GOP congresswoman shows Republicans that they can't have both with Trump

First Read is a briefing from "Meet the Press", and the NBC Political Unit about the most important political stories of the day and why they are important.

GOP congresswoman shows Republicans that they can't have both with Trump

WASHINGTON -- President Biden talks one-on-one with Lester Holt of NBC, if it's Friday. ... Barack Obama speaks with House Democrats. Fauci is the subject of another GOP ad. ... Covid hospitalizations fall. NBC's Benjy Sarralin breaks down the cash-rich states (for now )... and are you up for some Sunday football?

First, it's worth telling you the story of Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.).

After binding herself to Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, she was elected and defeated Democratic incumbent Rep. Joe Cunningham.

She voted to certify results of the Electoral College and was shocked by what she saw Jan. 6. She said that she wanted to be a "new voice for the Republican Party" and was horrified by what she saw on Jan. 6.

She opposed Trump's impeachment and preferred censure.

She said that she supported Rep. Liz Cheney, and she hoped that she would remain in the GOP leadership. She stated that we need these voices now more than ever.

She voted to remove Cheney from the leadership position she held for a few months.

Mace also voted against the establishment of an independent commission to investigate Jan. 6's events and the House select committee focusing on Jan. 6.

But then, she voted in favor of finding Steve Bannon in contempt because he failed to comply with the subpoena.

Trump announced this week that he would endorse Mace's GOP primary opponent Katie Arrington. Arrington lost to Cunningham in 2018, after the former president backed Arrington over Rep. Mark Sanford (It's only the second time in the last four years that Trump has supported a GOP primary candidate for this seat).

Trump called Mace, in fact, "an absolutely horrible candidate."

On Thursday, Mace finally released a video -- just outside Trump Tower in New York City -- that recounts her support for Trump's policies and highlights his past support.

"[M]ost Republicans seem to have little appetite [for nuance] at the moment, let along dissent. Trump's base still loves him, and his allies are trying to unseat anyone who does not show loyalty," Elaine Godfrey wrote last year about Mace in The Atlantic.

Ed Demaria, our colleague, puts it this way: Mace's tale proves that Trump was a 50-75 percent ally and she is a 100 percent enemy.

Roundup of the midterm

House Democrats looking for cohesive messaging to support the midterm elections heard from former President Barack Obama Thursday. NBC's Leigh Ann Caldwell reports that Obama encouraged legislators in a virtual meeting lasting 70 minutes to reach a compromise. The White House has arranged a meeting with Jaime Harrison, DNC Chairman, amid tensions between Harrison and the administration’s political team.

The Democratic primary for Texas' 28th District continues its heat. Jessica Cisneros is Rep. Henry Cuellar’s primary challenger. has a new spot that claims Washington "changed" Cuellar. Justice Democrats, a pro-Cisneros group, also has an advertisement that refers to the recent FBI raid at Cuellar's house.

Texas Republican Governor. Greg Abbott is using his huge war chest to prepare for next month's primary. According to AdImpact., he bought $2 million more radio and TV ads yesterday. This brings his total advertising spending to over $9 million. His two main opponents, Don Huffines (ex-State Senator) and Allen West (ex-Texas GOP Chairman and Congressman), booked $130,000 and $45,000 additional TV and radio ads on Thursday.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus PAC endorsed Rep. Andy Levin in the Michigan 11th District Democratic primary, while Brenda Lawerence backed Rep. Haley Stevens.

The Associated Press has obtained a police report from a 2001 incident in which the police were called at Herschel Walker's home. Walker is a former football player and is now running for the GOP Senate Nomination in Georgia.

praised Democratic Governor. Steve Sisolak's decision ending the state's mask mandate.

Jim Lamon, Arizona GOP Senate candidate, is being criticized for an ad that depicts him in a Wild West-style shootout alongside Democrats, including Arizona Senator Mark Kelly. Kelly's wife, Gabrielle Giffords was also shot in 2011.

Ad watch: Fauci is under attack again

Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) is the latest candidate who has released an ad that uses Dr. Anthony Fauci , the White House's chief Medical Advisor, , as a boogeyman .

Fallon begins the ad with, "Hi. I'm Congressman Pat Fallon and I have no medical training whatsoever but I gotta say, I finally figured how to stop this spread." After three soundbites by Dr. Fauci from each TV, he proceeds to smash three TVs with a Hammer.

This is the fourth time this year that a candidate attacks Fauci, rather than their opponent or a political figure.

Data Download: The number for the day is... 49

This is the average number of U.S. territories and states that have experienced a double-digit decrease in hospitalizations during the past two weeks (from 11 p.m. yesterday), according to an NBC analysis. The average daily Covid hospitalization in America has fallen almost 32 percent since last night.

This is one of the most promising indicators about the pandemic's state, as it coincides with a sharp fall in the number of cases since January's peak. The country's 2021 peak was 200,000. However, even though the numbers are down, the average daily case count for seven days is still around 200,000. The seven-day average number of daily new deaths has hovered at 2,600 this week, the highest it has been in almost a year.

You need to be familiar with the following numbers:

60%: After Texas' restrictive abortion law was implemented, the rate at which Texas abortions took place dropped.

$7.7 Million: How Much Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), raised January.

$7 Billion: The amount of money that the White House wants to release from frozen fundsfrom Afghanistan’s central bank in New York. It is $3.5 Billion for victims of 9/11, and $3.5 Billion for humanitarian aid.

Talking with Benjy about policy: States are making it rain using federal dollars

It is difficult to manage a state government in a time of pandemic, but it has never been easier to balance a state budget.

The Congress provided cash for state Medicaid programs, bolstered education budgets, and then approved an additional $350 million in state grants and local grants under the American Rescue Plan 2021. Many officials have more revenue than expected as the economic recovery has outpaced early pandemic projections.

What are the governors spending their money on? This year, a priority is to fill in the gaps left by the pandemic. Also, it is important to keep current employees employed in a highly competitive labor market and high inflation.

According to Josh Goodman, senior officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts' state fiscal health initiative, NBC News, "In each quarter, there has been a record-breaking gap between public and private sectors on salary growth and wage growth." This is significant because states are having difficulty hiring prison guards and bus drivers, as well as substitute teachers in school districts.

Both parties have governors who propose salary increases to school job applicants. New Mexico's Democratic Governor. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been pushing a 7 per cent pay increase for educators. To deal with the shortages caused by the omicron wave, she recently hired National Guard members to be substitute teachers. Maryland is increasing the starting pay of state troopers in response to a national crime wave, which has led to similar spending increases elsewhere. Missouri is currently discussing across the-board pay increases to help state employees. This comes amid a national crime wave that's causing similar spending increases elsewhere.

Popular are tax cuts. According to the Tax Foundation, 11 states reduced their incomes or corporate rates in 2013. Republican Governor. Charlie Baker proposed nearly $700 million in tax cuts for seniors, children, renters, investors and low-income workers. In California Dem Gov. Gavin Newsom requested that the legislature reduce business taxes, cancel a scheduled increase in gas tax, and send another round $1,000 to parents of young children.

However, the budget boost could be temporary. Many states have yet to meet their pre-pandemic revenue projections. They may need to take tougher decisions if Covid aid stops. The money is only a temporary measure for incumbents who are facing a difficult political and policy environment.

ICYMI: What other happenings around the world

Two Democratic senators claim that the CIA secretly collects bulk American data.

The Jan. 6 committee has obtained new records that don't show any calls to former President Trump, despite extensive reporting that he spoke with several GOP lawmakers.

As cases continue to fall, the White House continues to debate its pandemic recommendations and states continue to repeal mask mandates.

After revelations that "patriots have stormed Capitol", a Virginia deputy attorney general quit. She tweeted Jan. 6 that "we are awake and ready to fight for our rights through any means necessary."

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