After voting in favor of the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill on Friday, Republican Congressman Fred Upton of Michigan received a threatening voicemail in which the caller repeatedly called him a “traitor” and said he hopes the congressman, his family and staff all die.
The voicemail, provided by Upton’s office, was played during an appearance by the Michigan Republican on CNN’s “AC360” and is one of several his office has received in the wake of the infrastructure vote Friday, according to the congressman.
“F**king traitor. That’s what you are. You’re a f**king piece of s**t traitor. I hope you die. I hope everybody in your f**king family dies. You f**king piece of s**t trash motherf**ker,” the unidentified male caller tells Upton on the message. “You voted for d*****s f**king Biden? You’re stupider than he is.”
Upton told CNN he does not believe the caller was a constituent, but rather from South Carolina, where one of its senators, Republican Lindsey Graham, also supported the bipartisan infrastructure bill when the upper chamber voted on it in August. The measure was negotiated by a group of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, and it cleared the chamber with support from both parties.
“We’ve seen civility really downslide here,” Upton said. “I’m concerned about my staff — they’re taking these calls. They’re threats to them, our offices.”
The Michigan lawmaker was one of 13 Republicans who voted in favor of the infrastructure bill, and their support was crucial for getting the legislation across the finish line and to President Biden’s desk. But the GOP support for the measure, a pillar of Mr. Biden’s domestic policy agenda, sparked outrage among some party members.
Following the vote, Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia took to Twitter to shame the 13 Republicans, calling them “traitors” who are “China-First and America-Last,” and “American job & energy killers.” In a separate tweet, she listed the phone numbers for the GOP lawmakers’ congressional offices.
Upton cited Greene’s disclosure of his and his colleagues’ numbers, and said he would be “glad” to defend his vote to pass the infrastructure legislation. Still, he said the voicemails are “terrible.”
“These are very disturbing, adult language to say the least that truly is frightening, a real bad mark in terms of the civility across the country as we’ve seen issues like this jump,” he said.
Upton was also one of 10 Republicans who voted to impeach President Trump for incitement of the January 6 assault on the Capitol in January. (CBS News)