Marjorie Taylor Greene pays $100k for chapstick used by Kevin McCarthy

‘They doing this insane chapstick s*** while the country teeters on default. Wild,’ Ilhan Omar tweets

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 23 May 2023 21:08 BST
Related video: Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces resolution to impeach Joe Biden

Marjorie Taylor Greene spent $100,000 on some cherry chapstick used by Speaker Kevin McCarthy during a short fundraising auction held at the House GOP’s weekly meeting.

The auction lasted about 15 minutes on Tuesday, according to Politico.

The Georgia congresswoman wasn’t the only one to bid on the chapstick. As the bidding continued, Mr McCarthy reportedly added things to the pot, such as agreeing to attend a dinner with donors and supporters for the auction winner.

A spokesperson for Ms Greene confirmed the events to Politico and The Independent.

The chapstick came from the campaign of Florida Republican Representative Aaron Bean, who also served as the auctioneer – a role previously held by former Missouri GOP Republican Representative Billy Long, who left the chamber to run to campaign for the Senate, an effort which was ultimately unsuccessful.

Ms Greene didn’t start bidding for the chapstick until Mr McCarthy announced that he would attend the dinner, according to Politico. The funds from the auction will go to the Republicans’ campaign efforts. Others who bid on the chapstick included Washington Republican Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Oklahoma’s Stephanie Bice, and Jason Smith of Missouri.

“I’m honored to be able to donate $100,000 to the [National Republican Congressional Committee] to help Republicans increase our majority in 2024 and defeat the Democrats. My constituents will be honored to host a visit with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who we all think is doing a great job,” Ms Greene told the outlet in a statement.

The Independent has reached out to the office of the speaker for comment.

Mr McCarthy is still far from agreeing to a deal with President Joe Biden on the debt ceiling, with just a few days left to the deadline set by the Treasury for when the US is at risk of defaulting on its financial obligations.

As the auction suggests, Republicans remain behind Mr McCarthy as he tries to get Mr Biden to agree to substantial spending cuts.

Democrats slammed the auction, seemingly concerned at the way the GOP is behaving amid the economic turmoil.

“They doing this insane chapstick s*** while the country teeters on default. Wild,” Minnesota Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar tweeted.

“Spending $100,000 on chapstick while working overtime to gut the programs that working families rely on. GOP priorities in a nutshell,” New York Representative Nydia Velazquez added.

Following the auction and the requests for donations to the NRCC, the House GOP spent the meeting discussing the debt ceiling as they shared their doubts about the 1 June deadline proposed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Florida Representative Matt Gaetz argued that Ms Yellen should be called to testify about the estimated deadline in front of the House Financial Services Committee before 1 June, according to Politico.

“So far, she’s been the Obi-Wan Kenobi of wrong answers on the economy,” he told the outlet after the meeting on Tuesday. He claimed that Ms Yellen is taking pointers from the White House to increase the worries about a debt default.

Mr Gaetz claimed that Ms Yellen has less evidence for her estimate than a student doing “a typical eighth-grade algebra assignment”.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana said, “We’d like to see more transparency” on how the estimate was made.

The treasury said again on Monday that the US may be unable to pay all its obligations by next week.

Mr McCarthy told the press that “I believe we can still get there” on a deal on the debt, “and get there before June 1”.

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