INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized Congressman Jim Banks for ditching his constituents and their need for COVID-19 relief last week in favor of attending the Republican Party’s fan club convention, an event where Republicans worshiped golden statues of former president Donald Trump and supported the same fringe ideology that attempted to overthrow American democracy on January 6.
In fact, Congressman Banks claimed in a letter the “ongoing public health emergency” was an acceptable reason to play hookie from his job. Banks’s letter is in direct contradiction to his lawsuit challenging the legality of proxy voting by Members of Congress.
WHY IT MATTERS: The Indiana Republican Party is showing voters they are a post-policy political party, where their agenda and ideology come before science and fact. The INGOP has no vision for the state of Indiana, and this concocted, alternate reality they’ve embraced is why many Hoosiers have lost trust in the INGOP and its elected leaders.
“Jim Banks will be remembered as the congressman who abandoned his constituents at their most vulnerable so that he could swear allegiance to a disgraced former president and the QAnon ideology,” said Lauren Ganapini, executive director for the Indiana Democratic Party. “Hoosiers deserve to have elected leaders who will put the needs of their community and family first, not second to a golden-statue-worshiping movement. The Indiana Republican Party simply cannot be trusted.”
Here’s how the latest Congressman Banks stunt played in the media (so far):
WIBC: “A Tweet cited by the Democratic Party said Banks and several Republicans chose not to be in DC for the vote, citing the ‘ongoing public health emergency’.”
CNN: “More than a dozen of former President Donald Trump’s closest Republican allies in the House skipped Friday’s votes and enlisted their colleagues to vote on their behalf, signing letters saying they can’t attend “due to the ongoing public health emergency.”
But those members are actually in Orlando and listed as speakers at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual meeting aimed at energizing conservative activists and boosting their own profiles.
The members include Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who addressed the conference on Friday, as well as others who were listed as scheduled speakers — such as Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona, Jim Banks of Indiana, Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina, Ted Budd of North Carolina, Mark Green of Tennessee, Darrell Issa of California, Ronny Jackson of Texas, Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado, Ralph Norman of South Carolina, Devin Nunes of California and Greg Steube of Florida.”
Forbes: “House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy and dozens of House Republicans including Steube, Budd, Norman, Kelly, Green and Banks even filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of proxy voting, arguing the Constitution requires lawmakers to “actually assemble in their respective chambers” to vote.”
Vox: “Along these lines, perhaps the most revealing remark during McCarthy’s panel discussion came from Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who, like many of his Republican colleagues, skipped the vote on the Covid-19 relief bill so he could appear at CPAC.
“The most popular Republican figure in Congress today is Kevin McCarthy,” Banks said. “Let me tell you who the least popular Republicans in the party are today — they are those very few Republicans who want to erase Donald Trump and Donald Trump supporters from our party.”