Former President Donald Trump privately criticized on Monday night the 13 Republicans who voted to pass the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, questioning why they would give President Joe Biden a win when he’s struggling in the polls, according to a GOP source.
His comments came a day after he publicly lambasted the House and Senate Republicans who voted for the legislation, including Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell.
“Very sad that the RINOs in the House and Senate gave Biden and Democrats a victory on the “Non-Infrastructure” Bill,” said Trump in a statement on Sunday. “All Republicans who voted for Democrat longevity should be ashamed of themselves, in particular Mitch McConnell, for granting a two month stay which allowed the Democrats time to work things out at our Country’s, and the Republican Party’s, expense!”
Some conservative House Republicans have also discussed retaliating against their colleagues by booting them from their committee spots, although that effort faces little chance of succeeding. The 13 House Republicans who voted for the legislation last week are: Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon; Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick; New York Reps. Andrew Gabarino, John Katko, Nicole Malliotakis and Tom Reed; Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, West Virginia Rep. David McKinley; New Jersey Reps. Chris Smith and Jeff Van Drew; Michigan Rep. Fred Upton and Alaska Rep. Don Young.
The blowback on the right has been intense. Upton said on Monday that he received a threatening voicemail after voting for the bill. On CNN’s “AC360”, Upton shared a message from a caller who said, “I hope you die. I hope everybody in your f**king family dies.”
Several Republican sources said that only a handful of the most conservative members are pushing to strip the members from their committee assignments. Even so, there has been a lot of criticism directed toward Katko, the ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee.
The New York congressman voted for the infrastructure bill early during Friday night’s roll-call vote, before Democrats reached 218 votes, while some others waited until the Democrats reached the threshold before casting their affirmative votes.
“In my view, there’s a difference between the ones who broke their word to the whip and voted ‘yes’ before they reached 218 and those that kept their word and waited,” one House Republican member said. “Katko is the worst offender.”
Some conservatives have publicly taken aim at Katko, a moderate Republican who was one of the 10 who voted to impeach Trump over inciting the January 6 insurrection.
Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida singled out several of Katko’s votes and said in a tweet: “He is the GOP lead on the Homeland Security Committee, with support from ‘Leadership.’”
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy has helped fundraise for Katko and even urged Trump not endorse a primary challenger to the New Yorker.
A Katko spokesperson could not be immediately reached for comment on the criticism.