Thirteen House Republicans joined with Democrats last week to pass a so-called infrastructure bill, and in a speech Monday, former President Donald Trump let them have it, according to a report.
For weeks, lawmakers were at a stalemate over the $1.2 trillion legislation, which represented a large chunk of President Joe Biden’s agenda.
Though House Democrats hold a slim majority, progressives were refusing to vote for the bill unless the Senate passed an even more expensive package of social and environmental programs first. Ultimately, the infrastructure bill passed in the House last week, aided by 13 Republican votes.
Trump wasn’t pleased, and reportedly slammed the 13 Republican defectors in a speech at the National Republican Congressional Committee dinner.
“Fox News Digital has confirmed from sources at the dinner that the former president criticized the 13 Republican defectors in a lengthy speech Monday night in a room where at least one of them, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, was present,” Fox News reported.
The Washington Post provided more details, citing an anonymous source.
“I love all the House Republicans. Well, actually I don’t love all of you. I don’t love the 13 that voted for Biden’s infrastructure plan,” Trump said, according to that report.
One source described the night in a slightly different way to New York Post reporter Juliegrace Brufke.
“He railed on 13 Rs who voted for infrastructure with Nicole Malliotakis there. She was visibly shaken by it,” the source said.
Per a source at the NRCC dinner with Trump last evening: “He railed on 13 Rs who voted for infrastructure with Nicole Malliotakis there. She was visibly shaken by it.” The source added it was a lengthly speech and Trump was friendly with McCarthy.
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) November 9, 2021
Malliotakis, and other Republicans who supported the bill, largely claimed that they did so because the legislation would benefit their districts.
I cast my vote FOR the bipartisan infrastructure bill and AGAINST advancing the socialist spending spree. For far too long our leaders have failed to modernize our aging roads, highways & bridges, upgrade sewer systems & implement flood resiliency projects https://t.co/1xT5Ag4AUz
— Nicole Malliotakis (@NMalliotakis) November 6, 2021
“Most of the hard infrastructure bill is paid for by unspent COVID money that was already appropriated by Congress. This bill makes our nation stronger and more competitive for years to come,” Nebraska GOP Don Bacon said in a statement.
“Make no mistake. 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.’”
But for plenty of conservatives, that explanation wasn’t enough:
13 Republicans SOLD OUT to support the Biden agenda. The GOP Conference should remove @RepJohnKatko and others from their committee leadership positions.
— Rep. Matt Gaetz (@RepMattGaetz) November 11, 2021
— Mercedes Schlapp (@mercedesschlapp) November 8, 2021
There is legitimately ZERO reasons on God’s Green Earth for *any* Republican from *any* district to cross the aisle and give Broken Biden a win on anything.
Doing so is aiding the most extreme and dangerous authoritarian regime in American history.
13 Republicans traitors.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) November 6, 2021
Sources told Fox News that “GOP leadership is concerned that disgruntled GOP lawmakers will attempt to strip committee assignments from the lawmakers who supported the bill.