House to vote on removing Gosar from committees, censuring him over violent video

House Democrats are planning Wednesday to censure Arizona Republican Paul Gosar and remove him from both committees on which he serves for posting an animated video of him killing Democratic colleague Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and attacking President Joe Biden with swords.

“What we’re saying here is someone should not have the privilege of being on a committee if they essentially threaten somebody else’s life,” House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern said Tuesday as the panel considered the rule for the resolution to censure Gosar.

“At some point, you have to say, ‘Enough is enough,’” the Massachusetts Democrat added.

House Rules ranking member Tom Cole of Oklahoma and other Republicans said that the matter should have first gone through the Ethics Committee and that a majority party taking action to remove a member of the minority party from a committee sets a bad precedent that could be used against Democrats when Republicans hold the majority. Cole said that he doesn’t approve of the video but that Gosar addressed the matter with the GOP Conference.

“And frankly, [House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy] did take action. He did contact Mr. Gosar. The video did come down. There was a statement repudiating violence,” Cole said, arguing that Gosar should have had the opportunity to go before the Ethics panel.

The rule was approved on a party-line 9-4 vote. Members will debate the matter for an hour Wednesday, with equal time for both sides.

The move comes more than a week after Gosar posted the video on his official Twitter account on Nov. 7 and amid inaction in the public space from McCarthy and the rest of his leadership team.

At a House GOP Conference meeting Tuesday morning, Gosar spoke for a few minutes, telling his colleagues that he never intended to espouse violence and that the video was taken down, according to a source present in the room. Attendees felt Gosar took the matter seriously, and members are ready to move on, the person said.

When approached for comment about the video Tuesday, Gosar repeatedly said, “I’m not talking.” When asked if he was sorry for posting the video, he did not answer as he accelerated up a set of stairs.

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