Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Wednesday delivered an impassioned defense of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who spent much of the afternoon beating back claims from Republican senators who said his Department of Justice was persecuting conservative parents.
During the hearing, Garland defended his decision to have the DOJ investigate violent threats made against school board members, even as Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Tom Cotton (R-AK), and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) all took turns accusing him of unleashing the FBI against innocent parents.
Booker, however, brought receipts with him and started reading them off.
“In Texas, a parent physically assaulted a teacher,” he began. “In Pennsylvania, a person posted threats on social media which required police to station outside of a school district… I can keep going: Ohio, a school board member was threatening a letter with, ‘We are coming for you.'”
Booker then read Garland’s original letter in which he specified that he was only investigating violent threats made against school officials, and not angry remarks made during school board meetings.
“If someone was to read the actual letter, you are literally saying as the leader of the highest law enforcement in the land, that you protect spirited debate!” Booker said.
Watch the video below.
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Every House Republican But One Just Voted to Shut Down the Federal Government
212 House Republicans – all who voted but one – voted to shut down the entire federal government Thursday evening. It was an act that would have massive implications for many Americans, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, amid the emergence of a new variant, and as the holiday travel season quickly approaches.
The continuing resolution passed 221-212 thanks solely to Democrats and Republican Adam Kinzinger.
U.S. House PASSES CR funding government through February 18, 2022, 221-212.
Goes now to the U.S. Senate.
Current spending authority expires Friday at Midnight ET. pic.twitter.com/HGANxhoOCF
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 2, 2021
Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia “was speaking for virtually her entire conference,” Axios reporter Andrew Solender said in a tweet, when she demanded, “shut it down.”
“This government should be shut down,” Greene angrily cried . “Do not pass this CR. Shut it down.”
“Because the people in here cannot control themselves,” she continued, claiming they “don’t understand how to balance a checkbook.”
The crisis is not yet over. The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate, where a small group of Republicans, and currently it appears Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin, are demanding Democrats “defund” President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate.
Watch: Marjorie Taylor Greene Calls for Government Shutdown Because ‘The People in Here Cannot Control Themselves’
Congress has about 30 hours to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to allow the federal government to stay open past Friday midnight. And while nearly everyone is on board, from President Joe Biden to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and even Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, some powerful members of Congress are trying to prevent the CR from passing.
They include Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee and Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who oppose vaccine mandates and are trying to include an amendment to “defund” President Biden’s executive order.
And then there’s Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who just wants to shut it down.
Literally, those were her words: “shut it down.”
“This government should be shut down,” Greene said minutes ago on the House floor, as Punchbowl News’ Jake Sherman reports. “Do not pass this CR. Shut it down.”
Why is Greene demanding a full federal government shutdown?
“Because the people in here cannot control themselves,” declared Greene, who was stripped of all her committee assignments almost immediately upon being sworn in to Congress. “The people in here don’t understand how to balance a checkbook.”
“This government should be shut down.”
— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) rails against the national debt and endorses a government shutdown. pic.twitter.com/NhP7aFOObl
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2021
According to information from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shutting down the federal government could force TSA and air traffic controllers to work without pay, and could halt new applications for federal assistance like Medicare, and halt EPA and FDA inspections – possibly leading to massive illness on top of the coronavirus pandemic, amid the emergence of the new omicron variant.
That’s just for starters.
New mortgage and loan approvals could be halted as the IRS would be unable to verify Social Security numbers, and people who receive food stamps could lose that vital source of funds.
Joe Manchin Appears to Be Siding With Republicans Who Are Pushing to Shut Down the Government Over Vaccine Mandates
‘Quickly Turning Into a Joe Manchin Rodeo’
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is being described as the necessary and “most likely” the “51st vote” for shutting down the federal government over President Joe Biden’s vaccine “mandate.” Republicans, especially Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, are working to pass an amendment that would ban vaccine mandates nationwide, in exchange for voting to keep the federal government open, just weeks before Christmas.
Sen. Mike Lee, a far right pro-Trump Christian conservative from Utah, “wants an amendment to strip money from vax mandates at 50-vote threshold.” says Punchbowl News co-founder Jake Sherman. “If he gets it, he’ll consent to speed up proceedings, which would likely — almost certainly — avoid a shutdown.”
If he doesn’t, it’s possible the federal government could shut down on Friday.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) joins the growing list of Republicans who are calling to shut down the government over vaccine-or-testing mandates. pic.twitter.com/ffMddGpT1A
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2021
The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis says “as with most things round these parts, this is quickly turning into a Joe Manchin rodeo.”
CNN’s Manu Raju adds that Sen. Manchin “doesn’t rule out supporting [an] amendment to DEFUND vaccine mandate on businesses. This is why Republican Sens. Marshall and Lee are demanding a 51-vote threshold. Says he backs mandate on feds but tells us he’s ‘less enthused’ with business mandate.”
At CNN Raju and other reporters explain the situation:
Key negotiators from both parties announced a plan Thursday morning that would keep the federal government funded, but due to Senate rules governing procedure, all 100 senators would need to agree in order to quickly pass the plan before Friday, and a handful of GOP senators are standing by their threats to delay the process over the vaccine rules.
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