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Conservative U.S. House Republicans to form 'America First' caucus

David Morgan
·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene holds news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington

By David Morgan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Conservative House of Representatives Republicans plan to form an "America First" caucus to promote the policies of ex-President Donald Trump and said on Friday the group would soon release a policy platform.

The platform promotes "a common respect for uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions" and advocates for infrastructure with aesthetic value that "befits the progeny of European architecture," Punchbowl News reported on Friday.

Republican lawmakers Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar are involved in the caucus, Representative Louie Gohmert, who is considering joining, confirmed to reporters.

A spokesman for first-term congresswoman Greene, Nick Dyer, dismissed the Punchbowl report as "gossip" but said in a statement that the America First platform would be "announced to the public very soon."

Congressional caucuses provide a forum for like-minded lawmakers to pursue common legislative objectives.

Democrats including Representative Peter Welch denounced the caucus on Twitter as "nakedly racist and disgusting."

"This supposed caucus and its members represent a dangerous nativist perspective that hurts our country, but sadly is not surprising," Welch added. Representative Don Beyer referred to the group as the "White Supremacist Caucus" on Twitter.

Trump introduced his America First agenda at his inauguration in 2017 and made it a repeated theme of his presidency.

Gohmert, a Trump ally, told reporters the caucus aims "to get our own country in order, so it's sustainable."

Congressman Matt Gaetz, who is being investigated by the Justice Department and the House Ethics panel over allegations of sexual misconduct, said he was becoming part of the caucus.

The group would push to "end wars, stop illegal immigration & promote trade that is fair to American workers," he said.

Gaetz has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Gohmert denied the America First Caucus involves race.

"It's not returning to Anglo-Saxon tradition," the Texas Republican said. "It's not supposed to be about race at all. We're stronger, you know, diversified. But there's some things that helped make us strong."

(Reporting by David Morgan in Washington; Additional reporting by Makini Brice in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Cynthia Osterman)