Members of the Black Caucus of Congress huddled together to hear the chauvin verdict, replacing a tense moment for the caucus with sighs of relief and some cheers.
“Someone said it better than me: I’m not celebrating, I’m relieved,” said Waters after the jury announced their decision.
Even some Democrats uncomfortable with Waters’ rhetoric personally said they would refuse to blame them, while Republicans like Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) During a Jan. 6 rally before a protest for his provocative speech would go unpunished Donald Trump mob attacked the Capitol.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) Among several Democrats who considered blaming her colleague said she was “deeply concerned” [Waters’] Choice of words “, but ultimately not thought about, compared to the behavior of some of your GOP colleagues in recent weeks.
For those Democrats who are wary of Waters’ remarks, it would smell like hypocrisy if they censor their own colleagues while ignoring what their GOP colleagues have said – some of whom Democrats have accused of sparking the insurgency To have contributed to the Capitol. Then there is first-time MP Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Who has long promoted extremist rhetoric on the internet and has been sacked by her house committees for advocating violence against Pelosi.
“I had to weigh it long and hard because we voted earlier this year,” said Wild, referring to the House votes to get Greene off their committees. “I don’t think it will get to that level. But it wasn’t an easy vote.”
In addition to the complications of the resolution, some lawmakers feared that punishing Waters – or any other member – could result in similar resolutions being later armed. Such votes are relatively uncommon in the House of Representatives, and both parties are usually reluctant to punish their own local members.
In recent years the House has voted on measures to reprimand, for example, MP Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) And former MP Steve King (R-Iowa), but only after strong pressure from both sides. Republicans had planned to use Tuesday’s criticism to tie endangered Democrats to Waters, a long-time liberal sucker for the GOP.
For many members, the debate over the punishment of Waters, a veteran member of the Congressional Black Caucus, reopened a painful split after Jan 6 over how Congress can get on with normal business – and relationships – at the moment of judgment for several other lawmakers who have been controversial with their behavior since the end of the 2020 elections.
“I think it is a completely wrong effort to divert what Republicans know has been the rhetoric of so many of their members who have supported, encouraged and condoned violent activity,” said Steny Hoyer, House Majority Leader. The Maryland Democrat vigorously defended Waters after the judge in the chauvinist trial stunned many in Washington, DC by criticizing Waters’ remarks from the bench.