MAGA Malarkey: The Extremism You Missed From Republicans This Week

MAGA Republicans stooped to new lows this week with their extremism, hypocrisy, chaos, and — as President Biden would call it — malarkey. In case you missed it: Arizona Republicans voted against repealing a cruel 1864 abortion ban; MAGA Mike Johnson tried to dodge his record of co-sponsoring a national abortion ban; Kari Lake echoed Trump’s violent rhetoric, telling her supporters to “strap on a Glock” ahead of November; Trump cozied up to Big Oil and Gas; Trump’s fundraising struggles continued; the chaotic Wisconsin GOP hired an election-denying executive director; House Republicans came out in support of junk fees; and House Republican Brandon Williams became the latest Republican to rail against investment legislation before taking credit for the billions being pumped into his district. 

Arizona Republicans refused to repeal the state’s cruel 160-year-old abortion ban, which was upheld because Trump overturned Roe v. Wade.

CNN: “The Republican-controlled Arizona House of Representatives once again failed to advance a repeal of the state’s 160-year-old abortion ban Wednesday, days after the state Supreme Court roiled state politics by reviving the law.

“The vote is a blow to reproductive rights as well as GOP candidates in competitive races, who have been scrambling to distance themselves from the court’s decision. 

“On Wednesday, following two attempts to discuss a bill that would repeal Arizona’s 1864 ban on abortions, lawmakers voted not to discuss the measure on the House floor.”

“The ban prohibits the procedure except to save the life of the pregnant person and threatens providers with prison sentences between two and five years.”

MAGA Mike Johnson tried to dodge his record of co-sponsoring a national abortion ban.

Jake Tapper: “If Donald Trump does win and if the Republicans keep the majority, will you bring the national abortion ban up for a vote?”

Mike Johnson: “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

Jake Tapper: “You said you didn’t know what I meant by a national abortion ban — I meant the [Life at Conception Act], which you are a co-sponsor of.”

Business Insider: “Most House Republicans have cosponsored a bill declaring that life begins from the moment of conception, a position under increased scrutiny after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that frozen embryos are ‘unborn children.’

“This Congress, 125 House Republicans — including Speaker Mike Johnson — have cosponsored the ‘Life at Conception Act,’ which states that the term ‘human being’ includes ‘all stages of life, including the moment of fertilization, cloning, or other moment at which an individual member of the human species comes into being.’

“The bill does not include any exception for in vitro fertilization (IVF), a reproductive treatment that allows mothers to fertilize several eggs outside the womb in order to increase the chances of a viable pregnancy.”

Kari Lake doubled down on Trump’s dangerous and violent rhetoric by telling her supporters to “strap on a Glock” ahead of this November’s election.

NBC News: “Kari Lake suggests supporters ‘strap on a Glock’ to be ready for 2024”

“Arizona GOP Senate hopeful Kari Lake told supporters they can ‘strap on a Glock’ to be prepared for the intensity of the 2024 campaign and urged military and law enforcement veterans to be ‘ready,’ as her race heats up in a key battleground state.”

Business Insider: “Speaking at a convention of Georgia Republicans, Lake told hundreds of delegates that the ‘75 million Americans’ who voted for Trump are armed and ready to defend him.”

Jeremy Duda, Axios: “.@KariLake called for @SecretaryHobbs to be imprisoned over fictional election rigging claims. ‘Frankly, I think she should be locked up.’ Crowd starts ‘lock her up’ chant. Lake says, ‘I agree.’”

Trump cozied up to Big Oil and Gas as he railed against clean energy at a fundraising dinner.

Washington Post: “Trump rails against wind energy in fundraising pitch to oil executives”

“Former president Donald Trump repeatedly ranted about wind power during a fundraising dinner with oil and gas industry executives last week, claiming that the renewable-energy source is unreliable, unattractive and bad for the environment.

“‘I hate wind,’ Trump told the executives over a meal of chopped steak at his Mar-a-Lago Club and resort in Florida, according to a person with knowledge of the meeting, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation.

“Trump’s comments reveal how he is wooing potential donors with his long-standing hostility to wind farms and pledges to halt this form of renewable energy if he returns to office. His stance poses a potential threat to one of the linchpins of America’s clean-energy transition, according to more than a dozen Trump allies, energy experts and offshore wind industry officials.”

Down bad: Trump’s campaign fundraising struggles are getting worse,  while President Biden continues to add to his campaign’s historic fundraising advantage. 

Financial Times: “Donald Trump falls $75mn behind Joe Biden in money race as donor base shrinks”

“Donald Trump has raised $75mn less for his presidential bid than Joe Biden and has 270,000 fewer unique donors now than at the same stage of his run for the White House four years ago.

“The findings, from a Financial Times analysis of federal campaign data, raise new questions about how the former president’s shrunken base will sustain him through costly court cases and what is expected to be the most expensive presidential race ever.

“The Trump campaign and affiliated political action committees have attracted roughly 900,000 donors from July 2023 through the first quarter of 2024, compared with 1.17mn donors in the equivalent period of the 2020 race, according to the FT’s analysis of federal data.

“President Biden has also opened up a massive fundraising advantage, the data shows, raising $165mn over the first three months of the year — $75mn more than pro-Trump groups, which raised just under $90mn.”

The Wisconsin GOP hired extreme election denier and former Trump campaign staffer Andrew Iverson to lead their state party.

Associated Press: “Former Trump staffer who said to ‘fan the flame’ after 2020 loss hired to lead Wisconsin GOP” 

“The director of Donald Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign in Wisconsin, who pushed allegations of widespread fraud that were ultimately debunked, has been hired to run the Republican Party of Wisconsin heading into the November election.”

“Iverson told other operatives two days after the election to support claims that Trump had actually won. … Biden defeated Trump by nearly 21,000 votes in Wisconsin in 2020, a result that has withstood independent and partisan audits and reviews, as well as lawsuits and the recounts Trump requested.”

Iverson: “Here’s the drill: Comms is going to continue to fan the flame and get the word out about Democrats trying to steal this election. We’ll do whatever they need (inaudible) help with. Just be on standby in case there’s any stunts we need to pull.”

MAGA Republicans in the House joined Trump allies like Tim Scott in pushing to SUPPORT big credit card junk fees.

Bloomberg: “Trump Ally Tim Scott Seeks to Block Biden Credit Card Late Fee Cap”

Politico: “Consumer advocates warn Republicans on CFPB rule — House Financial Services is planning to vote today on a GOP-led measure to block the CFPB’s credit card late fee cap. Ahead of the markup, 90 consumer groups are urging lawmakers to oppose the resolution.”

CNN: “Credit card late fees capped at $8 as part of Biden crackdown on junk fees”

“Federal regulators finalized a rule on Tuesday to cap most credit card late fees at $8 as part of a broader push by the Biden administration to eliminate junk fees.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates the new regulation, first proposed last summer, will save families more than $10 billion a year by cutting fees from an average of $32.”

Newsweek: “Credit Card Fees Slashed for Millions of Americans”

Navigator Research: “Nearly Nine in Ten Battleground Constituents Want Congress to Pass Laws Banning or Limiting Junk Fees”

House Republican Brandon Williams celebrated the $6 billion investment his district is getting from the CHIPS and Science Act, despite previously railing against the legislation.

Rep. Williams: “Here we go! Now we just need a building permit to start shoveling and building our future. 

“After countless meetings, hearings, inquiries, and advocacy, we’re getting things moving for #NY22!” “GOP candidate for Congress in Central NY called chip incentives ‘corporate welfare’”

“Brandon Williams, the Republican nominee for Congress in Central New York, criticized the federal incentives that helped convince Micron Technology to invest up to $100 billion building computer chip plants in Onondaga County.

“In August, Williams called the Chips and Science Act passed by Congress a ‘corporate welfare package for the profitable chip industry.’”