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13 Republicans face backlash for backing infrastructure bill

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13 Republicans face backlash for backing infrastructure bill

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It seems their supporters have listened.

A vast majority of the threatening phone calls to the offices of the 13 House Republicans were made by voters outside the districts of the targeted lawmakers, according to several congressional aides who described the calls on condition of anonymity as they were not. allowed to comment publicly.

And while Ms. Malliotakis’ Washington office received a litany of insulting and angry phone calls, a majority of callers at her Staten Island district office supported her vote, a spokeswoman said. (In an interview with CNN this week, Ms Malliotakis credited Mr Trump with laying the groundwork for passing the bill, noting that the former president had often spoken of the need for major legislation on public works, but not to mention how he exploded several attempts to get a bipartisan agreement on such a measure.)

According to assistants, many angry appeals are driven by various misunderstandings about the content of the infrastructure bill. Citing complaints about it, they say, an overwhelming majority of appellants challenged provisions in the separate social policy bill that Republicans have consistently opposed – not the infrastructure bill.

Attempts by congressional advisers to explain that the criticized programs are not actually contained in the infrastructure bill have been ignored by callers, whose main concern appears to be their fury that a Republican voted for a bill. law defended by Mr. Biden.

The exchanges were particularly brutal for young, low-level staff who are tasked with handling voter appeals and were called a series of epithets by angry callers, according to assistants. Such coarse, if not violent, language from callers has become more common for congressional offices in recent years, but it has been particularly shocking given the topic at hand: an infrastructure bill that will distribute the money. federal government across the country to repair roads, bridges and tunnels and expand high-speed Internet access.

“Getting only 13 votes from the House was very sad,” said Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, Democrat of Oregon and chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, referring to Republican support for the bill. “But have these people attacked for doing the right thing for the United States of America and the voters of everyone else?” “

The anger could have damaging political consequences for House Republicans, whose ranks include both far-right lawmakers who demand the total obstruction of Mr. Biden’s agenda and those willing to agree to bipartisan deals for the benefit of their constituents.

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