House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) blasted freshman Republican congressman Burgess Owens (R-Utah) for lecturing Democrats on patriotism on his first day as a member of the House Judiciary Committee after voting to overturn the results of the election.
Owens referenced an effort by Republicans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the meeting. He said, “it’s about actions, not words.”
But Rep. Jeffries was having none of it.
“I was hoping to engage with the new distinguished gentleman from Utah, as he sat here lecturing us about patriotism,” Jeffries began. “And I was just going to ask him how he voted after a violent mob attacked the Capitol to hunt down members of Congress, to hang Mike Pence, to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, to stop us from undertaking our constitutional responsibilities as part of the peaceful transfer of power, more than a hundred officers seriously injured, brain injuries, head trauma, one officer lost three fingers, another officer, because of an assault on him, is likely to be blind. Officer Sicknick died, blood was spilled, two other officers are no longer with us.”
“And you want to sit here and lecture us about patriotism? When you voted to object to an election that you know Joe Biden won, and perpetrated the big lie?” Jeffries said.
“But the notion of you coming here lecturing us on your first day before this committee, it’s not about words it’s about actions?” Jeffries said. “You know what? Explain your actions on January 7th. When you supported an insurrection.”
When another rep asked him to yield, Jeffries replied “No. You don’t really want any of this either.”
Moments later, Jeffries yielded to allow Owens to respond.
“Was it insurrection when in 2016, seven of your colleagues objected?” Owens asked. “Was it insurrection when the past three Republican wins, presidential wins, that objected? No it was not. It was a voice, it was having a people realize you have some concern. Now in terms of integrity…”
“Reclaiming my time,” Jeffries interrupted. :You asked a question. I would just simply say, and the impeachment manager’s going to do a great job, but a violent insurrection resulted in the spilling of American blood. People died. The Capitol was desecrated. Urine and feces was left behind. The Confederate flag was bandied about. That didn’t even happen in this Capitol during the Civil War. The Trump flag was placed in the stead of the American flag. That’s an insurrection, that’s sedition, that’s undemocratic, that’s problematic, and the American thing to do is to stand up to it. I yield back.”