It’s a “sad day in America” when lawmakers, their staff, and their family members are being threatened for how they choose to vote on legislation, Rep. Fred Upton, who received a threatening voicemail after voting for the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, said Sunday.
“It’s a tough time and it’s so unsettling,” the Michigan Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “This is not what our democracy is about, these physical threats, not only to ourselves but also to our family members as well as to our staff.”
Upton said others in the group of 13 Republicans who voted for the bill have also gotten threats, and there have been some arrests.
One of the voicemails Upton received was from a male caller who used profanities throughout the message, said he hopes the congressman and “everybody” in his family dies, and called him a traitor for the vote.
When asked if he’d attribute the calls to former President Donald Trump’s attacks on the lawmakers who voted for the bill, or to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., who posted the representatives’ phone numbers and called them traitors, Upton only replied that there is a “polarized electorate out there.”
Further, the infrastructure bill had already passed the Senate, where 30 Republicans voted for it in August, said Upton.
“Lindsey Graham, President Trump’s favorite top Republican in the Senate, supported this bill when it passed 69-30,” said Upton “We need roads and highways, let me tell you. This was a bipartisan plan. It needed to happen, and I’m glad that we got it past the finish line.”
Upton also talked about being one of the House Republicans voting to hold ex-Trump strategist Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena from the Jan. 6 investigation committee and suggested he’d also vote to hold Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in contempt if he refuses the subpoena.
“One of the reasons that I voted to hold Steve Bannon in contempt was that he didn’t cooperate at all,” said Upton. “If you stonewall Congress … all of a sudden you don’t really have an equal branch of government trying to get to the answers of this. I want to see what the select committee will do, see what the recommendation is, and then take it from there.”