stretched.”

In the lawsuit filed on April Fools Day in 2019, Cruz’s team said the limit on repayments violated the First Amendment rights of candidates. Cruz argued that his campaign should have been able to continue raising funds after the election to repay the $10,000 balance of his personal loan, according to the filing.

The limit on repayment “restricts the political speech of candidates and their campaign committees by limiting the time period in which the candidate may raise money to communicate his or her political message and by effectively limiting the candidate’s ability to lend the campaign necessary funds,” Cruz’s lawyers wrote in their complaint.

Insider has reached out to Cruz’s office for additional comment.

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Chris Cuomo and Ted Cruz traded jabs over who should be controlling women’s bodies

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

  • Chris Cuomo challenged Sen. Ted Cruz in a tweet about women controlling their own bodies.
  • Cruz responded with a slight to Cuomo’s brother, Andrew Cuomo, and his sexual misconduct allegations.
  • “Not sure Cuomo’s [sic] should be talking about controlling women’s bodies….” Cruz said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

CNN star Chris Cuomo and Sen. Ted Cruz traded barbs on Twitter over who should be controlling women’s bodies.

Cuomo retweeted an audio clip shared by Cruz where he discussed vaccine passports. In the tweet, Cruz wrote: “This is a civil rights and individual liberty issue: There should be no federally mandated vaccine passport.”

Cuomo responded by asking the senator: “Does this liberty extend to women who want to control their bodies?” Cruz is against abortion and has described himself as a “strong advocate for the pro-life movement.”

Cruz hit back at the “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor, in an apparent reference to his brother.

“Not sure Cuomo’s [sic] should be talking about controlling women’s bodies….” Cruz wrote.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo’s brother, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women, including sexual harassment and inappropriate workplace behavior. He has denied ever touching someone inappropriately, but apologized for acting “in a way that made people feel uncomfortable.”

Chris Cuomo got somewhat wrapped up in his brother’s scandals recently after The Washington Post reported he participated in “strategy calls” regarding how the governor should respond to the allegations.

The news caused concern from media-watch dogs and prompted CNN to release a statement calling the calls “inappropriate.”

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Ted Cruz follows suit from red states and introduces a bill to ban the federal government from using vaccine passports

ted cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz during a Senate hearing on November 17, 2020.

  • Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Braun, and Cynthia Lummis introduced a bill banning federal vaccine passports.
  • At least 10 US states already have bills or executive orders banning vaccine passports.
  • Vaccine passports are becoming more common, as US tourists to the EU will be required to prove they are vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Three Republican senators have introduced a bill to ban the federal government from establishing COVID-19 vaccine passports, following in the footsteps of at least 10 GOP-led states.

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming introduced the legislation to the Senate Friday. The bill would also prevent the government from working with third parties, such as airlines, on setting up their own vaccine passport systems.

“Americans shouldn’t be discriminated against because of COVID-19 vaccine status – whether that is at work or in everyday life,” Cruz said in a statement announcing the bill. “We should be encouraging individuals to receive the vaccine through increased patient protections, not mandating it.”

The senator also said he got the vaccine because “it was the right decision for me, but people should be free to make the decision that is right for them.”

At least 10 states, including the home states of the senators introducing the bill, have enacted legislation or issued executive orders banning or limiting the use of vaccine passports. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Vaccine passports are becoming increasingly common internationally. The European Union will require Americans traveling to the EU this summer to provide proof they are fully vaccinated.

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WATCH: Sen. Ted Cruz tells Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal to change his iPhone password after he enters it in on live TV

richard blumenthal iphone
Sen. Richard Blumenthal holds up his iPhone during a subcommittee hearing on gun violence.

  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal entered his password into his iPhone on live television.
  • He did so during a live subcommittee hearing, and while his phone was angled toward the camera.
  • “I would note you put out on CSPAN the code on your iPhone, so you might want to change that now,” Sen. Ted Cruz told Blumenthal.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas advised Sen. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut on Tuesday that he should change his iPhone password after Blumenthal held his phone up to the camera and entered his password in on live television.

The interaction came during a hearing before the the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. Blumenthal is the chairman of the panel and Cruz is the ranking member.

The purpose of the hearing was to address gun violence in the US and how safe gun storage practices could help mitigate the problem. When it was his turn to speak, Blumenthal noted that “far fewer than 90 seconds would be required to use the kind of safe storage that is available now.”

He then held up his phone to face the camera and added: “On May 25, 2021, we have technology, and it’s on all of our cell phones that enable us to press in less than a second, or if we don’t like that, in again, less than a second, to access our phones -“

While speaking and as his phone was still facing toward the camera, Blumenthal went on to enter in the password.

Cruz then interjected: “Senator Blumenthal, I would note that you put out on C-SPAN the code on your iPhone, so you might want to change that now.”

Blumenthal laughed and replied, “My life is an open book, but I recognize that it’s happened before.”

Watch the interaction below:

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Ted Cruz reacts to ‘Kremlin Cruz’ nickname given to him by MSNBC anchor Brian Williams after the Texas senator shared Russian army propaganda

  • Ted Cruz shared a TikTok comparing ads for the US military and the Russian military on Thursday.
  • The GOP senator said the US military was “woke” and “emasculated” compared to Russia’s military.
  • MSNBC anchor Brian Williams nicknamed the senator “Kremlin Cruz” after the comments.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on voting rights on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

GOP Senator Ted Cruz lashed out at Brian Williams after the MSNBC anchor bestowed him with the nickname “Kremlin Cruz” for sharing Russian army propaganda.

“Is there a more pitiful example of corrupt corporate media than Brian Williams?,” Cruz wrote in a six-part Twitter thread. “He was fired as the anchor of NBC Nightly News for ‘misrepresenting events which occurred while he was covering the Iraq War in 2003.’ Now, he’s a left-wing hack at MSNBC.”

Williams called him “Kremlin Cruz,” noting that the senator hated being called “Cancun Cruz” after he fled Texas for Mexico during a deadly winter storm in Texas.

The anchor’s criticism came after Cruz called the US military “woke” and “emasculated” compared to Russia’s military in a tweet on Thursday. A TikTok video comparing a Russian recruitment ad with a US Army commercial was the basis of Cruz’s criticism.

The GOP senator then suggested that President Joe Biden supported Russia and called on Williams to refer to the president as “Kremlin Joe.”

Cruz’s tweets on Saturday have doubled down on his previous claims, which have prompted critics to highlight that he was a firm supporter of former President Donald Trump, who on multiple occasions praised Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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Ted Cruz implies the US military is too ‘woke’ and ’emasculated’ to compete with Russia

Ted Cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021, on the fifth day of the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz retweeted a TikTok comparing a Russian Army commercial with a US Army commercial.
  • While the Russian ad was rife with masculine tropes, the US ad was the animated story of a service member with two moms.
  • Cruz said that in comparing the two military ads, “perhaps a woke and emasculated military is not the best idea.”
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called the US military “woke” and “emasculated” compared to Russia’s military in a tweet on Thursday.

Cruz based his criticism on a TikTok video comparing a Russian recruitment ad with a US Army commercial spot. While Russia’s ad featured moody lighting and buff, shirtless men writing in the dirt, the US Army clip offered an animated telling of the life of US Army Corporal Emma Malonelord, who was raised by a lesbian couple in San Francisco.

Insider reached out to Cruz’s office for additional comment on the tweet.

“After graduating high school at the top of my class, and after meeting with an Army recruiter, I found it: A way to prove my inner strength,” Mannelord says in the clip.

Malonelord is one of five military members featured in the Army’s newest commercial series featuring a diverse array of recruits. The series, dubbed “The Calling,” aims at sharing “a rich tapestry of stories that represent the diverse upbringings and life experiences that make up today’s Army,” according to a US Army press release.

Read more: Trump DOJ secretly obtained CNN Pentagon correspondent Barbara Starr’s phone and email records

Cruz never served in the military. During a 2015 interview with CNBC’s John Harwood, he said that he had “considered it many times” but had never enlisted. “I will say it’s something I always regretted. I wished I had spent time in the service. It’s something I respect immensely.”

Nevertheless, he’s spoken out on his opinions on women joining the service in the past. In 2o16, while running for reelection, he said he thought women serving in combat roles in the military was “nuts” and that it was simply “political correctness run amok.”

Insider has reached out to the US Army for comment.

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Ted Cruz said it’s ‘awesome’ that airlines are touting travel deals to Cancún, 3 months after he flew into political firestorm over his own trip to Mexico while Texas was freezing, with no power or heat

Ted Cruz
GOP Sen. Ted Cruz gestures as he speaks to members of the media during the fifth day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, February 13, 2021.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz said it was “awesome” that an airline was offering a discounted flight to Cancún.
  • The tweet came three months after he faced immense backlash over his trip to Mexico while Texas endured freezing temperatures and power outages.
  • Critics slammed Cruz over his tweet, accusing him of joking about the trip as Texas froze.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Sen. Ted Cruz tweeted Tuesday that it was “awesome” that airlines are offering discounted deals to Cancún, three months after he faced backlash over his trip to Mexico during the Texas winter storms.

The Texas senator was embroiled in a political firestorm in February as Texas residents endured freezing temperatures and widespread power outages. More than 150 people died during the frigid winter storms, with causes of death ranging from hypothermia to carbon monoxide poisoning.

A tweet by ABC13 Houston shared an article about low-cost airline Sun Country Airlines, reading: “Excited to travel again? This airline can hook you up with a cheap flight to sunny Cancún or even Las Vegas!”

Cruz reshared the tweet with the caption: “Awesome!”

Read more: Neera Tanden is now one of at least 61 Center for American Progress alumni working for the Biden administration

Twitter users slammed Cruz in replies to the tweet, alluding to Cruz’s comment as a joke in light of the controversy spurred by his own trip to Cancún.

“The people of your state were in dire straits when you willfully abandoned them,” one Twitter user wrote. “The fact that you are joking about it confirms that you have no regrets.”

“Making jokes about how you abandoned your state leading to a child freezing to death does not make it ok,” another person replied.

In February, Cruz was lambasted after photos emerged of him at the airport heading to Cancún, and protestors gathered outside his home the following day. The trip was further corroborated by leaked text messages of his wife Heidi Cruz planning the Cancún trip with other families.

At the time, Democrats slammed the Republican senator for taking the trip, calling for him to resign.

“People in Texas are literally freezing to death and yet Ted Cruz went on vacation to Cancun,” Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington tweeted. “I guess spending so much time denying climate change must leave him pretty exhausted.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex renewed her calls for Cruz’s resignation. She had originally demanded he step down over his response to the Capitol riots.

“If Sen. Cruz had resigned back in January after helping gin up a violent insurrection that killed several people, he could’ve taken his vacation in peace,” she tweeted at the time. “Texans should continue to demand his resignation.”

In a statement responding to the backlash, Cruz said his daughters ask to take the trip and that he only intended to fly down with them overnight and return back to Texas the next day.

A representative for Cruz did not immediately answer Insider’s request for comment and whether the tweet was in reference to his trip in February.

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Republicans like Ted Cruz and Stephen Miller are cheering on Andrew Yang after he posted a pro-Israel tweet amid violent clashes with Palestinians

Andrew Yang
Democratic mayoral candidate Andrew Yang.

  • Israel and Hamas exchanged fire overnight amid new clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police.
  • The Democrat Andrew Yang weighed in on the issue, tweeting his support for Israel Monday night.
  • Yang’s comments got the support of Republicans like Sen. Ted Cruz, Meghan McCain, and Stephen Miller.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andrew Yang tweeted in support of Israel amid the country’s latest unrest with Palestinians on Monday, provoking anger from fellow liberals and support from top Republicans.

Yang, who is currently running to be mayor of New York City, tweeted late Monday that he is “standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks” and condemned “Hamas terrorists,” referring to the Palestinian militant group that controls the Gaza Strip.

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” Yang tweeted.

Many found Yang’s pro-Israel statement distasteful, including the comedian David Cross who tweeted “nope” in response.

The US military whistleblower Chelsea Manning also tweeted: “Yikes.”

Bishop Talbert Swan, president of the Springfield, Massachusetts chapter of the NAACP, said: “The systemic oppression, institutional discrimination, and violent persecution of Palestinians are crimes against humanity. It is wicked, evil, and inhumane.”

The hashtag #YangSupportsGenocide also trended overnight.

But Yang’s tweet also earned him praise from Republicans, who traditionally support a strong relationship between the US and Israel.

“Bravo to Yang for opposing the rabidly pro-Hamas & anti-Israel attacks from fellow Dems Omar & Tlaib,” Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tweeted in response to Yang’s tweet, referring to the progressive Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashia Tlaib, who have both voiced support for Palestinians amid the renewed violence.

Stephen Miller, who worked as a senior advisor to former President Donald Trump, tweeted that Yang is “exactly right,” while Meghan McCain retweeted Yang’s tweet with the hashtag “#YANGGANG.”

The latest clashes between the Israelis and Palestinians date back to the start of Ramadan last month, when Israel moved to block some Palestinian gatherings.

In the ensuing weeks, there have been regular fights between the Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around Jerusalem’s Old City.

Fire billow from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City, Gaza.
Fire from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City on May 11, 2021.

The violence escalated to cross-border fire exchanges on Monday, with Hamas firing more than 200 rockets into Israel, and Israel conducting airstrikes on Gaza in response.

According to the Associated Press, 24 Palestinians – including nine children – have been killed in the Gaza airstrikes since sundown Monday, and six Israeli civilians were injured when one of the Hamas rockets hit an apartment building across the border.

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With few GOP allies left, Ted Cruz takes refuge at Mar-a-Lago with his former enemy President Trump

Ted Cruz Donald Trump
Ted Cruz and Donald Trump.

  • Sen. Ted Cruz and former President Donald Trump had dinner together on Tuesday night.
  • Trump and Cruz spent years at each other’s throats, but Cruz became a loyal ally to Trump during his impeachment.
  • Both face potential roadblocks in their political careers right now, which may have pushed them toward a cynical but politically expedient alignment.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Politics makes for strange bedfellows – and dinner companions.

On Tuesday night, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz posted a photo of himself enjoying dinner with former President Donald Trump at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property.

“Had a great dinner tonight with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. He’s in great spirits! We spent the evening talking about working together to re-take the House & Senate in 2022,” Cruz wrote.

This candlelit dinner may come as a surprise to anyone who’s been following the relationship between the pair over the years. Neither has been shy about expressing their utter disgust about the other one, nor have they been shy about their ambitions for political power. Their union shows what unbridled cynicism and ambition look like when they cross paths.

What might they talk about at dinner? The time Trump accused Cruz’s father of plotting JFK’s assassination or the time he insulted Heidi Cruz’s looks?

Maybe they discuss when Cruz once joked to Jimmy Kimmel: “If I were in my car and getting ready to reverse and saw Donald in the backup camera, I’m not confident which pedal I’d push.”

The two have spouted a dictionary’s worth of insults at one another over the years.

Trump called Cruz “a totally unstable individual” and “worse than Hillary.” Cruz, meanwhile, called Trump a “pathological liar,” a “sniveling coward,” and “consistently disgraceful.”

But they’re also well aware of the political capital the other one holds, even – and especially – as divisive figures within the GOP. Trump turned to Cruz during the 2018 midterm elections, hoping to heal some of the cracks within the party. It didn’t work – Republicans lost Congress – but it at least garnered Cruz a new nickname. He went from “Lyin’ Ted” to “Beautiful Ted.”

“My attitude is, I’ve got a job to do,” Cruz said in an interview with The Washington Post in 2o2o. “To do my job, I’ve got to work with the president. And, you know, I could have made the choice to allow my feelings to be hurt, to take my marbles and go home. But I think that would’ve been an irresponsible choice.”

Cruz also played a major part in Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election. He agreed to argue a Texas lawsuit in front of the Supreme Court on behalf of Trump’s cause. The case never made it to the Court, but Cruz has become a useful and loyal ally to the former president.

This week, as Trump anxiously awaits the decision of an independent oversight board over whether he’ll be able to join Facebook again, he may be in need of that loyalty: According to one anonymous source close to the campaign, getting back his Facebook account is “essential for his future political viability.”

If he doesn’t have his account restored, he’ll have to rely on his new blog to communicate with voters.

Cruz may also need a friend. Last week he published a Wall Street Journal editorial saying he’d no longer help “woke CEOs” with tax breaks or regulatory changes.

“To America’s watch-me-woke-it-up CEOs, I say: When the time comes that you need help with a tax break or a regulatory change, I hope the Democrats take your calls because we may not. Starting now, we won’t take your money either,” he tweeted.

Walter Shaub, who ran the Office of Government Ethics under both Obama and Trump, said Cruz’s statement was, possibly “the most openly corrupt thing any Senator has said.”

“It’s the part everyone knows: these crooks sell access. Others have the sense not to admit it. This is why our republic is broken. Immoral politicians selling power we’ve entrusted to them like it’s theirs to sell,” he continued.

Cruz has always been something of a pariah within his party. As an early member of the Tea Party Caucus, Cruz was in the ironic position of being a leader in a government he’d vowed to dismantle.

Politicians including Chris Christie, John Boehner, and former President George W. Bush have all expressed open dislike of him.

“If you killed Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate, and the trial was in the Senate, nobody would convict you,” Lindsey Graham said at the Washington Press Club Foundation’s 72nd Congressional Dinner, in 2016.

In February, Cruz angered politicians on both sides of the aisle when he jetted off to Cancun with his family during one of the worst winter storms in Texas history. For that, he garnered the moniker “least sympathetic politician in America.”

Still, Cruz’s current term doesn’t end until 2024, which means he still has time to refashion his image and push for further power within the party.

Cruz and Trump may be two of the most polarizing politicians in America, but at least they have each other.

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Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during President Biden’s first joint address to Congress

ted cruz sleep congress
  • Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during Joe Biden’s address to Congress.
  • The Texas senator later called the speech “boring, but radical.”
  • Other GOP lawmakers appeared similarly disinterested in Biden’s speech.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz appeared to doze off during President Joe Biden’s first joint address to Congress on Wednesday night.

Cruz, who has been fiercely critical of President Biden, was filmed struggling to keep his eyes open as he watched Biden give his address in the House.

President Biden used the speech to talk about the progress of his administration in its first 100 days, touching on issues including the federal response to the coronavirus pandemic and Biden’s $1.8 trillion stimulus package.

In one clip, which reportedly took place more than an hour into Biden’s speech, the president was discussing immigration reform and said: “If you actually want to solve a problem, I’ve sent a bill to take a close look at it.”

As Biden spoke, broadcast footage cut to Cruz twice, who appears to be dropping off to sleep.

Cruz later quoted a clip of the incident, along with the caption “BoringButRadical.”

The Texas senator later told Fox News: “The speech by design was calm and dulcet tones. I challenge you to remember a single line from the speech. It was monotone, the chamber was nearly empty.”

“Joe is deliberately being boring but the substance of what he’s saying is radical.”

Other GOP lawmakers were also critical of the substance of Biden’s speech, Insider’s Oma Seddiq reported.

Rep. Lauren Boebert live-tweeted criticism of the speech, and subsequently wrote that the “best thing about this speech is that it’s over.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, meanwhile, shook his head vigorously while Biden discussed his economic reforms, according to a report.

After the speech concluded, GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tweeted: “This whole thing could have just been an email.”

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