Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.) sent out a tweet Tuesday touting some funds that community health centers in his district will be receiving ― even though he voted against the legislation that made the money possible.
Cawthorn wrote that he was “happy” to announce that North Carolina’s 11th District received a number of grants from the Department of Health and Human Services.
“Proud to see tax-payer dollars returned to NC-11,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.
Those funds come from the American Rescue Plan, the massive COVID-19 relief legislation pushed by President Joe Biden and passed by Democrats in Congress. Not a single Republican voted for the legislation.
Cawthorn, 25, is the youngest member of Congress, and is considered a rising star in the Republican Party. He has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women.
His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment for this story.
“You can’t have your cake and vote against it, too,” North Carolina Democratic Party Chair Bobbie Richardson said. “That’s exactly what Rep. Cawthorn is doing by shamelessly taking credit for a bill that he tirelessly attacked and voted against. The American Rescue Plan secured critical funding for North Carolina’s health centers and Madison Cawthorn had absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Like Cawthorn, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) also applauded some of the funding before Biden had even signed the legislation, tweeting that independent restaurant operators were going to get billions of dollars coming their rescue.
At the time, Wicker argued there was no hypocrisy in touting the same funding for independent restaurants that he’d voted against.
“One good provision in a $1.9 trillion bill doesn’t mean I have to vote for the whole thing,” Wicker told reporters earlier this month.
“I was for that bill, introduced that bill, long, long before this legislation,” he added, when pressed on whether he was taking credit for the Democrats’ work.
A similar pattern emerged after the 2009 stimulus, when GOP lawmakers who voted against President Barack Obama’s legislation then returned to their home districts and took credit for the money flowing to their constituents. At the time, ThinkProgress counted 114 Republican lawmakers who blocked the bill while touting its benefits. They sent out press releases taking credit for money that funded projects in their districts, even though they’d voted against it.
UPDATE: 3/31 ― Cawthorn’s office later told The Daily Beast that he uses his Twitter account to post information that may be useful to his district, and that he will oppose any legislation that is “unconstitutional, increases our debt and deficit or does more harm than good.”