WASHINGTON – House Democrats doubled-down on the label of “extreme MAGA Republicans” in Congress after heckles during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
“I’m confident that the overwhelming majority of the American people found that aggressive, childish, petulant behavior by the extreme MAGA Republicans who were yelling and screaming on the floor of the House… to be distasteful,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y. ) said at a press conference Thursday.
The heckler who received the most attention was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.). Greene shouted “Liar!” during the State of the Union in response to Biden’s statement that some members of her party want to sunset Medicare and Social Security benefits.
Greene defended her remarks, telling CNN on Wednesday that Biden “got exactly what he deserved,” and that she is “not sorry one bit.”
Jeffries declined to comment on whether McCarthy should have done more to shut down interruptions from Greene and her counterparts during the speech, but did reiterate that “behavior on the other side of the aisle” was “very disrespectful and unbecoming.”
Before the speech, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) asked that Biden not use the phrase “extreme MAGA Republicans” in his address. The President honored this request, but Jeffries invoked the phrase emphatically while fielding questions from reporters regarding the GOP’s focus in coming weeks, from the budget to the first hearing of the Committee on Weaponization. The committee, chaired by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), met Thursday to hear testimony asserting allegations of bias against conservatives in the Justice Department.
“Today, the so-called Committee on Weaponization, which is really just an extreme MAGA Republican subcommittee to obstruct justice, is again, going to convene focused on pedaling conspiracy theories and catering to the far-right wing fringe of America,” Jeffries noted.
On Thursday, Biden is expected to reassert that some Republicans are trying to phase out Social Security and Medicare by highlighting a proposal by Sen. Rick Scott that would sunset all federal legislation – including Social Security and Medicare – every five years and require Congress to approve all of them again. Biden is to speak at University of Tampa Thursday afternoon. The stage has signs reading: “Protect and Strengthen Medicare.”