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US House votes to censure Paul Gosar, remove him from committees

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Nov 18, 2021 - 07:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AA) – The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Wednesday to censure Republican congressman Paul Gosar and remove him from all committee assignments after he posted an anime video depicting him killing fellow lawmaker Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The chamber voted 223-207 largely along party lines to take action against the Arizona lawmaker, with just two Republicans — Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — joining all Democrats in approval. Republican Dave Joyce voted present.

Gosar will now be stripped of his seats on the House National Resources and Oversight and Reform Committees.

Gosar came under fire for posting a cartoon video last week that depicted him killing Ocasio-Cortez and using a sword against President Joe Biden. He has since taken down the video.

Shortly before the vote was conducted, Ocasio-Cortez slammed Gosar’s actions, asking those Republicans who would vote against his censure: “Would you allow depictions of violence against women, against colleagues — would you allow that in your home?”

“Do you think this should happen on a school board? In a city council? In a church? And if it’s not acceptable there, why should it be accepted here?” she asked. “As leaders in this country, when we incite violence with depictions against our colleagues, that trickles down into violence in this country, and that is where we must draw the line independent of party, identity or belief.”

Despite the then-looming rebuke, Gosar refused to apologize for his actions, saying on the House floor ahead of the vote that “no matter how much the left tries to quiet me, I will continue to speak out.”

A censure resolution is the most severe punishment the chamber can issue to a member, and Republicans had warned that by taking the step, Democrats were setting a dangerous precedent that would be continued should Republicans win control of the House.

Still, Democrats remained steadfast in their determination that no lawmaker should be allowed to issue violent threats against their colleagues.

“It is a sad day for the House of Representatives, but a necessary day,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

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