Jill Biden, At Los Angeles Fundraiser, Calls Out “Extremists” Among Republican Lawmakers

First Lady Jill Biden headlined a fundraiser at the home of Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman on Friday, as she called out the “extremists” among Republican lawmakers who refuse to support broadly popular issues.

According to a pool report, Biden said that even though Americans say that they want corporations to pay their fair share in taxes and invest in clean energy, “not a single Republican voted for any of that.”

She was referring to the Inflation Reduction Act, the climate and health bill that passed Congress with no Republican votes.

“These aren’t controversial issues, for heaven’s sakes,” she said. “They aren’t partisan, and that’s why the extremists refuse to support them. They’re putting political ploys, you know, play before the people that they represent, and they’re letting down all Americans, including millions of Republicans, really.”

The lunch event in Hancock Park was for the Democratic Grassroots Victory Fund, which is raising money for the Democratic National Committee and state parties. Tickets started at $5,000 per person, with those who write or raise $25,000 also designated as hosts.

Biden said that her parents were Republicans, and said, “Republicans aren’t like bad people.”

“I mean, my father was a good person…and the average Republican, I don’t think they understand what’s happening either.”

She said that by electing more Democrats in the midterms, the Biden administration could pursue legislation to restore abortion rights, ban assault weapons, protect Social Security, pass marriage equality and boost school funding.

She said it was “not enough to just get angry. We have to get out and get to work, and I think especially with these elections. We can do this…especially if we can get women to see what rights are being taken away, and that we absolutely have to get out there and work harder.”

Later, Biden toured and visited Homeboy Bakery and Homegirl Cafe in Los Angeles. Founded by by Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries provides on-the-job training and rehabilitation services to former gang members and those previously incarcerated.

During a discussion after the tour, she sat with Boyle and Johanna Carbajal, an enrollee and UCLA alum, as well as Eugene Walker, who is on the senior staff of Homeboy Industries. They talked of how the business has provided rehabilitation services to previously incarcerated gang members, giving them a chance to establish themselves in the workforce where others would not. Joining them was Superviser Hilda Solis, Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor Brent Parton and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Boyle noted that “your husband came here with two hour’s notice, and I wasn’t even here, and it was extraordinary. And he left me the longest voicemail message.”

More to come.

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