Senate Republicans are expressing dismay, shock, and disbelief at House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s inexplicable loyalty to Donald Trump, allowing conservative allies of the former President Trump in the House to threaten their colleagues who voted for the $1 trillion infrastructure bill.
A report by The Hill highlights the reactions of Republican senators to a motion filed in the House to remove Rep. John Katko (N.Y.) from his position as the top-ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee” because of his vote for the Democratic legislation.
The Republican senators are warning that taking such a drastic step against fellow Republicans over a good-faith policy disagreement “would be foolish and dangerous to the long-term health of the party.”
Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), who was one of 19 Senate Republicans who voted for the infrastructure legislation, said House Republicans talk about stripping Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill of their committee seats.
“That’s absolutely nuts,” Romney said, according to The Hill. “The infrastructure bill was bipartisan. It was voted for by Mitch McConnell and Republicans were smart to support it,” insisted Romney.
Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.), the top-ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, called the threatened retaliation against House Republicans “draconian.”
Shelby, who voted against the legislation in August, said he’d never heard talk about stripping a lawmaker of a committee assignment because of how he or she cast a vote on a particular piece of legislation.
Another Senate Republican who voted for the infrastructure bill called talk of meting out punishment against House colleagues who voted for the bill “ridiculous.”
“That’s utterly, utterly ridiculous, and McCarthy ought to squelch that,” the lawmaker said. “They don’t have caucus discipline.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his vote for the infrastructure bill saying: “From my Kentucky point of view, it was extremely good for our state. I’m proud of my vote,” he said.
As noted by The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, “while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has created something of a bulwark against Trump’s complete takeover of the Republican Party, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has made public shows of loyalty to the former president and done little to rein in the most rambunctious and provocative pro-Trump conservatives in his conference.”