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Ocasio-Cortez: House GOP censuring Waters 'because they don't have any ideas of their own'

"For a bunch of people who care so much about alleged cancel culture, they're out here trying to censure everybody," the lawmaker says.

Updated: April 21, 2021 - 9:56am

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday criticized House Republican leaders for introducing a censure resolution against fellow Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters for calling on protestors to "get more confrontational" over the Derek Chauvin trial involving the death of George Floyd.

"I mean, this is what they do. They just try to impeach everybody. They try to censure everybody. You notice they're doing all this because they don't have any ideas of their own, right? They don't," Ocasio-Cortez said after reintroducing the Green New Deal with Democratic Sen. Ed Markey and other lawmakers.

Waters, of California, made the comment Saturday while in Brooklyn Center, Minn., after the fatal police shooting of Daunte Wright. She was referring to the trial just miles away in Minneapolis in which Chauvin, an ex-police officer, faces murder and manslaughter charges in connection with Floyd's May 2020 death while in police custody. 

A jury is now deliberating a verdict, as thousands of National Guard troops are being activated in cities across the country in preparation for possible post-verdict protests, which Republicans say Waters encouraged with her comments.

"I can't even think of the last time they introduced a piece of legislation that is actually proactive in solving the problems that we have, instead of them inventing a crisis, and it's like, for a bunch of people who care so much about alleged cancel culture, they're out here trying to censure everybody in the book for anything they don't agree with," Ocasio-Cortez continued Tuesday.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said Waters was "inciting violence in Minneapolis" with her comments and is leading the effort to put the censure resolution up for a vote.

"Speaker Pelosi is ignoring Waters’ behavior," he says. "That’s why I am introducing a resolution to censure Representative Waters for these dangerous comments."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Waters should not apologize for her comments, which also included a call for protestors to "stay on the street." 

Ocasio-Cortez was asked if she agrees with Pelosi. 

"I don't think she should apologize," she responded. "If she said that people should stay in the streets, like, who are we to tell people to stop protesting? Who are we? Like, this body, this government? Are we guaranteeing people health care? Are we changing our carceral system? Is there police reform that's going on? Are we doing sufficient action on climate change? No. So who are we to tell people to stop protesting? They should keep protesting until their lives change for the better. That's literally what a democracy is."

Ocasio-Cortez was also asked if she plans to take part in a protest if there is a not guilty verdict in the trial.

"Potentially, you know, I think, I just sincerely hope that we that we see justice today, and I don't even want to put into the air and make a plan for that not happening. But ultimately, what what we need to look towards is people's movements and what people are telling us and they're telling us to act on this issue," she said.

"They're telling us to transform these systems. They're telling us to examine our priorities, not just in a body camera, or training, but in our actual investments, and priorities as a society. And they're asking us to stop prioritizing incarceration as our most valuable thing and to start investing in anti-poverty in schooling and in community care."


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