Rosie O’Donnell Offers Money to Senators for Tax Bill Vote, Gets Backlash

December 20, 2017 Last Updated: December 20, 2017

Former talk show host Rosie O’Donnell is facing backlash for offering to pay Republican senators to oppose the tax bill. Her critics said it’s tantamount to bribery.

The ex-“View” host promised Tuesday night to give a $2 million apiece to Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) if they voted against the bill.

“2 million cash each,” she tweeted. Later, she wrote: “susan – 2 million dollars cash … call if u want to negotiate,” according to the New York Daily News.

“i swear,” she wrote in another tweet, “i will write them a check.”

Sen. Jeff Flake speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill after announcing he will not seek re-election on Oct. 24, 2017. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“i will HAPPILY pay any GOP senator 2 million dollars to vote NO,” she said in another. “they have been paid obviously.”

“If they vote NO … NO I WILL NOT KILL AMERICANS FOR THE SUOER RICH” (sic), she also wrote.

No Republican senator voted in opposition to the measure.

Offering members of Congress money in exchange for an official act is a federal offense.

“Do u think your family is proud of u @sennatorcollins?” O’Donnell tweeted along with a photo of Collins’ family. She wrote: “woman – mother – grandmother – sister – daughter u have betrayed us all,” according to The Federalist.

Commentator Louise Mensch then told O’Donnell that her tweets could constitute “bribery,” but O’Donnell responded with:

“i disagree
it is obvious there is a price
corker had one
collins too

flake
almost brave
he crawled out backwards

2 million to any GOP senator
who votes no
on KILLING AMERICANS

MILLIONS WITH OUT HEALTH CARE

MY GOD HAVE WE NO SO”

 

Rebecca Roiphe, a New York Law School professor, said it’s not clear if her tweets violated the bribery clause.

“It’s political commentary,” Roiphe, who is a former prosecutor, told the NY Daily News. “What she’s trying to do is show these people had already been bought off.”

“It all rides on what her intent was in writing that tweet,” she told the newspaper. And trying to buy influence isn’t “the point of this whole string of these tweets. What she’s trying to do is fake-offer a bribe to point out that they’ve already been politically been bought.”

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping $1.5 trillion bill to President Donald Trump for his signature.

The House approved the measure, 224-201, passing it for the second time in two days after a procedural foul-up forced another vote on Wednesday. The Senate had passed it 51-48 in the early hours of Wednesday.

“By cutting taxes and reforming the broken system, we are now pouring rocket fuel into the engine of our economy,” Trump said in a statement after the vote.

Reuters contributed to this report.