“Piercing tweets become sharp knives”: House majority leader calls for “yes” vote on censure
From CNN’s Elise Hammond
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer urged other lawmakers to vote “yes” on the resolution to censure GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, saying that it is not about partisan politics, it is about “decency” and “security for our members.”
Hoyer argued this vote was about the “rule of law” and “no one, Democrat or Republican ought to be involved to engage in the promotion of violence against a fellow member or indeed a fellow American.”
“We know where the glorification and promotion of violence leads, we have seen it this year, previous years, piercing tweets become sharp knives. Fiery words bring out deadly firearms and cartoon killing begets real life bloodshed,” the House majority leader said during remarks on the floor.
His comments came after some Republican lawmakers accused Democrats of holding double standards and not responding to members of their own party the same way.
“I’m certain my fellow Democrats will do the same because this is not about party. It’s not about politics. It’s not about partisanship. It’s about decorum, civility, safety, and yes, the rule of law,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer also argued that as elected officials, lawmakers “speak for the American people.” This means their actions must reflect “the highest standards of American society.”
“It is disgusting, madame speaker, whenever someone out in the world tweets a threat of violence or hateful content, but when a member of the house does so – no matter how you rationalize it, no matter how you try to put lipstick on that pig – it is a threat of violence,” Hoyer said. “What Representative Gosar did last week is not just worthy of censure, it demands it.”
“I urge my colleagues to vote yes on both sides of the aisle. To uphold a standard that should be critical to us all,” Hoyer said in closing.
McCarthy accuses Democrats of hypocrisy
From CNN’s Clare Foran and Annie Grayer
In a floor speech ahead of today’s censure vote, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy accused Democrats of hypocrisy in how they are retaliating against GOP Rep. Paul Gosar, arguing that they have not responded to members of their own party in the same way.
McCarthy alluded to several Democrats, including Rep. Ilhan Omar, in his remarks on the floor today. He later suggested that Republicans will use the precedent that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now set to rebuke Democrats when they retake the majority.
“Under the Pelosi precedent, all the members that I have mentioned earlier will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future,” he said.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized McCarthy for inaction in her own remarks on the House floor ahead of the Gosar censure vote.
“In response to the Republican leader’s remarks when he says that this action is unprecedented: What I believe is unprecedented is for a member of House leadership of either party to be unable to condemn incitement of violence against a member of this body,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez also argued that McCarthy’s comparisons of supposed double standards in how Democrats are reacting to Gosar were flawed.
“When the Republican leader rose to talk about how there are all of these double standards, and lists a litany of all these different things, not once did he list an example of a member of Congress threatening the life of another,” she said. “This is not about a double standard.”
“What is so hard, what is so hard about saying that this is wrong? This is not about me. This is not about representative Gosar, but this is about what we are willing to accept.”
“Our work here matters. Our example matters. There is meaning in our service and as leaders in this country when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues that trickles down into violence in this country,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “That is where we must draw the line, independent of party identity or belief.”
“It’s pretty cut and dry. Does anyone in this chamber find this behavior acceptable?” she added.
Gosar watches Ocasio-Cortez’s speech as House debates his censure
From CNN’s Manu Raju
The House is currently debating a resolution that censures GOP Rep. Paul Gosar and strips him of his two committee assignments.
Gosar is in the House chamber and is watching members debate the resolution that punishes him for his actions. He has been watching the speeches, including the one just made by Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who was in the photoshopped anime video he posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
“Does anyone one in this chamber find this behavior acceptable?” Ocasio-Cortez said, looking over to the GOP side.
Ocasio-Cortez criticizes McCarthy for failing to condemn “incitement of violence” against another member
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushed back against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s lack of condemnation for GOP Rep. Paul Gosar after he posted a video depicting violence against her and President Biden.
“In response to the Republican leaders remarks, when he says that ‘This action is unprecedented,’ what I believe is unprecedented is for a member of House leadership of either party to be unable to condemn incitement of violence against a member of this body. It is sad, it is a sad day in which a member who leads a political party in the United States of America cannot bring themselves to say that issuing a depiction of murdering a member of Congress is wrong, and instead decides to venture off into a tangent about gas prices and inflation. What is so hard? What is so hard about saying that this is wrong?” Ocasio-Cortez said during a House floor debate on a resolution to censure Gosar.
The House is currently debating a resolution that censures Gosar and strips him of his two committee assignments.
Some House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump signal they are “no” votes on Gosar resolution
From CNN’s Manu Raju
Rep. Tom Rice, who voted to impeach President Trump over the Jan. 6 riot, called Rep. Paul Gosar’s tweet ��idiotic” and “stupid” but says it wasn’t a threat.
“The video was idiotic and immature and childish and stupid, but I don’t think it was a threat. I think it was in very poor taste,” Rice told CNN, who plans to vote “no.”
Rep. Fred Upton, another GOP impeachment backer, said the resolution goes a “stretch too far” by removing Gosar from committees. He said he would have been more comfortable if it were just a censure resolution.
Rep. Dan Newhouse, who voted to impeach Trump, said he was leaning against backing the measure. He said that a majority party removing minority party members from their committees goes “down a dangerous path.”
Rep. John Katko also plans to vote “no,” CNN reported earlier.
Reps. Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney both plan to vote for it.
Pelosi on Gosar censure vote: “This is about workplace harassment and violence against women”
From CNN’s Josiah Ryan
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned GOP Rep. Paul Gosar for his incendiary social media posts, pointing out that they were specifically targeted at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a woman of color.
“As a woman Speaker of the House, I want to be clear, these threats specifically target a woman, a woman of color, which is… a global phenomenon, meant to silence women and keep them from positions of authority and participating in public life,” said Pelosi, speaking from the House floor today.
Gosar is facing censure for posting a photoshopped anime video to his Twitter and Instagram accounts showing him appearing to kill Ocasio-Cortez of New York and attacking President Biden.
“This is about workplace harassment and violence against women,” Pelosi added.
Pelosi made her remarks as the House was set to vote on a resolution that both censures Gosar of Arizona and removes him from his two committee assignments.
Happening now: House debates Gosar censure for posting a violent video targeting Ocasio-Cortez and Biden
From CNN’s Annie Grayer and Clare Foran
The House is debating a resolution that censures Rep. Paul Gosar and strips him of his two committee assignments, which if passed would be the first time a sitting House member will be censured in more than 10 years.
The action led by House Democrats represents a major rebuke to the Arizona Republican for posting a photoshopped anime video to social media showing him appearing to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and attacking President Biden.
Gosar later took down the video after facing criticism but did not apologize, and House Democrats have made clear they believe he must face significant consequences for his actions. The episode underscores the rising tensions and deepening distrust between Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
The last lawmaker to be censured was then-Rep. Charlie Rangel in 2010
The House will vote Wednesday on a resolution that censures Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and removes him from the Committee on Oversight and Reform, as well as the House Committee on Natural Resources..
A censure resolution is the most severe form of punishment in the House, and requires the censured member to stand in the well of the House while the resolution is read out loud.
The last lawmaker to be censured was then-Rep. Charlie Rangel, a New York Democrat, for multiple ethics violations back in 2010.
The House ethics committee found the 20-term Harlem Democrat guilty on 11 counts of violating House rules, including failing to pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic and improperly using his office to raise money for an educational center bearing his name.
Addressing the House, Rangel admitted he had made “serious mistakes,” but asked for a lighter penalty than censure, which is the most serious punishment the House can impose short of expulsion.
Rangel, a former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, insisted he never used his office for “self-enrichment.”
After being censured, Rangel ripped the decision to impose censure as a “very, very, very political vote.” But “at long last this two-year nightmare is over,” he said.
CNN’s Annie Grayer contributed reporting to this post.
House majority leader says Gosar censure is “not about Democrats or Republicans”
From CNN’s Daniella Diaz
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the issue of censuring GOP Rep. Paul Gosar “is not about Democrats or Republicans.”
“If a Democrat does what Gosar did, I will sponsor the censure,” he told CNN. “This is about a threat and a visual portrayal of a member killing another member. If a Democrat did that, they ought to get the same treatment.”
He said this when walking onto the floor to vote on the rule to move forward for the censure.
He also said the House will likely proceed with debate on the Build Back Better Act tomorrow.