How the Tennessee delegation voted on the COVID relief package

Marsha Blackburn speaks at a business forum in Nashville on Aug. 15, 2018. (Erik Schelzig, Tennessee Journal)

Tennessee’s congressional delegation was divided on the $900 billion COVID-19 relief package that includes $600 in direct payments to most Americans.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Maryville) voted in favor, while Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Brentwood) was one of just six members to vote against the measure in the upper chamber.

Among the Republicans in the House, Reps. Tim Burchett of Knoxville, Scott DesJarlais of Winchester, Mark Green of Ashland City, and John Rose of Cookeville were among the 53 no votes.

Fellow GOP Reps. Chuck Fleischmann of Chattanooga, David Kustoff of Memphis, and Phil Roe of Johnson City voted in favor, as did Democrats Jim Cooper of Nashville and Steve Cohen of Memphis.

The package passed the Senate on a 92-6 vote and the House 359-53. While Tennessee holds 2% of the seats in Congress, the state’s members accounted for 8.5% of the votes against the stimulus package.

68 Responses to How the Tennessee delegation voted on the COVID relief package

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    Cryan says:

    Trump is signing this bill that he and his administration championed. Why are Marsha and Mark Green turning their back on Trump now? Should Q believers turn their back on them? To all Trump supporters: they are no better than Brian Kemp and should be primaried.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      You see Cryan, Republicans are relatively conservative and conservatives think for themselves and are independent by temperament so though they support a President or any executive when they are in the legislature they often vote contrary to the position of the executive. Happens all the time as you will see as you follow politics longer than you obviously have.

      Why do embarrass yourself by calling them “Q believers”? Didn’t your mommy and/or daddy teach you that when you say something so breathtakingly stupid and without foundation all you do is diminish everyone’s respect for your intelligence and anything else you might say?

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        Cryan says:

        68% of Republicans think the election was rigged. To them this isn’t the time for Republican legislators to break with the executive for philosophical reasons. Any dissent with Trump right now is an act of cowardice and corruption. It’s good to know who has Trump’s back and who doesn’t. Good luck to Marsha and Mark in the primaries.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Thanks Cyan for you sentiments, but save your wishes for those who need it. Tonight Trump just voiced his disgust with the legislation so the NO’s were on Trump’s side after all.

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            Cryan says:

            Why? Because he wants $2,000 in direct payments instead of $600. Marsha and Mark better have his back and support $2,000 payments and any other amendments Trump proposes. Otherwise, they’re Deep State along with Brian Kemp of Georgia.

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            MARLE says:

            The Trumpians have spoken Stuart. Any break with Trump and you are obviously deep state.
            Debt, deficit, equitable taxation, debate/dissent, independent Fed/Justice Dept…..all out the window or you’re deep state.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Indeed, as a libertarian conservative I was never a Trumpidian and never will be. The Trumpidians have a choice, they can either follow Trump the man until death do them part or they can follow Trumpism the policy. If the latter they have to be team players within the Republican Party. If they fail to do that and they leave the Party in substantial numbers they will be destined to be an uninteresting fringe group who will simply have to soon find another enthusiasm when Trump leaves politics and the Republican Party will be weakened in the face of the increasingly left wing Democratic Party. That’s why those of us on the Right should do all we can to accommodate the Trumpidians but if they refuse to be team players we simply have to move on.

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      MARLE says:

      They are not turning their back on Trump. He has one month to go and this will help Biden’s economy. They had no problem with racking up Trillions in debt Each and every yr that Trump was in office never saying a word about his signing 3 deficit budgets.

      I hope their vote against this was ONLY b/c it didn’t include immunity from the Billions of Class Action lawsuits targeting any and all companies with deep pockets that stayed open during the pandemic. Every vulture law firm is working on the draft.

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      James White says:

      If it were down to the wire, Marsha would have voted For it. She can know that it will pass without her vote, so she can appear to be conservative, but she is not.

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        MARLE says:

        Of course. That is what nose counting is all about.

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        Stuart I. Anderson says:

        James and MARLE I think we should leave the mindreading and soothsaying to those on the left. They’re not particularly good at it, of course, but they think they’re good at it so I suppose that’s all that counts. Marsha maintains an 85% Heritage score so the odds are that she would be a “NO” no matter what but, of course, if the pressure got too great I would need much longer odds if we were talking real money here.

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          MARLE says:

          Here is the Mark Green quote “the sheer number of pages with 5 hours to read it is enough to vote “NO” on it.” HE, not I, mentioned the Not-enough-time-to-read it issue. Go to the source, Stuart. Stop relying on the emails h sends you. Exercise some effort to learn what the people who voted “no” say are their reasons.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Did you place this response in the wrong place? What does this have to do with how Marsha would have voted “If it were down to the wire. . . .”?

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            MARLE says:

            You know you wrote that long missive about why Green voted “no” and it is not what He SAID was the reason. What the h difference does it make where, in the comments to this blog, the point was made?

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            It’s like capitalizing proper nouns, we conservatives are sticklers for form. It makes the world so much more predictable and easier to understand and in this case to know what the h your referring to in your comments.

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      For Truth says:

      Thank you to Sen. Blackburn and Reps. Burchett, DesJarlais, Green and Rose are our champions! This “stimulus” bill is a joke. A HIGH percentage of the money in this bill was NOT to help Americans or America. These members of Congress from TN need to be HEARTILY thanked! They are the honest ones. None of the ones that voted for this bill could even have read 1/4 of what the bill said since it was 5,000 pages long, and they only had access to it 5 hours before the vote. President Trump gave a great summary of this HORRIFIC bill and why he is vetoing it, so these members of Congress are on his team!!

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        Cryan says:

        Trump never said he was going to veto it. He wants it amended to increase the payments from $600 to $2,000. Will Marsha vote for $2,000 payments, or will she side with Kemp, Romney, and Mcconnell?

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          McConnell won’t let an amended version come to a vote in the Senate unless it’s a done deal beforehand. He won’t risk putting his caucus on a collision course with Trump, especially right before the crucial Georgia runoffs when the Trumpidians are already tempted not to show up because they are angry.

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            MARLE says:

            You still don’t get it do you Stuart? Trump wants the next 4 years to be as bad as possible. What better way to do it than to have the GA repub go down in flames. You won’t see him with a torch blower in his hands b/c that might get the sycophants finally upset but he’s striking little matches every chance he gets.

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    Beatrice Shaw says:

    It is QUITE disturbing that all these people voted against the measly aid finally offered up by the Government. Don’t they know we need $600 a week at least and it needs to keep coming!! Once again the businesses will probably prosper while their customers have no money.

    That lady in the picture needs to wear stockings on those legs!

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      MARLE says:

      Real Pirty, ain’t they? She’s just come from a reading of the bumps on her knees; its a close cousin to Phrenology which is the reading of the bumps on the head to determine mental traits. The ones on the knees measure how fast your can run the track at Churchill Downs. Not everyone has an interest in knowing this but clearly she does.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Hey Beatrice, I thought you leftists are always banging on about how we have to stop “objectifying” (or some leftspeak like that) women by commenting on their physical appearance when that appearance has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Didn’t you get the memo?

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    Ken says:

    Oh, spare me the tears for the likes of Q-anon. Trump has lost this election. And he’s smart enough to know he has lost. And even smarter to know that by continuing his efforts to dupe people into contributing money to his “defense fund,” he can make millions — which have already poured in. He’ll need that money when he leaves office, because he’s headed for one legal jeopardy after another in the Sourhern District of New York. Stay tuned, folks. Trump has lived by the sword so…woe be.

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Feel better Ken? I certainly hope so. The article has nothing whatsoever to do with Trump but at least you got all that Trump Derangement Syndrome toxicity out of your system before Christmas so you can go and have yourself a merry little Christmas.

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        MARLE says:

        No Stuart this had to do with Republicans who said nothing during the entire last 4 years of Annual deficit budget signings and adding Trillions to the debt. And way before Covid showed up.

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          James White says:

          You see now Marle, it doesn’t matter if the Democrats or Republicans are in control, the Debt is increased exponentially. I predict the next congress and the next congress and the next and the next it will go up no matter the party.
          There is not a dimes’ (or TRILLION) worth of difference between the two partys.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            That’s why I have been begging you to come in from the cold of “third party” irrelevance and join me in the only avenue open to right-wing zealots like ourselves in trying to make the Republican Party more conservative so “There . . .is . . . a dimes’s (or TRILLION) worth of difference between the two partys (sic).”

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            James White says:

            Stuart, you cannot change the republican party until you educate the mindless voter. You are wasting your money and your time. Education and Action at the People level.
            This is why I am against term limits, if the People vote an Idiot in and the idiot is term limited, then they will just vote another idiot in. Change the people and you will change the party

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            As it turns our I am much more fatalistic than you. Ben Franklin told us that it will take a certain type of people to maintain the type of government that our Founding Fathers intended us to be. In 2021 and thereafter we either are or we are not and either way there is nothing Stuart or James or any number of others can do about it.

            Changing a people is impossible over any reasonable period of time. Changing a political party is doable. Parties change all the time. The Republican Party is moving right just as the Democratic Party is moving left. It’s simply that the latter is happening at a faster pace than the former.

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            James White says:

            Stuart, the republican party is not moving Right, it is the old dialectic.

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    Jonathan Swift says:

    I wonder how Marsha and her fellow wingnuts justified voting against the bill?

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Great question Jonathan and you’ve come to the right place for an answer. Regular procedure calls for spending bills to be divided between subcommittees, then committees of appropriate jurisdiction in the House then the Senate where they are subject to hearings and scrutiny after which they must pass the committees by votes of its members. This $2.3 TRILLION spending deal was a 5,500 page monstrosity that was slapped on member’s desks a few hours after its release having been negotiated by the leadership of the House and Senate and their staff.

      While we are fortunate that bailouts for bankrupt Democratic controlled states was stripped from the bill, and passage of the bill actually involved two votes. The vote that this article concerned was on the part that contained bloated federal appropriations and a slew of unrelated policy changes that were simply unacceptable to conservatives.

      Of course, Heritage Action key voted NO and included this particular vote on its legislative scorecard. This procedure getting legislation through Congress to fund the government is simply an insult to representative government that the conservatives who voted against the measure refused to go along with procedurally, while it spends too much money while funding ineffective and inefficient programs substantively. Thank you Marsha (Heritage-85%), Scott DesJarlais (87%), Burchett (96%), Rose (94%) and Fleischmann (71%) for that much appreciated “NO” vote.

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        Jonathan Swift says:

        So the answer is “We don’t like some of the aspects of this bill, even though it will incrementally help many of those left financially strapped by the pandemic. We have plenty of money ourselves, being paid by the taxpayers whether we do anything constructive or not, so will vote no.”

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          An answer that satisfies those whose thought processes inevitably cause them to see economic issues in terms of class warfare which so frequently results in the wrong answer as you have illustrated Jonathan. Either we have a representative democracy or we simply allow ourselves to be blackmailed into spending ever increasing amounts of money as decided upon by a handful of overseers in Washington on programs favoring the politically well connected. Why you would choose the latter wrapped in class warfare rhetoric is a mystery to me.

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            Jonathan Swift says:

            There is no agreement by me to the flawed “either or” straw man you belched, although I think that you are mystified by many current things. I made no wrong answer anymore than you made a right one. As others have pointed out, these same people who voted not to support this bill have had no problem approving past mega-spending bills. Most also of course had no problem with the 2017 tax bill that ballooned the deficit, because it was a nice gift for their bosses, er, donors.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Why the apparent inconsistency in voting “NO” on one piece of legislation while voting “YES” on other seemingly similar legislation I can’t say, but is a good question that should be put to any legislator. All I know is that “NO” is the correct vote on the subject of the article we are responding to and I am satisfied that my Congressman Marvelous Mark Green voted correctly and I’m proud the he has maintained his 100% Heritage score so far in his freshman term in Congress.

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        MARLE says:

        How many other bills have these folks voted “Yes” on that they didn’t read? That can’t be the reason.

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          It’s not simply “reading” MARLE it’s lack of reasonable deliberation and the importance of the legislation.

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            MARLE says:

            You, and by extension h, ( b/c you never have an opinion that didn’t come straight from the h memo to largesse contributors) didn’t even mention McConnel’s caving to the provision allowing suits by employees for exposure to covid. Can you imagine the cost and the legal hassle of endless class action suits?

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            Heritage is a mainstream conservative organization. I recently learned too mainstream in a Conservatism Inc. sort of way for my taste but conservative nevertheless. I am a consistent conservative so the fact that our positions on major pieces of legislation and policy consistently coincide should be no surprise to a less critical observer and it doesn’t mean either Heritage or I are poaching positions from one another.

            I happen to see Marvelous Mark Green (Heritage-100%!) interviewed on FOX Business this morning and in his explanation of his “NO” vote he didn’t mention the liability issue but rather the procedure under which the legislation was conjured up and presented. So you see MARLE, while the liability issue might be primary reason you would vote “NO” others voted “NO” for different reasons as difficult as that may be for you to even imagine. I know, he got the Heritage memo too.

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            MARLE says:

            Exactly….he didn’t even consider THAT a problem, apparently. You do know that liability was the sticking point McConnel kept saying was the hold up. Rep compromised (and threw business under the bus) on liability and dems compromised on money to states and local.

            The fact that this didn’t even enter Green’s mind is a major MINUS, not a plus. Every employee of every corporation who asked him to work at ANY time during the pandemic is going to be the a participant in Class Action suits. And it won’t matter IF they actually Got covid….the sheer torment of never knowing IF you might get it will be mental duress enough for settlement.

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            MARLE says:

            There is no surprise here, Stuart. H tells YOU what’s important. Then they send the same email to Mark so that he can parrot the h storyline of what’s important.

            It makes YOU think that Mark is on the same page as h and h is on the same page as Mark. Mark’s willingness to play the game gets him great scores and money from people who can’t Or won’t think for themselves.

            It is a lucrative circular firing squad for informed thought.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            What held the bill up was Pelosi’s reluctance to give Trump a victory in the passing of Chinese Flu relief while the election was going on insofar as she actually settled for less money now than she could have gotten this summer. The interview was about three minutes so while the liability issue wasn’t the primary reason Marvelous Mark voted “NO” we don’t know that liability “. . .didn’t even enter Green’s mind.”

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            MARLE says:

            Wrong…what held the bill up (for the last 2 weeks ) was each side dug in on an issue. Rep=liability; dems=money to states/local.

            And on those 2 issues each caved so they could pass Something. Big mistake. McConnel is counting on GA to save the day when he could have stood his ground.

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    Cannoneer2 says:

    This bill was supposedly 5600 pages long. I think it was probably wise to vote no based on the fact that no one had time to read what they were voting for.

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    James White says:
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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    I would bet that there was not a single person in that room that had read the entire bill, there simply was not enough time to do that. The public will discover more dirty tricks over the next several weeks as to what was silently slipped into the back pages at the last minute. Members of congress got paid over $100,000 for 35 weeks of work to hammer out an agreement that gave the American public $600 each for that same period. Something wrong there.

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      Jonathan Swift says:

      The conservative cheerleaders here will probably say that the $600 (or less, depending on one’s income) is what’s wrong; it is way too much.

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        MARLE says:

        The threshold for getting the Total 600 is $75,000. UNLESS you are a single mom of at least 1 child in the home (including those who get child support payments from the father) and then its 50% more than that at $112.5K. Sort of see why a lot of people don’t marry the baby’s momma~ much better treatment in the tax code and in give-aways.

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    Stuart I. Anderson says:

    WONDERFUL NEWS I just heard on Tucker Carlson’s Show (FOX News-7 PM). Trump has given a forceful speech in which he indicated the $600 was absurdly low, he wants $2,000 per person $4,000 per couple and the gender equalization in Pakistan, debt relief for Sudan, ladies in the Afghan Army etc., etc. leftist/neocon nonsense stripped out.

    Apparently there isn’t enough time to amend the bill which raises the specter of Trump vetoing the bill outright or a pocket veto if he simply refuses to sign it by the time Congress adjourns. Now President Blowhard often talks big for show then quietly capitulates. Nevertheless, maybe we will be spared this monstrosity yet

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    Taxpayer #314 says:

    The republicans that “represent” us here in TN do not care one bit about the general population, they show their contempt for the public over and over again. While Marsha and Mr. What’s’-his-name ignore the citizens of TN, trump is busy pardoning all the crooks that lied to keep him from being impeached and thrown in Jail, as well as many other despicable people, even those guilty of murder working at Blackwater. Day after day more and more republicans are becoming well known for foul play, shady deals and fraud -with fellow republican support and encouragement. Trump is moving into the realm of becoming the most disgusting and dangerous person in US politics- he passed Tricky Dick Nixon a long time ago and Nixon was never bold enough to even try to pardon his two chiefs that were responsible for Watergate and the cover-up.

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      Jonathan Swift says:

      You nailed it, Taxpayer #314. Trump is the worst president in U.S. history, with the help of his Republican enablers.

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    LeeAnn C says:

    Thankful for these few that boldly say no to increasing our debt without accomplishing anything for it. We all know what those humongous bills have within – plenty of pork projects on our grandchildren’s taxes! Big bill, short timeline, “bipartisan” product….just throw millions fr each members favorite lobby. Hope the President vetoes this boondoggle!

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    Carolyn Christiansen says:

    If you count only those who voted NO as TRUE conservatives, then TN makes up about 10% of the true conservatives in the House and 18% of the true conservatives in the Senate. That is amazing, considering how small a state we are. Goes to show how just a few people can make a big difference!

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      Stuart I. Anderson says:

      Tennessee always politically outpunched its size in both parties. The resolute conservatism of the Tennessee Republican Party has been a development that has occurred since I moved to this in 1992 so I have watched it happen and I am proud to say that I have done my part to financially contributed to this happy development. It is something in which all conservatives take pride.

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        MARLE says:

        Someone who wants to let everyone of the 20+M illegal immigrants running loose in this country to remain here forever is NOT a conservative. Marsha, marsha, m

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          Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Whether or not you are a conservative should be judged by the entirety of your record as captured by such devices as the Heritage Action Scorecard rather than on a politician’s stand on one or two issues such as “abortion” or “Immigration.” As per Heritage Marsha is wrong 15% of the time this may be one of them.

          Does Marsha want a “hang around” status for all illegals or simply the DACCA “kids”?

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            MARLE says:

            Or no….Citizenship for DACAs who will immediately translate that into votes for pols who’ll give their Sainted parents a path as well.
            No Marsha campaigned on sending Only the felons home. And that’s a very small percentage of the problem and cost of 20-30 million illiterates.

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            Stuart I. Anderson says:

            That’s a shame. I guess you have pointed out one issue in the 15% when she is wrong.

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            Taxpayer #314 says:

            Yeah Stuart, doesn’t want the public to judge republicans just by their views on “abortion” and “Immigration”- the TWO largest issues the republican party has been championing for decades. Abandoning poor children and putting them in cages is not exactly “Pro Life”. You want the public to judge you on all the rest of the stuff, not the obvious atrocious disregard for life even though the GOP claims to be “Pro-Life.”

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