Common Cause is urging the U.S. House of Representatives to expel Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), and as a first step vote to censure and strip him of his committee assignments after he circulated a video depicting him killing Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and attacking President Biden. The letter, sent today to every U.S. Representative, emphasizes that removing the Arizona Republican from his committee assignments is the most lenient penalty that should be levelled against any member for such nakedly irresponsible and dangerous conduct in the charged current environment created by former President Trump’s lies and refusal to concede his resounding defeat in the 2020 presidential election. The letter also notes that Common Cause plans to key-vote this legislation in our Democracy Scorecard, which we send to our 1.5 million members.
“Violent provocations against any Member of Congress are dangerous, reprehensible and completely unacceptable under any circumstances but when a white male Member of Congress stokes hatred and encourages violence against a female colleague of color who regularly receives death threats it is completely beyond the pale,” said Common Cause president Karen Hobert Flynn. “On January 6th, the nation witnessed on live television exactly what encouraging violence, spreading lies, and refusing to accept the will of the people in a free and fair election can bring about. We must never forget that those lies, and that incendiary rhetoric, cost a number of Americans their lives – including Capitol police officers who were protecting Members of Congress as they met to certify the results of a free and fair election. We cannot, and we must never, accept violence as the normal course of business in the U.S. Capitol.”
The letter urging the House to expel Rep. Gosar as well as censure and strip him of his committee assignments emphasizes that the vote is about more than just punishing an extremist and violent Member of Congress. It is about condemning hate and demonstrating that there is no place for this behavior in our democratic institutions. In the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, the letter points to 23 House Members who have been censured. Representative Gosar, the letter stresses, deserves to be the 24th House Member to be censured because of his horrific video depicting him killing another Member and violently attacking the President. The letter strongly urges Members to vote “yes” vote on H. Res. 789 to censure Rep. Gosar and remove him from his committee assignments to send a strong message that violence is absolutely unacceptable in our political system.
To read the full letter, click here.