Later today, the House of Representatives will vote on a resolution censuring Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) and removing him from all committees he serves on in response to a violent anime video he posted on social media which showed him attacking President Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
CNN notes that censure is the ultimate form of punishment for a member of Congress — short of expulsion:
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.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was moving forward with the vote because Gosar directly threatened a fellow member of the House:
“That is an insult — not only endangerment of that member of Congress, but an insult to the institution of the House of Representatives. We cannot have members joking about murdering each other, as well as threatening the President of the United States.”
New – Pelosi to me on Dems’ plans to censure Gosar and remove him from Oversight. “Because he made threats, suggestions about harming a member of Congress. That is an insult – not only endangerment of that member of Congress, but an insult to the institution of the” House pic.twitter.com/SKBoB6NKTK
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) November 16, 2021
Congressional Republicans have yet to denounce Gosar for the video, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) suggesting that the GOP accepted Gosar’s explanation for what he did:
“He didn’t see it before it posted. It was not his intent to show any harm. What I said to conference was (we) cannot accept any action or showing of a violence to another member.”
But Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said McCarthy’s mealy-mouthed remarks weren’t acceptable:
“Our party needs a leader who is going to stand up for what’s right and stand up for the truth, and stop trying to play these games. The notion that Leader McCarthy won’t full-on condemn what Paul Gosar did on multiple occasions but that he seems to be entertaining this move to push the 13 off of their committees, I mean, it’s indefensible, morally and ethically, and it’s crazy politically.”