House Democrats moved Wednesday to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona and strip him of his committee assignments for tweeting an animated video that depicted him striking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., with a sword.
Democrats were moving quickly and forcefully to punish Gosar for the video, calling it a clear threat to a lawmaker’s life. Republicans warned that the effort sets a precedent that could come back to haunt Democrats if they find themselves in the minority, but Democrats said the parties of those involved was irrelevant.
“If Democrats do something as egregious as Mr. Gosar, they ought to be censured about it,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. “This is not a partisan issue. This is an issue about safety.”
The push to censure Gosar is just the latest example of the raw tensions that have roiled Congress since the 2020 election and the violent Capitol insurrection that followed. The Arizona Republican has been one of the chief instigators in recent months as he’s defended the supporters of former President Donald Trump who beat police and broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6.