Former President Donald Trump is coming down hard on the 13 congressional Republicans who voted for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, including openly slamming them during remarks at this week’s National Republican Congressional Committee dinner in Tampa, Florida, where at least one of the lawmakers, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, was present.
Sources at the dinner, held Monday night, said Trump railed against the GOP lawmakers, and that while he was friendly with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Malliotakis, R-N.Y., was “visibly shaken” by his comments, reports the New York Post, quoting an unnamed source.
Last Friday, the House passed the infrastructure bill by 220-206, with six Democrats voting against it. The measure would not have passed without the 13 Republicans, including Malliotakis, voting for it.
Trump also slammed the party members in a statement earlier this week.
In his speech at the Tampa event on Monday, Trump complained that passing the bill gave President Joe Biden a win when his numbers were soft, and that “no thank you goes to the Republicans who voted for the bill,” reports The Daily Mail.
The Republicans who supported the bill said it provided money for infrastructure projects their districts need, reports Fox News.
These are the 12, in addition to addition to Malliotakis: Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Don Bacon, Nebraska; Don Young, Alaska; John Katko, Tom Reed, and Andrew Garbarino, all of New York; Brian Fitzpatrick, Pennsylvania; Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew of New Jersey; Fred Upton, Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez, Ohio; and David McKinley, West Virginia.
The New York Post’s Juliegrace Brufke also noted on Twitter that Malliotakis was “visibly shaken” by Trump’s remarks.
Malliotakis defended her vote through a video posted on Twitter, saying the bill is “incredibly good” and that it is not the same as the Democrats’ “Build Back Better” bill, which she called a “socialist spending spree.”
Other Republicans voting for the measure have released similar statements defending their votes for the infrastructure bill, saying they decided to approve the bill because they thought it was legislation that will make the country and their states stronger.
They also reiterated that their support for the infrastructure bill does not mean they’ll vote for the larger spending package.
“Most of the hard infrastructure bill is paid for by unspent COVID money that was already appropriated by Congress,” Bacon said in a statement. “This is not the Bernie Sanders’ Socialist Budget Busting Bill, which would’ve cost American taxpayers their hard-earned money. When that bill does come to the floor for a vote, I will be a hard ‘NO.’”