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10 Things in Politics: 2 wild weeks in MTG’s district

I hope you had a great weekend. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics, your weekday look at the biggest stories in DC and beyond. Sign up here to receive this newsletter.

Send tips to [email protected] or tweet me at @BrentGriffiths.

Here’s what we’re talking about:

One thing to look out for today: President Joe Biden travels to FEMA headquarters to receive a briefing at 1:30 p.m. ET on the Atlantic hurricane season.


Georgia Republican Representative, Majorie Taylor Greene, wearing a 'Trump Won' face mask in front of a gray map of Georgia with the 14th district she represents highlighted in red and key cities Rome, Dalton, and Atlanta labeled on the map and a faded out capitol building in the background.

Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene of Georgia’s 14th District.

Washington Post/Getty; iStock; Skye Gould/Insider


1. ON THE ROAD: Talk to Republicans in her Georgia district, and many will tell you that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s antics are the point. She is, they say, something like the 14th District’s middle finger to Washington.

  • Key quote: “The people in our district knew exactly what they were getting,” said John Cowan, who lost to Greene in a Republican runoff there last year. “They have such a low view of Congress that they said, ‘Y’all deserve her.'”

Insider traversed Greene’s congressional district over two weeks earlier this month.

Here’s a peek at what my colleagues saw:

  • There’s a strong feeling that Greene’s actions are about sending a message: “I wholeheartedly believe that she’s a mouthpiece for us,” said Tyler Martin, a retail-store manager and GOP delegate for Whitfield County.
  • What’s happening behind the scenes: “Her short, tumultuous tenure in Congress has riven the local GOP, leading several party leaders to step down from their positions over her comportment and as her political team has sought to consolidate power.”

In an interview with Insider, Greene defended her approach: “They call it like the GOP civil war,” she said. “They talk about differences, but it’s really a small percentage of people that are trying to steer away from America First, steer away from President Trump, or steer away from that type of brand or like the MAGA movement.”

  • Speaking of that approach: Multiple House Republicans, especially those who voted to impeach Trump, called out Greene for her comparison of the mandate to wear masks on the House floor to the Holocaust. Greene doubled down over the weekend. Rep. Liz Cheney, who was ousted from party leadership, called it “evil lunacy.”

Roman Protasevich

The Belarus police detain the opposition journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk on Sunday. Belarus, Sunday,


AP Photo/Sergei Grits



2. US secretary of state slams Belarus for diverting a passenger plane to detain a journalist: Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined the European Union and Australia in condemning the strongman president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, after a military jet was sent to intercept a civilian plane traveling from Greece to Lithuania and force it to land in Minsk. Authorities there arrested Roman Protasevich, a dissident journalist known for his strong criticism of Lukashenko. More on the episode that European officials compared to a hijacking.


3. White House wants an infrastructure deal soon or it may cut loose: Biden will “change course” on his massive infrastructure plan if bipartisan inaction looks “inevitable,” the White House senior advisor Cedric Richmond said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” The White House lowered its price tag to $1.7 trillion on Friday in a counteroffer to Republicans, but Biden remains behind using corporate-tax hikes to pay for his plan, something GOP senior leaders have called their red line. More on where things stand.


4. Rise in antisemitic attacks prompts call for more forceful response: “Experts said that conflict in the Middle East has often sparked violence in the United States, but they are worried that the recent attacks were evidence of a worrisome trend that has been accelerated by the fighting in Israel and Gaza,” The Washington Post reports. Since May 10, at least 26 instances of antisemitism have been reported across the US, according to the Anti-Defamation League and news reports.


5. Memorial march held for George Floyd in Minnesota: Members of Floyd’s family, civil-rights leaders, and other families whose loved ones have been killed by police officers gathered Sunday ahead of the first anniversary of Floyd’s death, a moment that sparked the largest wave of civil-rights protests since the 1960s, the Star Tribune reports. “George Floyd is not going in history as a martyr,” the Rev. Al Sharpton told the crowd. “He’s going in history as a game changer. When you went down on his neck, you broke the neck of police misconduct in this country.”


congressional stock report lobbying federal government 4x3



Marianne Ayala/Insider


6. Lawmakers are trading these stocks: Republican Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina, who endured months of scrutiny over his trading, made a string of recent sales. He and his wife, Brooke Burr, sold up to $165,000 worth of stock in Enterprise Products Partners, a natural-gas and crude-oil pipeline company. Tia Balart, the wife of Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican of Florida, recently sold up to $100,000 worth of stock in the virtual healthcare provider MDLive.

Meanwhile, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wants to end this weekly round-up in a manner of speaking. Warren, a 2020 presidential candidate, is renewing her push to bar lawmakers and other top government officials from trading individual stocks. She told Insider she would reintroduce her bill later this session.


7. National Guard troops are reportedly set to leave the Capitol after nearly five months: One of the largest and longest deployments of troops to the US Capitol since soldiers periodically quartered in the halls during the Civil War is coming to an end. Guard troops’ mission ended Sunday, and they are expected to be leaving today.

Meet another top security official: Maj. Gen. William Walker, the House sergeant at arms, is the first Black man to hold that job. He previously spoke exclusively with Insider about his role.


8. The top things for your calendar this week: All times are Eastern, and all events are subject to change.

Tuesday:

  • Blinken testifies before Senate lawmakers about the State Department’s budget
  • Biden meets with members of Floyd’s family at the White House

Wednesday:

  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testifies before House lawmakers about his department’s budget

Thursday:

  • Biden travels to Cleveland to discuss the economy
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin testifies before House lawmakers about the Pentagon’s budget

Friday:

  • Biden’s budget is reportedly going to be released

9. SoftBank CEO joins call to cancel Tokyo Olympics: SoftBank’s billionaire founder, Masayoshi Son, the second-richest person in Japan, questioned on Twitter why the games wouldn’t be canceled or postponed again when a recent poll of Japanese people found “more than 80%” felt they should. Son questioned whether the Olympics would worsen the coronavirus outbreak in a country that has struggled with vaccinations.


Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson was mobbed by fans on Sunday before his win at the PGA Championship.

AP Photo/Matt York


10. ON YOUR LEFTY: Phil Mickelson turned in a performance for the ages on Sunday. At 50 years old, he became the oldest golfer to win one of the sport’s four major titles, holding back challengers to capture his second PGA Championship. “Phil defeats Father Time,” the play-by-play man Jim Nantz said.


Today’s trivia question: Who was the New York governor when the Brooklyn Bridge was dedicated on this day in 1883? President Chester A. Arthur was there as well. Email your guess and a suggested question to me at [email protected].


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