By Chris Enloe
At least one Republican lawmaker was reportedly left "visibly shaken" after former President Donald Trump dressed down members of the House Republican caucus for voting for President Joe Biden's infrastructure bill.
What is the background?
The House approved Biden's signature $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill last Friday with support from 13 Republican lawmakers.
The package was approved in the House by a vote of 228-206 with six Democrats dissenting. That means that if the Republican caucus had voted in unison, the bill would not have passed.
The Republicans who supported the bill were Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Fred Upton (Mich), Anthony Gonzales (Ohio), David McKinley (W.Va.), Don Bacon (Neb.), Don Young (Alaska), Tom Reed (N.Y.), John Katko (N.Y.), Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.), Andrew Garbarino (N.Y.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Penn.), Jeff Van Drew (N.J.), and Chris Smith (N.J.).
What happened with Trump?
While speaking to Republicans at a National Republican Congressional Committee dinner on Monday, Trump tore into those lawmakers, saying they should "ashamed of themselves" for "helping the Democrats."
"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 during his speech, the Washington Post reported.
In fact, the scolding was so severe that Malliotakis, who was present in the room, was left "visibly shaken," a source told the New York Post.
"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," the Post's Juliegrace Brufke reported.
Malliotakis, a freshman lawmaker, has defended her decision to support the infrastructure bill, calling it "incredibly important" and explaining that it will greatly benefit her district.
She even rebuffed critical Republican lawmakers who claimed the bill advances a far-left or "socialist" spending agenda. In fact, Malliotakis told Fox News, "I read this bill and it is cover to cover infrastructure."
"I believe we significantly took away the leverage from the socialist squad," she explained. "It is why AOC and the others voted against it."
Republican leadership has remained quiet as caucus members attack those Republicans who supported the bill. Upton even received death threats for supporting the bill.
On the other hand, Senate Republicans — 19 of whom voted for the infrastructure package in August — have not attacked one another.
Author: Chris Enloe