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'They only know what they're against': Ex-Congressman slams Matt Gaetz and obstructionist GOPers
U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz and other Republicans coming out in strong opposition to the debt ceiling compromise are doing so in part because they don't have another setting, according to a former Democratic Congressman.
Former Rep. Conor Lamb, of Pennsylvania, was part of a panel on MSNBC's The 11th Hour With Stephanie Ruhle on Tuesday. Ruhle asked Lamb if he thinks Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R) was at risk of losing his speakership over the deal, which was advanced by a committee earlier in the night to a full House vote set up for the next day.
Lamb said that he doesn't think McCarthy will lose his speakership over the disagreements, saying "the difference with whoever they would replace him with would be minimal, and I don't see how it would go to anyone's benefit."
Lamb did, however, use the time to call out Gaetz, who threatened McCarthy's speakership over the tentative deal already, and fellow Republican Chip Roy, who urged his colleagues to reject the deal.
"What you're seeing is the Matt Gaetzes and Chip Roys of the world are being revealed: they only know what they are against and they really don't have much of an idea of what they're for, as far as anything they can accomplish," Lamb said.
He added that individuals like this tend to lash out against a lot of things, but are not necessarily getting things done.
IN OTHER NEWS: GOP congressman representing Nashville shooting victims wants to defund federal gun enforcement
"So the idea of just lashing out... and the words that Chip Roy was using: kill the bill, end the speakership, they only know how to put a stop to things they don't like... that's the language they're using because they have nothing else to say."
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GOP congressman representing Nashville shooting victims wants to defund federal gun enforcement
Rep. Andy Ogles (R-TN), a newly elected House lawmaker, wants to defund the federal agency that stops gun traffickers, reported The Daily Beast on Tuesday
"Just two months after a mass shooting at a Nashville school in his very own Congressional district, Ogles made the puzzling proposal to defund the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) through 2025," reported Erik Uebelacker. "'They’ve been weaponized, like other agencies, against the American people,' Ogles said. 'They’ve been regulating the gun industry by press release and fiat and not going through the proper channels of Congressional approval process.'"
Republicans have long vilified the ATF, which is responsible for federal gun crimes and, among other things, tracks the unlawful trafficking of firearms. Their unified opposition helped sink President Joe Biden's first choice for ATF director, David Chipman — indeed, prior to the appointment of Steve Dettelbach last year, the ATF only had one permanent director since 2006, in large part because of GOP obstruction of the office being filled.
"After the Nashville shooting earlier this year, critics dragged [Ogles'] 'thoughts and prayers' through the mud when they found his most recent Christmas card, which featured his family decked-out with assault rifles in front of their Christmas tree," noted the report.
All of this comes as Ogles is facing scrutiny over allegations that he lied about his background to voters, in a similar manner as now-indicted Congressman George Santos (R-NY).
Among other things, Ogles claimed he was an "economist" despite no formal training in that field; that he was a law enforcement officer investigating international sex trafficking when he actually flunked out of a volunteer sheriff's deputy job and briefly worked at an anti-trafficking nonprofit; and that he had a degree in Political Science and International Relations, when that was not what his major was. He has also been accused of pocketing $250,000 that was raised for a memorial for his stillborn son.
'Disgusting': James Comey calls DeSantis' threat to pardon Jan. 6 rioters an 'attack on' rule of law
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' threat to pardon some participants in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is an "attack on the rule of law" and the GOP's threats to defund the FBI is a sign the broader party has lost its way, argued former FBI Director James Comey, himself a Republican, on CNN Tuesday.
"Given the career you have had in the FBI, when you see the former president, now the frontrunner again for the Republican nomination, how big a threat is that?" asked anchor Anderson Cooper.
"A very serious threat to the rule of law, almost an existential threat if he were to become president again," said Comey. "He has tried to take a flamethrower to the FBI, to the Department of Justice to stop them investigating."
"You believe Donald Trump is an existential threat to the rule of law?" asked Cooper.
"I do, yes," said Comey. "Were he to become president again, I don't think America has ever seen and is ready for what he would try and do to the system of justice."
"The Justice Department has sent a very strong message about what happened on January 6th with their prosecutions, their investigations and prosecutions of some of those responsible," said Cooper. "When you hear the former president talking about pardoning, you hear Ron DeSantis talking about looking at pardons, what do you think?"
"It's disgusting," said Comey. "It's an attack on the rule of law. If anything in this country people should be able to agree on, we should send a message, never again. You can't intervene by force. You can protest, you can march, you can do what you want, but don't you dare. That's the message that has to be sent with those prosecutions. And the idea of undercutting that message makes no sense at all."
"Many in the House in Congress say that the FBI has been 'weaponized,' that it's going after conservatives, that it's politicized," Cooper continued. "Do you believe any of that is true?"
"I don't believe any of it is true," said Comey. "I never would have expected it. All of us should become more familiar with the way a cult operates in the recent years. So it makes sense in the light of that phenomenon. But I never would have anticipated it years ago."
"So what happens if the Republican Party, which has a long, proud history, if many of its members are talking about, you know, prosecuting the director of the FBI, defunding the FBI — some of them are talking about defunding the FBI," said Cooper. "What does that say about the Republican Party?"
"I don't know what the Republican Party is anymore," said Comey. "And I don't know what its future. I think the American people need to hand it, especially the presidential level, a series of losses until they figure out who they want to be. Because they're not a party that is consistent with the values of the country."
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James Comey calls Ron DeSantis's threat to pardon J6ers an "attack on the rule of law" www.youtube.com
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