BIG NEWS: July 12-16

It’s July 16, and it’s Greta here with some Big News about young politicians who made the headlines this week!

Chanikarn Thongsupa

LBJ Library

Brendan Smialowski, Agence France-Presse

The Blog
The Blog

BIG NEWS: July 12-16

By Greta Maggi

It’s July 16, and it’s Greta here with some Big News about young politicians who made the headlines this week!

He talks less and does more. Who is he?

Rep. Antony Gonzalez (R-OH), the Ohio State Congressman, first-round draft pick, and five-year NFL veteran, who is in the former president’s crosshairs. As you may know at this point, since it happened to other prominent anti-Trump voices (who have now raked in huge sums), the trouble for Rep. Gonzalez started after the presidential election. The House Congressman acknowledged the victory of Joe Biden and in the following months, he became skeptical of members of his party: “When I saw the rhetoric and I saw what people on our side were saying without any regard for reality,” Gonzalez says of the weeks after the election, “it started to scare me.” When it was time to vote for the impeachment of the former president, Gonzalez made one of the toughest choices he had to make in all his political career: he voted for impeachment. “If you don’t have a peaceful transfer of power, you don’t have a democracy,” Gonzalez asserts. If for some GOP members his choice was considered a betrayal, for others, and among them former Ohio State teammate, “He was always about telling the truth.” He talks less and does more. He does what he feels is right.

Related: read this extremely interesting piece about the toughest route of Anthony Gonzalez’s life.

The microchips plummet, the price of cars skyrocket.

Why are we talking about the microchip shortage? No, it’s not because we moved to cover the markets. The reason is that one of the young politicians in Congress is highlighting the tricky issue. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), in an interview with Detroit Today, discusses the microchip shortage and the need for U.S. manufacturing. The Congresswoman, in fact, maintains that if the supply chain has failed, it’s now time to speed the bringing of manufacturing to the US, which also has bipartisan support. “The important thing is, it comes from a long, decades-long habit of sole sourcing things for cars from other countries where we can’t control the supply chain,” stated Rep. Slotkin. Among other reasons, one of the causes of the shortage is the pandemic. People started to work from home and the demand for electronic devices rocketed. That had a huge impact on auto manufacturers since many microchips are used in cars and they had no chance but to delay the distribution of certain cars. No one understands the importance of these tiny devices until they are gone.

Some context: Here you can find anything you need to know about the microchips shortage that is affecting automakers.

The GOP is falling in love with Kyrsten Sinema (for now).

During the last few months, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) earns an unusual adoration from her Republican colleagues. Where did this come from? Her well-known position on the filibuster, or better said, her opposition to filibuster reform. In a video secretly recorded and posted on Twitter by Democratic activist Lauren Windsor, three Congressmen express their appreciation to Sinema and Manchin and even praise them for “protecting the filibuster.” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), chair of the House Freedom Caucus, has recently voiced his gratitude for Sinema even at various meetings. “Fortunately for us, the filibuster is still in effect in the Senate,” Biggs said. “Thank goodness for Sinema and Joe Manchin.”

Her status as a bipartisan leader is fascinating to a lot of people in Washington. In fact, she is now well known not just for chatting up Republican senators, but also for meeting with them in the GOP cloakroom. During her life, she learned how to seize the moment, like when she won the Senate open seat in Arizona. Sen. John Thune states “while we certainly don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue,” he trusts that she is transparent with him, and he respects her “sincere pursuit of bipartisanship.” Sen. Sinema does what she wants to do, and at the moment, she wants to assume bipartisan leadership. Will this help or hurt her career?

For more: Twitter threads about the issue here. For more insight in Sinema’s life as one of the more bipartisan Senators check this out.

“Call out these garbage politicians”

Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) is asking to House GOP leader to call out the “garbage politicians,” referring to those who contributing to some Americans’ hesitation about the COVID-19 vaccines. “The vaccine is safe. Covid is real. Get vaccinated… I call on every leader in the Republican party to stand up, say ‘get vaccinated,’ and to call out these garbage politicians… playing on your vaccine fears for their own selfish gain.” President Biden’s initiative of doing door-to-door outreach with the aim to engage and encourage more people to get vaccinated has drawn criticism from far-right members. Just to name a few, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene compared the plan to “Nazi brownshirts”, Rep. Lauren Boebert called the community “needle Nazis”, and, last but not least, Sen. Ted Cruz said it “sounds like Soviet Russia.” For what concerns Rep. Kinzinger, he is not arguing in favor of the concept of doing door-to-door outreach, but he states: “if you are a Republican voter, do not listen to people like Marjorie Taylor Greene.”

Related: for more information and points of view on this matter click here, here, and here.

Talk to you next week!