The discordant divisions of the Republican Party return to the center of attention

House Republicans are pushing for retaliation against 13 of their fellow Republicans who voted for a bill to fix roads and bridges. At the same time, they defend Rep. Paul gosarPaul Anthony GosarHillicon Valley – Presented by Ericsson – Oversight Says ‘Little Lapses’ Led to House Voting Wednesday to Censor Gosar, Remove Him from Committees Gosar Defends Ocasio-Cortez Anime Video Before Republican Party MORE (R-Ariz.), A loyalist to the former President TrumpDonald Trump Biden sends 2016 climate treaty to Senate for ratification US and China ease restrictions on journalists Americans continue to spend MORE who tweeted an anime video depicting him killing a fellow Democrat.

That jarring contrast was shown during a bizarre closed-door Republican conference meeting Tuesday that highlighted the deep divisions that continue to exist between the party’s pro-Trump and anti-Trump factions, 10 months after the deadly Jan.6 assault on The capitol.

The divisions don’t appear to be narrowing either, pointing to the challenges the Republican Party could face in ruling the House if they manage to regain a majority in next fall’s midterm elections.

At the private meeting in the basement of the Capitol, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyHouse to vote Wednesday to censor Gosar, remove him from committees Gosar defends Ocasio-Cortez anime video to Republican Party Trump allies target Katko for infrastructure vote MORE (R-Calif.) He warned his grassroots Republicans that they need to stick together and unite, not attack each other as they are focused on defeating Democrats, sources in the room said.

That message was primarily aimed at Trump allies who have demanded that the 13 Republicans be stripped of their committee assignments for handing Biden a major bipartisan victory in the $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package. Trump has called Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill “RINOs, sold and known losers.”

McCarthy also told his members that Gosar had removed the anime video of him murdering progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (DN.Y.) and brandishing swords at President BidenJoe Biden Idaho House of Representatives Passes Workers’ Compensation Bill Biden Submits 2016 Climate Treaty to Senate for Ratification Rubio Pledges to Delay Biden’s China and Spain Ambassador Candidates MORE, and told him in a phone call that he did not intend to promote violence.

McCarthy said he accepted the apology and argued that Democrats do not punish their members for making offensive comments.

McCarthy “was doing what was necessary as a leader to keep the conference together and keep it focused on the future and not on each other or individual votes,” said Rep. David joyceDavid Joyce Reforming Marijuana Laws Before the Holidays: A Three-Part Approach Bipartisan Lawmakers Highlight Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health and Addiction The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Facebook – Democrats Await Manchin’s Decision on the voting rights bill MORE (R-Ohio), who attended the meeting, told The Hill.

But the peace within the Republican Party was short-lived. Moments later, Representative Dan Bishop (RN.C.), a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus aligned with Trump, tabled a motion to overthrow the New York representative. John katkoJohn Michael KatkoHouse Will Vote Wednesday To Censor Gosar From Committees Trump Allies Target Katko Over Infrastructure Vote Centrist Republicans Face Increased Attacks From Their Own Party MORE as the top Republican on the National Security Committee. Bishop, usually not known for making news, serves under Katko on the Homeland panel.

McCarthy quickly referred the motion to the GOP Steering Committee, an influential panel dominated by McCarthy’s allies that could vote to forward Bishop’s motion to the 213-member Republican conference or, more likely, put it forward and ignore it.

When asked after the meeting if Katko should be removed from office, McCarthy told The Hill: “We have a very busy week.”

Later, in the closed-door meeting, McCarthy had to deal with another Freedom Caucus issue. He got into an irritable exchange with Rep. Chip royCharles (Chip) Eugene Roy Overnight Health Care – Presented by Rare Access Action Project – White House unaffected by ruling mandate Republican says Republican Party should block government funding on vaccine mandates Early redistribution plans show long-term GOP downsizing MORE (R-Texas), who complained to the leader that Republican voters are furious with him because 13 of his Republican colleagues voted for Biden’s infrastructure plan. McCarthy responded by saying that he personally had to defend some controversial votes that Roy has taken.

“Name one! Name one!” Roy yelled at McCarthy, according to a source who saw the heated exchange.

Tuesday’s messy conference meeting clearly encapsulated the tightrope that McCarthy is walking in his quest to bring his party back to the majority and win the president’s gavel: To capture the top job, he must remain in good will. Trump and win the support of at least some members of his Freedom Caucus acolytes, while at the same time not alienating indecisive district moderates like Katko, who will be key to a Republican majority.

“I believe [Katko’s] a democrat. I don’t think the leadership should vote against the majority of the conference, ”said Rep. Lauren boebertLauren BoebertMeadows is in the growing spotlight of January 6 panel Jimmy Kimmel responds to Lauren Boebert calling it a ‘sexist pig’ Video showing violence removed from Rep Gosar’s account after pushback (R-Colo.), Member of the Freedom Caucus and vocal ally of Trump. “The ‘Biden 13’ must be primary.”

But other Republicans, including those who voted against the infrastructure bill, defended Katko, saying she represents a district in a blue state that favored Biden over Trump by 9 points. Katko was also one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 attack, and negotiated a deal with Democrats to create a September 11-style commission to investigate a pro-mob insurrection. -Trump.

“Katko represents a very difficult district. He does everything he can to win. And I think he does the best he can to represent his district in the most effective way possible, ”said Rep. David valadaoDavid Goncalves ValadaoTrump Allies Target Katko Over Infrastructure Vote Two House Democrats To Stand Down Before Challenging Midterm Elections California State Assemblyman Salas Launches Bid Against Valadao MORE (R-Calif.), An ally of Katko and McCarthy, told The Hill.

“It’s always a situation where we have to vote for what we think is right for our districts,” Valadao added. “And if you look at the entire northeast, it’s just a different population. I don’t know John’s district very well, but I think he does what he thinks is best. “

The Republican divide may reappear Wednesday when the House votes to censor Gosar, another member of the Freedom Caucus. Two Republican lawmakers have said they could back censorship of Gosar, and some others may join them.

Katko and some of the twelve other Republicans who backed Biden’s infrastructure package, including representatives. Fred uptonFrederick (Fred) Stephen Upton Trump’s Allies Target Katko for Infrastructure Vote Reducing House Ethics Wars? The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by ExxonMobil – Will Biden’s Big Bill Pass the House this Week? PLUS (R-Mich.) AND Adam kinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerHouse will vote Wednesday to censor Gosar, remove him from committees Gosar defends Ocasio-Cortez anime video to Republican Party Trump allies target Katko for infrastructure vote MORE (R-Ill.), They have received death threats and other threats of violence.

But Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), One of 13, said he has no regrets about his vote, saying he kept his campaign promises and that roads and bridges are popular in his district. And he praised McCarthy for trying to quell the Republican Party infighting in the room.

McCarthy was “trying to take the pressure off the room a little bit. I think he’s trying to be tactically smart and just let the pressure off, ”Bacon said. “I think he would have liked us to vote the other way around; that was clear. But his message is correct: we must focus on the [Democrats’ reconciliation] vote this week and in 2022 “.

After months of headlines about Democratic dysfunction over its massive $ 1.75 trillion climate and social spending bill, party leaders were delighted to talk about the Republican intraparty war.

“The Republican House Conference is all about chaos, crisis, confusion, corruption, and controversy. They are trying to sanction members and strip them from committees, not because of outrageous violent threats, but because they supported … a bipartisan infrastructure agreement that will make a positive difference in the lives of everyday Americans, ”said the President of the Democratic Caucus. Hakeem jeffriesHakeem Sekou Jeffries Democrats optimistic they will make it to the finish line this week Hoyer: Vote for the .75T spending package probably Thursday or Friday The CBC-led Black Men and Boys Social Status Commission has its first meeting MORE (DN.Y.) told reporters.

“This is what the House Republican Conference under the leadership of Kevin McCarthy is all about right now – they are out of control.”

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