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House to vote on censuring GOP Rep. Paul Gosar over violent anime video

The House will also consider an amendment that would strip the Arizona Republican of his committee assignments.
Image: Paul Gosar
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., at a news conference in Washington in June.Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images file

The House is expected to vote on a resolution Wednesday to censure Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., for posting an altered animated video that depicts him killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and attacking President Joe Biden, a source said Tuesday.

Lawmakers will also consider an amendment to remove Gosar from his assignment on the House Oversight and Reform Committee — on which Ocasio-Cortez also serves — and the House Natural Resources Committee.

The House Rules Committee on Tuesday night voted 9-4 along party lines to advance the censure motion to the full chamber. Two Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, have already expressed support for the resolution.

Censure is considered the harshest form of punishment in the House after expulsion. It requires a full House vote and a simple majority to pass. Roughly two dozen lawmakers have been censured by the House since 1832. The most recent was Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., who was censured in a 333-79 vote in 2010 for ethics violations.

Gosar shared an edited video on his official social media channels last week in which he and other Republican lawmakers are depicted as heroes from the Japanese anime series "Attack on Titan." The faces of Ocasio-Cortez and Biden were superimposed on the show's villains. Twitter later added a warning label to Gosar's tweet, which was eventually removed. The video was also removed from his Instagram account.

In a statement last week, following intense criticism from Democrats, Gosar did not apologize for the video, calling it a metaphor for immigration policy.

"It is a symbolic cartoon. It is not real life. Congressman Gosar cannot fly. The hero of the cartoon goes after the monster, the policy monster of open borders. I will always fight to defend the rule of law, securing our borders, and the America First agenda," he said.

Gosar did not respond to questions Tuesday after he left a GOP conference meeting at the Capitol.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was also criticized for his initial silence on the matter, told CNN on Monday that he discussed the video with Gosar before it was taken down.

Ocasio-Cortez, when asked by reporters about the potential censure vote, criticized Gosar on Tuesday for doubling down on the video.

"He would have apologized by now, but it's been well over a week," she said.