If you are disgusted by how some Republicans have acted in the era of Trump, here are 69 more reasons to find today’s version of the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan abhorrent.
Those are the 69 Republican members of the House of Representatives who voted today against the aid package for Texas, Florida, the Virgin Islands, California (to fight wildfires) and, of course, Puerto Rico, which was granted the scraps off the GOP table.
What this bill does to Puerto Rico – forcing it to accept a nearly $5 billion loan when it is already drowning in debt – might be a good reason to vote against a bill that gives outright grants to all of the other states in the package.
However, that is not why these Republicans voted against the bill, which passed the House by a vote of 353 to (you guessed it) 69.
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is chairman of the Freedom Caucus (representing the alt-right, Tea Party, ultra-conservatives, white supremacists and other deplorables) and some of his fellow caucus members apparently voted it down because it might raise the deficit – make the National Debt of over $20 trillion that much greater.
These are the same members who are expected to solidly support the Trump tax plan which will raise the debt by at least $1.5 trillion – and probably a lot more – in order to fund tax cuts for the richest Americans and the big corporations, and a few bucks for some in the middle class (a family making $100,000, well above the national average, would get $1,000 while the super rich get millions).
Then there are six Republicans from Texas who just hate to spend any money that might help people (while insisting on boosting defense spending billions above what even the Pentagon wanted), even though their state gets a large share of the relief funds.
However, for some of them, Texas is not getting enough.
The Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, who happily signs bills to take away women’s right, ban gay marriage, suppress minority voting and other Republican favorite causes, told some of them not to vote for the bill unless it included an additional $18.7 billion that Texas officials are requesting after Hurricane Havey.
The state got at least $15 billion or so, but that didn’t please Abbott, who told the Houston Chronicle: “It appears the Texas delegation will let themselves be rolled by the House of Representatives.”
He doesn’t seem to care that there will be more funding bills ahead, since even the $36.5 billion in this bill won’t be enough for all of the problems caused by Mother Nature and aggravated by the climate change crisis that all these Republicans (especially Rep. Joe Barton) insist does not exist isn’t going away anytime soon.
Of course, the surprise is that more Republicans did not vote against this kind of aid to human beings that doesn’t necessarily benefit military contractors, big political donors or giant international corporations.
Trump and his administration have consistently worked to shut down programs for kids, the sick, the elderly, the handicapped, the poor, the mentally ill, teachers, medical research and other programs that help real people every day and not just after a natural disaster.
But what can you say about a party one of whose members, Rep.Steve Scalise of Louisiana, was shot and nearly killed by someone who should not have owned a gun, but will still vote with the NRA against any gun controls and for every nutjob in America to have the right to buy a silencer for his firearm without any hassles?
So when you vote next time – especially in November 2018 – keep in mind these 69 Republicans who represent everything Trump stands for, all of which is bad for the rest of us.