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Rep. Matt Gaetz. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Rep. Matt Gaetz at a Friday rally with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said that despite the sexual misconduct controversy surrounding him, he is not going away.

The big picture: Gaetz and Greene started their "America First Tour" on Friday in Orlando, Florida. The two conservatives plan to use the tour to call out so-called RINOs — "Republicans in Name Only" — who oppose former President Trump's agenda, Politico reports.

  • Gaetz said in April that the tour would also try to "rally the 74 million Americans that voted for President Trump in the last election and highlight the destructive failings of the radical left and their puppet in the White House, Joe Biden," according to The Hill.
  • Both Gaetz and Greene have filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to create a fundraising committee called "Put America First" to get large checks from donors, per The Hill.

What they're saying: "I’m a marked man in Congress. I’m a canceled man in some corners of the Internet. I might be a wanted man by the deep state. But I am a Florida man, and it is good to be home," Gaetz said, per Politico.

  • "Today, we send a strong message to the weak establishment in both parties: America First isn’t going away. We’re going on tour."

Between the lines: "The tour comes as the Republican Party is attempting to define its future post-Donald Trump, and so far, those aligning themselves with the former president are winning out," Politico writes.

  • Gaetz and Greene are some of the most controversial Republican figures, with Greene stripped from her House committee assignments for supporting conspiracy theories, and Gaetz reportedly facing federal investigation.

Go deeper

Feast or famine for Trump backers

Sen. Josh Hawley challenges the 2020 election results just before the Jan. 6 Capitol siege. Photo: congress.gov via Getty Images

High-profile Trump backers in Congress who tried to block President Biden's election win have raked in grassroots cash this year. Many of their lesser-known rank-and-file colleagues have not.

Why it matters: New campaign finance data underscore a disparity among election objectors. Some have used the infamy to catapult themselves into MAGA stardom. Those who haven't — including some facing competitive 2022 reelection fights — are stuck with all the baggage and little financial benefit.

Texas abortion law remains in effect after appeals court ruling

Pro- and anti-abortion protesters outside the Supreme Court as arguments begin about the Texas abortion law on Capitol Hill in November. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A U.S. appeals court transferred a challenge to Texas' law banning most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy to the state supreme court in a 2-1 vote on Monday evening.

Why it matters: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision means the country's most restrictive abortion law can remain in place for the time being.

At least 2 dead after Tonga volcano eruption and tsunami

A satellite image of the explosive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano on Saturday. Photo: UNICEF/NOAA

At least two people are confirmed to have died in Tonga following the undersea volcanic eruption that sent tsunami waves toward the island nation and across the Pacific over the weekend, officials said Monday.

The big picture: Officials reported major damage along the western coast of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital, Nuku'alofa, was covered in ash and dust, including on the runway of the airport. A New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told Axios over the phone that two people had been confirmed to have died in the disaster.