tags: Press Releases

McCarthy Ignores GOP Incitement of White Nationalist Violence Because He Needs Votes for an Anti-Immigrant Fundraising Bill

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Washington, DC –  Despite being a top priority, Speaker McCarthy is struggling to bring the GOP House anti-immigrant legislation to the floor. The problem for McCarthy is that their bill, H.R. 2, is not a serious policy proposal but all politics. McCarthy runs the risk of looking completely feckless if he cannot strike the winning balance between the economic need for immigrants felt by a small contingent of GOP members of his conference and the opposition to immigration in any form expressed by others in the GOP conference. And as he tries to navigate his slim majority to pass what will amount to a fundraising and messaging bill, McCarthy is ignoring the all but explicit calls for white nationalist violence from some GOP Members, like Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and putting his battleground members at risk for supporting an extremist bill that does nothing to provide solutions. This week, McCarthy is:

  • Ignoring calls for white nationalist violence: As America’s Voice has noted, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) took to Twitter this week to make an all but explicit call for more mass political violence while echoing the great replacement conspiracy theory. And in response, there is nothing but silence from McCarthy for a Member he returned committee assignments to after Gosar was removed from committee assignments in 2021 after sharing a video showing him appearing to kill Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and attack President Joe Biden. In 2019, then GOP Minority Leader McCarthy removed then Rep. Steve King (R-IA) from his committee assignments because of his use of white nationalist language, with McCarthy saying at the time, “That is not the party of Lincoln and it’s definitely not American.” Now, even white nationalist calls for violence can apparently be ignored by McCarthy. And Gosar is not alone in his rhetoric, America’s Voice has identified 16 other members of Congress who have peddled the great replacement conspiracy theory already this week as they fearmonger about the end of Title 42 and promote H.R.2. (Read more in Gabe Ortiz’s new blog “When Will Kevin McCarthy Ever Again Stand Up to the White Nationalists in his GOP Caucus?”)
  • Pushing H.R. 2 legislation – an extreme, cruel, and unworkable fundraising stunt: The House GOP’s legislative vision is a grab-bag of cruel, unworkable and extreme policies that would add more chaos and dysfunction to an already broken immigration system rather than advancing serious and popular solutions. Instead, H.R. 2 is designed for campaign fundraising emails, political stunts, and partisan talking points. The legislation is the kind of anti-immigrant extremism that makes Stephen Miller giddy and receives vocal support from hate groups, including FAIR. The GOP bill would gut asylum, increase child and family detention, and create a show-me-your-papers scenario in the midst of future natural disaster relief efforts. Beyond cruelty, there are no solutions in the bill. The centerpiece is, again, Trump’s wasteful and ineffective wall. Meanwhile, the GOP legislation would destroy legal pathways including parole programs that create new legal pathways to the U.S. that alleviate pressures at the border. (Read our more detailed take on H.R. 2, here.)
  • Forcing battleground members to decide whether to empower the extremists and obstructionists: The House GOP’s slim majority and unclear support means all eyes are now on a dozen Republicans who represent districts won by President Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election or have sought to publicly portray themselves as voices concerned with actually trying to solve challenges. Battleground Republicans like David Valadao (CA-22), Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06), Mike Lawler (NY-17), Monica de la Cruz (TX-15), John Duarte (CA-13), Marc Molinaro (NY-19 ), Tom Kean (NJ-07), Jen Kiggans (VA-02), Don Bacon (NE-02), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) and Republicans like María Elvira Salazar (FL-22) and Tony Gonzales (TX-23). These members have to ask if they will stand up or empower the extremists and obstructionists in their party or if they will go along with whatever Speaker McCarthy puts in front of them. 

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director at America’s Voice:

“For Speaker McCarthy, it appears that the title of Speaker of the House was always more important to him than what is best for our country and his fellow Americans. The gavel is now in his hand, but McCarthy is damningly silent as members of his GOP conference actively incite violence and fearmonger. 

The list keeps on growing, Buffalo, El Paso, Pittsburg, Charlottesville, and even after the horrific acts of violence in Texas over the weekend, Republicans at the highest levels continue to stoke division and fear and incite their followers to take action.

GOP battleground members have an opportunity to stand up to the dangerous extremism that seeks to dehumanize migrants for selfish political gain and reject their party’s demonization of immigrants and stop H.R.2 by demanding that Congress take up serious legislative action to bring forth real reforms to our broken immigration system.”