The office of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), who is currently embroiled in a massive sex scandal, released a statement signed by “the women” of the office defending the congressman, but it does not list any names of the purported women.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking laws and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, as The New York Times first reported last week. The congressman has repeatedly denied the allegations and has not been charged in the investigation.
“After the shocking allegations last week in the press, we, the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office, feel morally obligated to speak out,” read the statement, signed by “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz”.
“During Congressman Gaetz’s time in office, we have been behind the scenes every step of the way,” it continued. “We have staffed his meetings. We have planned his events. We have traveled with him. And we have tracked his schedule. On every occasion he has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false.”
In Gaetz’s office, the statement also said, “women are not only respected, but have been encouraged time and time again to grow, achieve more, and ultimately, know our value.”
“Congressman Gaetz will continue to lead by example and stand for the people of America who have been maligned by the liberal elite. And we will stand with him,” the statement said at its conclusion. “While we recognize the scrutiny we will face for making this decision, we take comfort in the hope that more Americans and elected officials will stand up and refuse to remain silent.”
According to Insider, Gaetz’s office told the news outlet that his whole staff backed the statement, including “all 8 women staffers.”
Last week’s revelation from The Times has also spurred more allegations against the Florida Republican, such as a CNN report which cites multiple sources claiming that Gaetz would brag about his sexual exploits to fellow lawmakers and show off to them, even on the House floor, pictures and videos of nude women he had slept with. There is no indication, however, that the behavior from this report is connected in any way to the investigation.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’
On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.
The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.
Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.
“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”
“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”
While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.
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