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Horowitz: Thanks to Trump endorsement, anti-Trump RINO to become top House committee chair

Op-ed
Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

The most important benefit of winning back the House is the ability to write budgets and block Biden’s budget. It all comes down to the power of the purse. Yet thanks to Trump endorsing Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) over her conservative challenger during a 2020 primary, she remains in Congress and is slated to become the chair of the House Appropriations Committee.

With just a 51% Liberty Score, Granger, a 25-year incumbent from Tarrant County, Texas, is one of the most liberal and out-of-touch Republicans in the House. Her pro-life credentials are dubious, and she called on Trump to drop out of the race in 2016. During Trump’s presidency, she accused the former president of “tear[ing] apart families” at the border, as if the illegal aliens, not the American people, were the victims of the border crisis. She is everything that is wrong with the old GOP, yet now she will become the chief appropriator of the new GOP Congress.

It didn’t have to be this way. Granger was challenged by Colleyville City Councilman Chris Putnam, whom I personally endorsed, in the March 2020 primary. Unlike most primary challengers, Putnam raised a respectable amount of money, and polls showed him leading Granger early on. Yet Donald Trump inexplicably endorsed Granger ahead of the primary, and her fortunes flipped. Trump’s ally, Kevin McCarthy, also spent $1.5 million in negative ads against Putnam. Granger won 58%-42%, and now she remains as one of the most powerful members of the House. With Trump on the ballot in 2020 and endorsing nearly every single incumbent, it was the first cycle in a while in which all incumbents won their primaries.

After Granger stabbed Trump in the back the first time and then received an endorsement, she immediately stabbed him in the back again – just as Mitt Romney did following his Trump endorsement. Granger was the very first person to call for a bipartisan committee on Jan. 6 that has now led to the persecution of people who never committed a crime and merely advocated that state legislatures have the final say in the selection of electors. She was the first Republican to tell Trump to “move on” following the 2020 election. On Jan. 14, 2021, Granger was one of four Republicans who was absent and did not cast a vote on the House impeachment of Trump because she tested positive for COVID. However, the other three clarified that they would have voted no, while Granger conveniently remained silent.

Think about it: One of the most important things the GOP House can do is defund the U.S. attorney’s office in D.C. and the FBI’s persecution of people who never committed violent crimes on Jan. 6., yet the chief appropriator believes in all of the disproven Democrat talking points about what happened that day. In fact, she believes in the Democrat talking points on every issue that matters.

Putnam, her opponent, was an early Trump supporter, but like so many of his most ardent supporters, he was shafted by the man himself, who almost appears to have a Stockholm syndrome for those who hate him. For all the talk about Trump being vindictive toward disloyalty and awarding loyalty, that only seems to apply to conservatives like Ron DeSantis. He had no problem carpet-bombing his own supporters with devastating consequences we are still living with today.

For example, while conservatives worked tirelessly to remove Kevin McCarthy from leadership, Trump endorsed him, and when he did so, many other prominent conservatives who agreed to attack McConnell held their fire on McCarthy. In response, McCarthy reciprocated the kindness by declining to affirm support for Trump’s new bid for the presidency last week.

So here we are, stuck with the same subversive House and Senate leadership people who do not share our values. Most of the committee chairs are also cut from the same cloth. The only Texas Republican with a lower liberty score than Granger is Michael McCaul (47%), who will be the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Trump was elevated by the base to drain the swamp, but with the exception of a few individuals who made it a personal vendetta against him, Trump not only declined to go after the swampy Republicans but endorsed against his most ardent supports and is still doing so even to this day. We are now paying for it, because nearly every Republican in power who failed us before and during the Trump presidency is still in control. Perhaps Granger herself was right about moving on from Trump after all.
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