Democrat Rep. Dan Goldman (Ny.) filed a formal censure against House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (Ny.) over her Jan. 6 comments.
The censure power is a rare congressional punishment typically used only against members convicted of a crime or severe wrongdoing, according to The New York Times.
Earlier this month, Stefanik claimed during an interview on Meet The Press that she was concerned “about the treatment of the Jan. 6 hostages” as they remain imprisoned for trespassing and assaulting law enforcement. Former President Donald Trump has used similar language to defend the rioters.
The Democrat lawmaker took issue with the Congresswoman’s decision to call the individuals “hostages.”
“What it comes down to is whether the speech by a member of Congress — does it go over the line where it promotes violence, some form of discrimination or bring serious disrepute on the institution,” Goldman told the Times.
“It directly relates to the safety and security of this body,” he added. “If you provide comfort to those people who have been charged and convicted of violent attempts to overthrow our government, you are supporting people who attacked the Capitol and attacked this body.”
Per the NYT:
Mr. Goldman’s measure also asserts that Ms. Stefanik has filed vindictive ethics complaints against a federal judge overseeing criminal cases involving the Jan. 6 insurrections and has falsely referred to the indictment of Mr. Trump by Jack Smith, the special counsel, as “attempts to criminalize the First Amendment.”
House Democrats have tried to keep their members aligned in opposing Republican efforts to censure members of their caucus for their speech, arguing that doing so erodes a basic tenant of democracy. And they have generally been successful in keeping Democrats mostly united against the Republican-led censures — with the exception of the official condemnation of Ms. Tlaib, which some pro-Israel Democrats broke with their leaders to support.
The Republicans will unlikely schedule a floor vote on Goldman’s censure resolution targeting the majority’s senior members. A top aide of Stefaniks told the Times that Goldman’s move was “corrupt” and “radical.”