House

Ocasio-Cortez on Taylor Greene: 'These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time'

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) took a swipe at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Thursday, likening her to the "kinds of people that I threw out of bars" after the Georgia Republican aggressively confronted her outside the House chamber the day before.

"I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters on Capitol Hill.

"For me, this isn't even about how I feel. It's that I refuse to allow young women, people of color, people who are standing up for what they believe, to see this kind of intimidation attempts by a person who supports white supremacists in our nation's Capitol," she continued.

Greene is facing blowback from Democrats off the heels of a Washington Post report that she harassed Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday and shouted at her as the two left the floor.

Greene repeatedly yelled, "Hey, Alexandria," according to two Washington Post reporters who witnessed the incident. Ocasio-Cortez reportedly did not stop to address Greene, who went on to press the young progressive on her support for Black Lives Matter, which Greene claimed to be a "terrorist" group.

"You don't care about the American people," Greene reportedly shouted. "Why do you support terrorists and antifa?"

After Ocasio-Cortez's departure, Greene also reportedly called the Democrat a "radical socialist" and a "chicken" who "doesn't want to debate the Green New Deal."

The report came after Greene challenged Ocasio-Cortez to a debate over her "Green New Deal" legislation. Not long after, Greene also went up to Ocasio-Cortez in the House chamber and posted a photo of the moment on social media. 

Greene defended her actions Thursday and rejected the notion that her behavior was uncivil.

"So she throws out paying customers. Is that how she feels? She throws out paying customers, is what she's saying?" Greene said in response to a reporter who relayed how Ocasio-Cortez compared her to an aggressive bar patron.

"You know, it would be nice if they would treat us civilly. But ever since Jan. 6, they can't even treat us with respect. And we were just as much as victims of the riot here, too. We didn't cause it," Greene continued. "All these lies that they say on and on and on. You know, they need to be civil. None of them are civil to me.

"I was telling her, you need to debate me, you need to defend your policy," she added. "There is nothing wrong with that."

Ocasio-Cortez's office has expressed concerns about security for congressional members and staff after the incident.

"We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff - especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene's attacks," a spokesperson for her office, Lauren Hitt, told the Post. 

Earlier this year, Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) also announced she would be moving her office away from Greene's after she said the Georgia Republican berated her without a mask and targeted her on social media.

"I'm moving my office away from hers for my team's safety," Bush tweeted at the time about the move.

Greene countered that Bush instigated the exchange by yelling at her to put on a mask in a House hallway and posted a video of the exchange.

"She is lying to you. She berated me. Maybe Rep. Bush didn't realize I was live on video, but I have the receipts," Greene said at the time.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.), who has introduced a resolution to expel Greene from Congress, sported an "Expel MTG" mask in the Capitol on Thursday as he sought more co-sponsors after the Ocasio-Cortez incident.

"She's still a threat. She assaulted one of my colleagues, a friend of mine. And I think it's time for us to take a vote on the resolution," Gomez said.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday described Greene's confrontation with Ocasio-Cortez as a "verbal assault," and warned the situation could be a matter for the House Ethics Committee. 

Pelosi called Greene's behavior "so beyond the pale of anything that is in keeping with bringing honor to the House."

This week is not the first time that a House Republican has accosted Ocasio-Cortez. 

In an incident witnessed by a reporter for The Hill last summer, then-Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) told Ocasio-Cortez she was "disgusting" for recently suggesting that poverty and unemployment were behind a crime spike in New York City.

As he walked away, Yoho added to no one in particular: "F---ing bitch."

Updated: 7:02 p.m.

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