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House Dems (+ 2 Pelosi RINOs) Censure Gosar, Strip Committees over Twitter Parody

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(Headline USA) House Democrats and two notorious Pelosi Republicans voted to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for posting an animated video that depicted him slaying socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio–Cortez, D-NY, with a sword.

The extraordinary partisan rebuke that highlighted the political strains testing Washington and the country.

Calling the video a clear threat to a lawmaker’s life, Democrats claimed Gosar’s conduct would not be tolerated in any other workplace—and shouldn’t be in Congress.

The vote Wednesday to censure Gosar and also remove him from his House committee assignments was approved by a vote of 223-207, almost entirely along party lines, with Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois the only Republicans voting in favor.

Both Cheney and Kinzinger already have been effectively disavowed by the party for their controversal participation in the Jan. 6 commission, a glorified partisan witch hunt that aims to deflect from Democrats’s leadership failures and to gather intelligence on former President Donald Trump’s 2024 aspirations.

Wyoming Republicans voted earlier this week that they would cease to recognize Cheney as a member of the party, and she faces a difficult primary bid should she choose to run for re-election as a Republican.

Kinzinger already has announced he will not run next year after Illinois Democrats gerrymandered him into a more competitive district where he would be primaried.

Gosar had deleted the offending tweet days ago amid the criticism, but he retweeted the video late Wednesday shortly after the vote.

He showed no emotion as he stood in the well of the House after the vote, flanked by roughly a dozen Republicans as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., read the censure resolution and announced his penalty.

He shook hands, hugged and patted other members of the GOP conference on the back before leaving the chamber.

Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called the censure an “abuse of power” by Democrats to distract from national problems.

He said of the censure, a “new standard will continue to be applied in the future,” a signal of potential ramifications for Democratic members should Republicans retake a majority.

But Democrats claimed there was nothing political about it.

“These actions demand a response. We cannot have members joking about murdering each other,” said Pelosi, who herself vocally encouraged violent protests during the Trump administration. “This is both an endangerment of our elected officials and an insult to the institution.”

Ocasio–Cortez said in a melodramatic speech, ”When we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues, that trickles down to violence in this country. And that is where we must draw the line.”

Gosar, however, rejected what he called the “mischaracterization” that the cartoon was “dangerous or threatening. It was not.”

“I do not espouse violence toward anyone. I never have. It was not my purpose to make anyone upset,” Gosar said.

He compared himself to Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first Treasury secretary, celebrated in recent years in a Broadway musical, whose censure vote in Congress was defeated: “If I must join Alexander Hamilton, the first person attempted to be censured by this House, so be it, it is done.”

The decision to censure Gosar, one of the strongest punishments the House can dole out, was just the fourth in nearly 40 years—but the second attempt by House Democrats against Republicans in the past two. It comes also after they twice impeached Trump but failed both times to secure a Senate conviction.

Democrats—who are seeing their own public approval plummet as they control both Congress and the White House—are determined to deflect focus from their own failures by projecting a bogus narrative of Republicans as “domestic terrorists.”

They spoke not only of the Jan. 6 uprising, during which Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt was murdered by Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd, but also the violent attacks that have escalated on both parties.

Republicans largely dismissed Gosar’s video as nothing more than a cartoon, a routine form of political expression and hardly the most important issue facing Congress.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida said, “I would just suggest we have better things to do on the floor of the House of Representatives than be the hall monitors for Twitter.”

The resolution will remove Gosar from two committees: Natural Resources and the Oversight and Reform panel, on which Ocasio-Cortez also serves, limiting his ability to shape legislation and deliver for constituents.

It states that depictions of violence can foment actual violence and jeopardize the safety of elected officials, citing the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as an example.

Gosar is the 24th House member to be censured. Though it carries no practical effect, except to provide a historic footnote that marks a lawmaker’s career, it is the strongest punishment the House can issue short of expulsion, which requires a two-thirds vote.

Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel, the former chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was the last to receive the rebuke in 2010 for financial misconduct.

It would also be second time this year the House has initiated the removal of a GOP lawmaker from an assigned committee, the first being Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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