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Representative Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader, moved on Tuesday afternoon to force a vote to censure Democratic Representative Maxine Waters for saying that racial justice protesters should “get more confrontational” if the Derek Chauvin jury doesn’t return a guilty verdict.
Mr. McCarthy, a California Republican announced on Monday evening that he would move to rebuke Ms. Waters, the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee and a frequent target of rage from the right, for comments she made to racial justice protesters in Brooklyn Center, Minn., over the weekend.
Asked what protesters should do if no guilty verdict was reached in the murder trial of Mr. Chauvin for killing George Floyd, Ms. Waters said: “We’ve got to stay on the street, and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational; we’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Ms. Waters later said she had been referring to civil rights-style demonstrations, which used tactics of civil disobedience, and Democratic leaders have stood behind her. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California told reporters on Monday that Ms. Waters had no reason to apologize for her remarks.
But Republicans led by Mr. McCarthy have accused Ms. Waters of inciting violence, and sought to use her comments to portray all Democrats as anti-police extremists. By forcing a vote on the matter, they were looking to put politically vulnerable Democrats in a tough spot, daring them to vote against condemning what the Republicans characterized as radical statements.
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