“Words have consequences. We must acknowledge that and respond with action.”
WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), along with Representatives Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Cori Bush (MO-01), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Jimmy Gomez (CA-34), Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) held a press conference on Capitol Hill to discuss their resolution to remove Representative Lauren Boebert (CO-03) from her committee assignments and the need to hold Boebert accountable.
A full transcript of Rep. Pressley’s opening remarks is below:
|Transcript: Rep. Pressley Speaks at Presser on Resolution to Remove Rep. Boebert From Committee Assignments
House Radio/TV Gallery
Good afternoon. It brings me great sadness that we even have to gather here today once again, to denounce and condemn the racist, hateful and unacceptable behavior of yet another one of our Republican colleagues.
It is shameful that we have had to wait this long for meaningful action, for meaningful accountability, but here we are.
Today, we stand in solidarity with Representative Omar and our Muslim colleagues, who for too long have been targets of unprecedented hate and vitriol. We stand in solidarity with the Muslim staffers who bravely raised their voices in an open letter earlier today, calling for accountability. Calling for a workplace where they can feel safe, where their families do not have to fear that they will be targeted or harassed.
Today, we stand in solidarity with the broader Muslim community.
For a member of Congress to repeatedly and unapologetically use hateful, racist and Islamophobic tropes towards a Muslim colleague is dangerous.
This sort of toxic behavior has no place in the halls of Congress, and it diminishes the honor of the institution that we all serve in.
It has no place in our public discourse. It has no place in our society. It has no place in any workplace, period.
Over the last week, we have seen a growing coalition of lawmakers call for real, meaningful accountability for Rep. Boebert’s actions.
When we asked for an apology and acknowledgement of her racist and blatantly false comments, we were met with even more racism and bigotry.
When we called on Republican Leader McCarthy to hold this member of his caucus accountable, we were met with defiance and gaslighting.
Enough is enough. Each day that passes without meaningful accountability, we risk normalizing this behavior and endangering the lives of our Muslim colleagues, Muslim staff and every Muslim who calls this country home.
And despite what some may argue, this is not about any one member of Congress. This is about accountability.
This is about protecting the integrity of the House of Representatives and about living up to the very values that we espouse and claim to represent.
Many of us here today witnessed firsthand the consequences of the previous president’s rhetoric, when he incited a mob of violent insurrectionists to attack our seat of government.
We have heard the hate and credible threats that have been directed at Rep. Omar and her staff.
Words have consequences. We must acknowledge that and respond with action.
We’ve introduced this resolution today to do just that. And to send a powerful message to every Muslim and every marginalized person who has ever questioned their place in this country, or in the halls of power.
We see you. You belong. You are powerful. And you deserve a life free from fear and filled with dignity and love.
How we respond in moments like these will have a lasting impact, and history will remember us for it.
The world is watching. I look forward to working with House leadership to get this resolution across the finish line.