House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said there may be consequences for Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene after she chased down and harassed Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the hallways of Congress.
On Wednesday, two Washington Post reporters witnessed Ms Greene chase down Ms Ocasio-Cortez and verbally harass her, asking her why she supported "terrorists" and complaining that she would not debate her about the Green New Deal.
Conservative media personalities – and now apparently lawmakers – have used "debate" challenges as a way to gain a platform for their own ideas by challenging rivals to verbally spar with them.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez previously turned down a similar debate offer from conservative media personality Ben Shapiro.
"Why do you support terrorists and antifa?" Ms Greene asked Ms Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday before telling reporters that the New York Democrat was a "chicken" for not debating her.
Ms Greene formerly was a proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory – whose adherents were among those who participated in the Capitol riot – and supported the conspiracy theory that the Parkland school shooting was a hoax.
She claimed that Ms Ocasio-Cortez did not "care about the American people”.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez apparently threw her hands into the air and said something to Ms Greene, but reporters at the scene could not hear her.
Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ms Ocasio-Cortez, issued a statement to The Washington Post following the report on the incident.
“We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff,” she said.
She also pointed out a similar situation earlier this year in which Ms Greene berated Congresswoman Cori Bush in a hallway.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez retweeted a post in which she is quoted as having likened Ms Greene to a drunken barfly.
“I used to work as a bartender. These are the kinds of people that I threw out of bars all the time,” she reportedly said.
The congresswoman also took the opportunity to encourage people to “keep generously tipping your bartenders, servers, delivery, venue, and hospitality workers”, whose services have shown themselves to be essential during the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press briefing on Thursday, Ms Pelosi said that the Republican Congresswoman's behavior was "so beyond the pale of bringing Honor to the House" that it "probably is a matter for the Ethics Committee."
She said that Ms Greene's actions were "beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of the United States”.
Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, also called on the ethics committee to review the incident.
“She is certainly engaged in threatening behavior, and I think ultimately this is something that may have to be evaluated by the Ethics Committee,” he said during an appearance on CNN.
He said Ms Ocasio-Cortez has shown "tremendous restraint" and "should be commended" because it appeared Ms Greene was "stalking her”.
Ms Greene denied screaming at the congresswoman, and said in a social media post that Ms Ocasio-Cortez should be reviewed by the ethics committee for supporting a short-lived proposal to create a list of Trump administration officials to hold them accountable in their post-Trump lives.
“Actually, @SpeakerPelosi the Ethics Commitee should look into@AOC for putting Trump admin staff and supporters on lists to destroy their lives and prevent future employment,” Greene said in her post. “She threatened the livelihoods of Americans for simply being Republicans.”
An ethics hearing about her behavior would not be the first time Ms Greene has faced consequences in the House.
Earlier this year, the House voted to strip Ms Greene of her committee assignments for supporting threats of violence against Democratic lawmakers, promoting conspiracy theories about 9/11 and the Parkland school shooting, and calling Ms Pelosi a "b****" while she was a primary candidate.
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