Tom Kean Jr. couldn’t be more like a duck if he started to quack

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (front right) speaks to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (front left) in the House Chamber as Rep. Tom Kean Jr sits in the row behind them

The government will shut down after September 30 if Congress can’t reach a deal on funding, which would put Social Security payments and SNAP benefits at risk because there will not be enough federal workers to administer those programs.

Rep. Tom Kean Jr. is trying to duck responsibility for the imminent disaster but he is refusing to join Pennsylvania Republican Brian Fitzpatrick and a handful of other GOP congressmen who are willing to break the logjam that has brought the United States to the brink of yet another voluntary disaster.

Although his 2022 campaign for Congress slammed his Democratic opponent, then-Rep. Tom Malinowski, with withering criticism over numerous violations of the same law, Kean violated the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act when he was more than four months late disclosing six personal stock transactions.

According to a federal financial document that Kean filed on Sept. 18, the unreported stock transactions are worth up to $90,000.

While the impact of a federal government shutdown depends on its duration, Americans could quickly start to experience the consequences of a lapse of funding.

On the first day of the shutdown, thousands of federal employees would be furloughed — and that means staff would be severely limited when it comes to administering a range of programs millions of Americans rely on.

If the government closes down, newly eligible beneficiaries will not be able to enroll in Social Security, federal employees will not get their paychecks, and many small businesses will not get loans they depend on to survive.

Social Security payments should continue to go out during the government shutdown — but don’t expect to get help if you need a new card, want to enroll in the system, or are dealing with any problems. The agency’s contingency plan says that 8,500 employees will be furloughed in the case of a shutdown, with 53,000 exempted from shutdown furloughs.

It is painfully obvious that Speaker Kevin McCarthy is unable to manage the GOP caucus, where the crazy right-wing extremists who relish a government shutdown are firmly in command.

We’re facing a violent national crisis rooted in the rampant circulation of propaganda; dis-, mis- and malinformation; and other harmful online content. In other words, Republicans are lying to the American people.

Just as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s denial of violent extremism shows that she is not looking at any of the evidence, now that she has access to classified and sensitive information about national security and terrorist threats, and still regularly participates in deceit, disinformation and lies.

By avoiding the chance to refute these lies and stand with other lawmakers who imperil their political standing among extremists in their constituencies, Kean is contributing the the government shutdown, continued violence in our society and the ultimate destruction of democracy itself as we know it in the United States.

Government agencies and scholars across the political spectrum agree that far-right movements have caused most of the political violence in the U.S. over the past few years – and present the most dangerous threat today.

These are existential threats but Tom Kean Jr. is not willing to risk political failure in order to save the nation.

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