Pro-Trump lawmakers form caucus promoting ‘Anglo-Saxon political traditions’
Several House Republicans, led by Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.), are forming a caucus that calls for a “common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions.”
A policy platform for the group, which calls itself the America First Caucus, declares that “a certain intellectual boldness is needed” in order to “follow in President Trump’s footsteps, and potentially step on some toes and sacrifice sacred cows for the good of the American nation.”
The seven-page document, first obtained by Punchbowl News, is explicit in its nativist rhetoric and describes American culture as dominated by “Anglo-Saxon” and European influences.
“America is a nation with a border, and a culture, strengthened by a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions. History has shown that societal trust and political unity are threatened when foreign citizens are imported en-masse into a country, particularly without institutional support for assimilation and an expansive welfare state to bail them out should they fail to contribute positively to the country,” the platform states.
In a section describing its position on infrastructure, the caucus says it will “work towards an infrastructure that reflects the architectural, engineering and aesthetic value that befits the progeny of European architecture.”
It adds that public infrastructure “must be utilitarian as well as stunningly, classically beautiful, befitting a world power and source of freedom.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) appeared to criticize the new caucus in a Friday afternoon tweet, saying the GOP “is the party of Lincoln … not nativist dog whistles.”
America is built on the idea that we are all created equal and success is earned through honest, hard work. It isn’t built on identity, race, or religion.
The Republican Party is the party of Lincoln & the party of more opportunity for all Americans—not nativist dog whistles.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) April 16, 2021
Greene’s and Gosar’s offices didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill.
The two lawmakers have tied themselves closely to former President Trump and sparked controversy in the past for racist remarks or associations with white nationalists.
Before she began serving in Congress this year, Greene expressed racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic views in videos posted to Facebook. For example, she suggested that the 2018 midterm elections — in which Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (Mich.) became the first Muslim women elected to Congress — were part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.” Greene also went to Omar’s and Tlaib’s congressional offices and falsely claimed they were not legitimate members of Congress because they took the oath of office using the Quran instead of the Bible.
House Democrats and 11 Republicans voted in February to strip Greene of her committee assignments due to her rhetoric and endorsements of calls for violence against top Democrats.
That same month, Gosar spoke at a conference whose organizer has expressed white nationalist views.
It’s unclear how many other GOP lawmakers are planning to become members of the new caucus, but Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Friday told reporters on Capitol Hill that he is “looking at” joining the group.
When asked about the references to “Anglo-Saxon” influence, Gohmert said he “hadn’t seen that.”
“It’s not supposed to be about race at all,” Gohmert said.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said Friday that he is joining the caucus.
“We will end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers,” he tweeted.
The platform further states that lockdowns imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic should be discontinued and states should remove capacity restrictions at businesses.
“The America First Caucus will work to make sure we do not overreact to a pandemic in this same way again,” the platform states.
Another key position held by the caucus is support for increasing voting restrictions, in line with GOP legislatures around the country passing such measures in response to Trump’s false claims of widespread election fraud in 2020.
The caucus calls for an end to voting by mail, implementing a national voter ID law and “substantive investigations into mass voter fraud perpetrated during the 2020 election.”
Democrats swiftly condemned the newly formed caucus and its stated positions.
“As an immigrant, I served on active duty in the US military to defend your right to say stupid stuff. What makes America great is that we don’t judge you based on bloodline, we look at your character,” Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) wrote in a tweet, tagging Greene and Gosar.
“So take your nativist crap and shove it,” Lieu added.
Scott Wong contributed. Updated 5:41 p.m.
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