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New Front In The Congressional Republican Civil War Opens: Gun Nuttery

Yesterday an old friend of mine called. He has a new job as head of a coalition of progressive groups and he is going to Washington to talk about efforts to combat the Climate Crisis and he wanted to talk about members who might be receptive to a strong Climate agenda. After we talked about people who are already fully committed, like Ted Lieu, AOC, Pramila, Cori Bush, Jeff Merkley, we talked about the freshmen he needed to talk with. And then I asked if he had thought about talking with any Republicans. He laughed and asked who. I said there is one guy who might be receptive, Brian Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick is the Republican most open to progressive legislation. In fact, at this point he is the only Republican open to progressive legislation. Funny; there are about 15 House Democrats open to Republican legislation but just 1 Republican willing to cross the aisle in the other direction!

Anyway, apparently I’m not the only one who has noticed. The gun nut lobbyists are out for his scalp— and are demanding that McCarthy throw him overboard. It will be interesting to see how the weakest and most spineless Speaker of the House handles the challenge. Yesterday, the Washington Examiner reported that the American Firearms Association made a bogus point to McCarthy about why he should cut Fitzpatrick off from GOP money. Patrick Parsons, a former Marjorie Traitor Greene chief of staff executive and current crackpot and executive vice president of the organization, told McCarthy that Pelsoi “would never let one of her members co-sponsor a bill on a core issue to her constituency with 181 Republicans. Never." What a joke. I guess he’s never heard of the Blue Dogs and has never seen conservative Democrats, like Henry Cuellar helping the GOP not just with NRA-priorities but even with anti-Choice bills! And Nancy Pelosi and her lieutenants killed the chance to replace Cuellar with a progressive woman.

Last June, Fitzpatrick was one of 5 Republicans to vote for legislation that “cracked down on the sale of semi-automatic firearms for people under 21 and established stricter regulatory frameworks for ghost guns without serial numbers.” Parsons is trying top pressure McCarthy to pull out of hosting a fundraiser for Fitzpatrick in 2 weeks. He told The Examiner that "Not only does Speaker McCarthy say nothing about this. In fact, he's going to hold a fundraiser for this guy with every D.C. swamp lobbyist in Washington, D.C.

Parsons previously said in a video posted to Twitter that his frustrations with McCarthy also stem from his belief that the speaker has done nothing since Republicans took the House to protect gun rights.
While the AFA is followed by tens of thousands of users on social media, the executive vice president of the gun rights group would not disclose its number of members. The group bills itself as America's "never-compromising" and "hardest hitting" defender of the Second Amendment.
Meanwhile, the 5.5 million-member National Rifle Association released a statement upholding its support of House GOP leadership in light of accusations that McCarthy is not doing enough for the Second Amendment.
“The House Republican leadership has made clear that protecting the Second Amendment is a pillar of their agenda," an NRA spokeswoman told the Washington Examiner. "We are confident in their governance not only by the commitments they have made but also by looking at their records over the last four years."
The NRA was also supportive of a new bill backed by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to codify key Second Amendment decisions by the Supreme Court over the past three decades. However, a separate organization known as the Gun Owners of America withheld support of the bill, known as the Respect for the Second Amendment Act.
One reason GOA's federal affairs director, Aidan Johnston, cited for not supporting the codification law was that it uses an "entirely different test" than the one the Supreme Court established last year in its 6-3 decision that significantly curtailed states' ability to restrict citizens' right to carry firearms in public for self-defense.
Johnston, who has been critical of Republican lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who voted for the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, did not raise qualms with McCarthy's leadership surrounding the Second Amendment but reaffirmed his belief that lawmakers like McConnell and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) "have a long way to go before" regaining the good graces of gun owners.
Last August in Texas, Cornyn was censured by the Collin County Republican Party over his support of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act and other actions the local chapter believed ran afoul of the values of the GOP.


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