The House will today vote on censuring Republican Paul Gosar and stripping him of committee assignments after he posted a photo-shopped anime video of him killing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Democrats are demanding that the Arizona representative be removed from the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and the Committee on Natural Resources.
He also faces censure for the cartoon video posted to his Twitter and Instagram accounts last week showing him stabbing AOC in the back before lunging at Joe Biden with the blade.
Democrats said Gosar’s actions amounted to threatening another member’s life, calling the video ‘so beyond the pale.’
Republicans warned them to be careful about dictating the punishment of those who serve in the minority because of the precedent it will set.
Gosar, who is no stranger to controversy and an ally of firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, has refused to apologize but deleted the video from his social media.
A censure resolution is the most severe reprimand available to the House and requires the representative in question to stand before lawmakers while the resolution is read out. The House has censured its members on 23 occasions.
It was last wielded against Rep. Charlie Rangel, a New York Democrat, in 2010 after reports that he was renting 2,500-square-foot of apartments in the Big Apple for half the market rate.
Gosar (pictured at an America First rally in Arizona in May) has refused to apologize but deleted the video from his social media.
The altered anime video shows a jetpack equipped Gosar attacking AOC with a sword
Gosar’s character is seen dropping from the sky to cut open AOC’s anime character
Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (pictured at Cop in Glasgow last week) was the target of the video which Democrats claim amounted to a death threat
Republicans last night warned Democrats to be careful about dictating the punishment of those who serve in the minority because of the precedent it will set.
Earlier this year, the House stripped Georgia Rep. Taylor Greene, of her committee assignments for spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories.
‘This is a dark and dangerous road the majority is going down,’ Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the House Rules Committee, said Tuesday. ‘I urge you for the future of the chamber to rethink this course.’
Gosar posted the video over a week ago with a note saying, ‘Any anime fans out there?’
The roughly 90-second video was an altered version of a Japanese anime clip, interspersed with shots of Border Patrol officers and migrants at the southern U.S. border.
During one roughly 10-second section, animated characters whose faces had been replaced with Gosar.
Greene and Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., were shown fighting other animated characters.
In one scene, Gosar’s character is seen striking the one made to look like Ocasio-Cortez in the neck with a sword. He then rushes at Biden with the blade.
‘I don’t know if it was to create harm, if it was to incite violence, if it was to fuel hate, but it probably accomplished all of those things,’ said Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas.
‘We have an obligation to live up to the highest standards possible, but also to hold each other up to those standards. If we don’t do it, then what we are doing is allowing for a new norm to be created,’ she added.
Last week, Gosar issued a statement saying the video wasn’t meant to depict harm or violence, calling it instead ‘a symbolic portrayal of a fight over immigration policy.’
Gosar told his House Republican colleagues during a private meeting Tuesday that he would never espouse violence or harm to anyone.
Ocasio-Cortez responded to his video last week, claiming that Gosar would face no consequences
He noted that he took the video down from his account, according to a person in the room who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting.
Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday he has not apologized to her.
‘It’s been well over a week. He not only has not apologized,’ she said. ‘He not only has not made any sort of contact or outreach, neither he nor the Republican leader (Kevin) McCarthy, but he has also doubled down by saying that I am somehow, you know, representative of undocumented people.’
‘In a perfect world, he’d be expelled,’ she told reporters. ‘We are not in a perfect world, so censure and removal from committee I believe is appropriate.’
The resolution coming up for a vote states that depictions of violence can foment actual violence and jeopardize the safety of elected officials. It also cites the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 as an example.
The resolution goes on to say that violence against women in politics is a global phenomenon meant to silence and discourage them from seeking positions of authority and participating in public life, with women of color disproportionately impacted.
The censure resolution also calls for Gosar’s removal from the two committees he serves on: the Committee on Natural Resources and Committee on Oversight and Reform, which includes Ocasio-Cortez.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., was one of the few Republicans saying he would vote to censure Gosar.
‘We have to hold Members accountable who incite or glorify violence, who spread and perpetuate dangerous conspiracies. The failure to do so will take us one step closer to this fantasized violence becoming real,’ Kinzinger tweeted.