House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in an interview on Monday night that Republicans have backed Democrats into a corner on whether they either disapprove of or embrace the words of Rep. Maxine Waters, ahead of possible riots this week following the outcome of the Derek Chauvin trial.
McCarthy told Fox News that he believes Waters’ remarks over the weekend rise to the level of a congressional censure. According to House Democratic Caucus rules, censure would result in Waters losing her position as chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee.
Waters said during a protest in Minnesota over the weekend that “protesters” were “looking for a guilty verdict,” and what protesters should do if the outcome of the Chauvin trial is not what they want. Waters stated that activists must “stay on the street,” “get more active,” and “get more confrontational.”
“I believe it rises to that level because Maxine Waters believes there is value in violence,” McCarthy said. “And now what she has said has even put doubt into a jury. You had a judge announce that it was wrong. I think this takes action especially when she has a pattern of this behavior.”
“I know there are probably 10 to 15 [Democrats] who would love to vote [for censure],” McCarthy added. “It will all come down to the pressure of what Democrats will put on them to just try to vote to table it, not even to have the discussion.”
“And if they hold together, then they are going to own what not only Maxine Waters has been saying but what Tlaib and the others about removing police officers and others. This has gone on too far and for too long” he concluded.
Fox News correspondent Chad Pergram stated that some Democrats were angry with Waters’ comments and that they may vote to censure her, due to worries about riots being tied to Waters’ words and hurting the party in the 2022 midterms, as reported by the Daily Wire.
Over the weekend, McCarthy stated that if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is not going to take action against Waters, he will. On Monday, Pelosi said that she thought Waters should not apologize for her comments. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki also avoided answering the question of whether President Joe Biden supported Waters’ remarks that protestors “get more confrontational.”
In a statement on Monday, McCarthy announced that he would seek to censure Waters:
This weekend in Minnesota, Maxine Waters broke the law by violating curfew and then incited violence. Increased unrest has already led to violence against law enforcement and her comments intentionally poured fuel on the fire. We’ve heard this type of violent rhetoric from Waters before, and the United States Congress must clearly and without reservation reprimand this behavior before more people get hurt. But Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior. That’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Rep. Waters for these dangerous comments, and I hope that all my colleagues – both Republican and Democrat – will stand up for peace on America’s streets.