Several of the 13 House Republicans who broke ranks to save President Joe Biden’s massive infrastructure bill defended their defection and dismissed criticism they’ve received from conservatives.
“This is a small group of members who are making loud noises, and it’s falling deaf ears. I’m not concerned about it,” Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., told the Washington Examiner.
“I voted for what is best for our district—a district that went for Joe Biden by almost 8%,” he added. “Most GOP members understand that.”
Several Republicans have called for the 13 defectors to lose their committee assignments, including former congressman and chief of staff Mark Meadows.
“These people voted for Joe Biden, for an infrastructure bill that will clear the way for more socialist spending that will, quite frankly, gives Joe Biden a win,” he said last week. “I don’t know how you can send a clearer message than saying, ‘Listen, obviously you’re not on our team. We’re going to give that leadership position to somebody else.'”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., agreed. “The Republicans who hold positions of leadership on committees or subcommittees must lose those positions for advancing the Biden agenda,” he said.
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, R-NY, one of the members who voted for Biden’s bill, said she was “confident” that threat wouldn’t be carried through.
But on Tuesday a report from Punchbowl News indicated Republican leadership was preparing to move against the 13 members.
This effort was reportedly being led by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., who has said for weeks that any Republican who votes for the Biden agenda should suffer consequences.
“Leadership is a privilege and duty,” Biggs said in a statement. “Accountability is necessary for those GOP members who pushed the Democrats’ so-called ‘infrastructure’ bill across the finish line,”
The House Republicans who voted for Biden’s bill are: Reps. Don Young, R-Alaska; Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.; Fred Upton, R-Mich.; Chris Smith, R-N.J.; Jeff van Drew, R-N.J.; Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio; Andrew Garbarino, R-N.Y.; John Katko, R-N.Y.; Nicole Malliotakis, R-N.Y.; Tom Reed, R-N.Y.; and David McKinley, R-W.Va.