McCarthy to introduce resolution to censure Waters

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday that he will introduce a resolution to censure Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) for saying that “we’ve got to get more confrontational” and “we’ve got to stay on the street” to protest police brutality against Black Americans.

McCarthy accused Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, of inciting violence during the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who’s charged with the murder of George Floyd and whose actions set off nationwide protests against racial injustice last summer. 

“This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence. Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi [D-Calif.] is ignoring Waters’ behavior—that’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments,” McCarthy announced on Twitter.


Waters attended a protest against police brutality in nearby Brooklyn Center, Minn., on Saturday following the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright and told reporters that “we’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue.”

“We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business,” Waters said. 

McCarthy could force a procedural vote on his resolution if he files it as a “privileged” resolution, which would trigger a process that requires House floor action within two legislative days. 

The effort is sure to fail, assuming Democrats reject it, but it would nevertheless require all House members to participate in a roll-call vote on Waters. 

Waters maintained in an interview with The Grio published Monday that her remarks should not be interpreted as encouraging violence. 

“I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation,” Waters said.

“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say. This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them,” Waters added of Republicans.

McCarthy’s announcement comes after the judge in the Chauvin trial criticized Waters’s remarks. Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill denied Chauvin’s attorney’s motion for a mistrial but said that Waters’s remarks could give the defense “something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.”

“I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case, especially in a manner that is disrespectful to the rule of law and to the judicial branch and our function,” Cahill said after the jury had been sequestered to begin deliberations on Monday. 

Pelosi backed Waters earlier Monday and said she did not need to apologize for her remarks.

“Maxine talked about confrontation in the manner of the civil rights movement. I myself think we should take our lead from the George Floyd family. They’ve handled this with great dignity, and no ambiguity or lack of — misinterpretation by the other side. No, I don’t think she should apologize,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol.

And when asked if she believed Waters’s remarks incited violence, Pelosi replied, “No, absolutely not.”

McCarthy’s censure resolution does not go as far as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), who announced on Sunday that she would introduce a resolution to expel Waters from Congress “for her continual incitement of violence.” 

“Rep. Waters is a danger to our society,” Greene said in a statement.

Waters has previously faced criticism for encouraging supporters in 2018 to accost Trump administration officials in public over the separation of migrant families.

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere. We’ve got to get the children connected to their parents,” Waters said at the time.

Tags Kevin McCarthy Marjorie Taylor Greene Maxine Waters

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