CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Wednesday accused a Republican congressman who lost both his legs while serving in the military of not having a “commitment to democracy in America” for voting against impeaching President Donald Trump.
While talking about the then-ongoing House impeachment proceedings and Republican opposition on Wednesday with Dana Bash on “CNN Newsroom,” Tapper touched on Rep. Brian Mast’s (R-Fla.) “nay” vote.
“Congressman Brian Mast a Republican from Florida, who lost his legs, by the way, fighting for democracy abroad, although I don’t know about his commitment to it here in the United States,” the recently promoted Tapper told Bash.
Wednesday evening, after the House had voted in favor of the single article of impeachment, Mast shot back at Tapper and defended questioning the 2020 presidential election.
“I lost two legs for @jaketapper’s right to say whatever the hell he wants,” the Florida congressman tweeted, “but that free speech also protects the Republicans he is so eager to condemn for asking Constitutional questions about the election.”
Tapper replied to Mast’s tweet soon after and called him a “hero” but did not apologize for his comments.
“You’re a hero for your service and I’m grateful, as I’ve said before,” Tapper wrote. “And yes i question the commitment to democracy of anyone who spread election lies, signed onto that deranged TX AG lawsuit, and voted to commit sedition. You were not just asking questions.”
On Thursday, Tapper further doubled down on his criticism of Mast when responding to a tweet from Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.) blasting the news anchor for his remarks about Mast and calling him “a disgrace.”
“I question the patriotism of anyone who spreads election lies, signs on to a mendacious Supreme Court lawsuit, and votes to disenfranchise millions of voters — including your own!! — especially with blood on the floor after a terrorist attack,” Tapper tweeted Thursday morning in a thread. “You betrayed your own voters.”
“No one needs a lecture on integrity from a congressman who repeatedly pushed to disenfranchise his own constituents in service to a losing president’s fragile ego,” the host of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper” continued.
“Trump has succeeded in turning not only opposition to facts and decency into principles his loyal factotums adhere to, but opposition to democracy itself,” Tapper added. “Clear eyes here, folks.”
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
NY Lawmakers want to tax tech giants to get $500M to fund unemployment benefits for illegal migrants
New York lawmakers are debating over a proposed Democratic initiative that would pave the way for a multibillion-dollar fund designed to provide unemployment benefits for illegal immigrants. Spearheaded by state Senator Jessica Ramos, a Queens Democrat, the proposal has ignited passionate discussions within the Senate Finance Committee, where it currently awaits further deliberation.
The Center Square reports the proposal would utilize a $500 million trust fund earmarked specifically to offer jobless benefits for individuals who find themselves ineligible for traditional unemployment payments and other public assistance programs. To finance this ambitious endeavor, proponents of the plan are advocating for the imposition of a novel tax targeting tech behemoths like Google and Amazon. This tax, aimed at digital advertising revenue, is projected to generate hundreds of millions of dollars to sustain the fund.
Ramos has alluded to her belief that migrants are a fundamental contribution to the state’s economy. Despite their authorization to work, payment of taxes, and active involvement in the labor force, undocumented immigrants face a glaring disparity—they are excluded from accessing vital safety nets like unemployment benefits if they lose their jobs.
In a social media post, Ramos cited the expiration of federal unemployment insurance for freelancers and the depletion of the Excluded Workers Fund. She argues vehemently for a safety net aligned with the evolving dynamics of the labor market, one that extends support to all workers, regardless of their immigration status.
The proposed fund, aptly named the Unemployment Bridge Program, outlines comprehensive eligibility criteria encompassing a spectrum of marginalized workers—from undocumented migrants to freelancers and individuals recently released from incarceration or immigrant detention. By establishing clear guidelines and procedures, the program endeavors to streamline the application process, ensuring equitable access to unemployment benefits for those in need.
The initiative comes in the wake of prolonged deliberations regarding jobless benefits for undocumented immigrants and nontraditional workers in New York. Amid the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state previously allocated $2.1 billion to the Excluded Workers Fund, offering a lifeline to those excluded from conventional unemployment benefits.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2025 underscores a commitment to supporting asylum seekers, with significant allocations directed towards housing and legal assistance. The proposal has met with opposition from Republicans, who argue for prioritizing legal residents and taxpayers in the allocation of state resources. Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt contends that limited resources should be reserved exclusively for those who have contributed to the state’s tax base.
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