AOC on House Floor: "Rep. Yoho Called Me—And I Quote—‘a Fuc**ng B**ch’”

By CNSNews.com Staff | July 23, 2020 | 2:18pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) - Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stood on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives today and gave a speech in which she said that Rep. Ted Yoho (R.-Fla.) had called her “a fuc**ng b**ch” on the steps outside the U.S. Capitol.

Yesterday, Rep. Yoho himself had take to the House floor to apologize for “the abrupt manner” in which he had spoken to Ocasio-Cortez and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D.-Md.)  had followed him on the floor, seemingly accepting the apology on Ocasio-Cortez’s behalf.

But then Ocasio-Cortez gave her speech today.

“I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York,” Yoho said on the House floor on Wednesday. “It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful.

"Having been married for 45 years, with two daughters, I am very cognizant of my language," Yoho said. "The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues, and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding."

Hoyer then said: “The apology was appropriate. I know that our colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appreciates that apology, but let us treat one another with the respect and dignity each of us deserves not only as a Member of this body, but as a human being.”

On Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez was given an hour of time on the House floor as a matter of personal privilege. She then used about ten minutes to give a speech about what Rep. Yoho said to her.

“About two days ago, I was walking up the steps of the Capitol when Rep. Yoho suddenly turned a corner--and he was accompanied by Rep. Roger Williams [R.-Texas]--and accosted me on the steps right here in front of the nation’s Capitol,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

“I was minding my own business walking up the steps and Rep. Yoho put his finger in my face. He called me disgusting. He called me crazy. He called me out of my mind. And he called me dangerous,” she said.

“And then he took a few more steps, and after I had recognized his—after I had recognized his comments as rude—he walked away and said: ‘I’m rude? You’re calling me rude?’” she said.

“I took a few steps ahead and I walked inside and cast my vote,” said Ocasio-Coretz. “Because my constituents send me here each and every day to fight for them and to make sure they are able to keep a roof over their head, that they are able to feed their families, that they are able to carry their lives with dignity.

“I walked back out and there were reporters in the front of the Capitol,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “And in front of reporters, Rep. Yoho called me—and I quote—‘a fucking bitch.’

“These are the words that Rep. Yoho levied against a congresswoman,” she said. “The congresswoman that not only represents New York’s 14th congressional district but every congresswoman and every woman in this country. Because all of us have had to deal with this in some form, in some way, some shape, at some point in our lives.”

Ocasio-Cortez then went on to say that what Rep. Yoho did was indictive above an element she sees in American culture.

“I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s,” she said. And I have encountered this kind of harassment while riding the subway in New York City. This is not new. And that is the problem.

“Mr. Yoho was not alone,” said Ocasio-Cortez. “He was walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Rep. Roger Williams. And that’s when we start to see that this issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

Here is a transcript of the part of Ocasio-Cortez speech where she recites what she says Rep. Yoho said to her:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “About two days ago, I was walking up the steps of the Capitol when Rep. Yoho suddenly turned a corner--and he was accompanied by Rep. Roger Williams--and accosted me on the steps right here in front of the nation’s Capitol.  I was minding my own business walking up the steps and Rep. Yoho put his finger in my face. He called me disgusting. He called me crazy. He called me out of my mind. And he called me dangerous.

“And then he took a few more steps, and after I had recognized his—after I had recognized his comments as rude—he walked away and said: ‘I’m rude. You’re calling me rude.’

“I took a few steps ahead and I walked inside and cast my vote. Because my constituents send me here each and every day to fight for them and to make sure they are able to keep a roof over their head, that they are able to feed their families, that they are able to carry their lives with dignity.

“I walked back out and there were reporters in the front of the Capitol. And in front of reporters, Rep. Yoho called me—and I quote—‘a fucking bitch.’

“These are the words that Rep. Yoho levied against a congresswoman. The congresswoman that not only represents New York’s 14th congressional district but every congresswoman and every woman in this country. Because all of us have had to deal with this in some form, in some way, some shape, at some point in our lives.

“And I want to be clear that Rep. Yoho’s comments were not deeply hurtful or piercing to me because I have worked a working class job. I have waited tables in restaurants. I have ridden the subway. I have walked the streets in New York City. And this kind of language is not new. I have encountered words uttered by Mr. Yoho and men uttering the same words as Mr. Yoho while I was being harassed in restaurants.

“I have tossed men out of bars that have used language like Mr. Yoho’s. And I have encountered this kind of harassment while riding the subway in New York City. This is not new. And that is the problem. Mr. Yoho was not alone. He was walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Rep. Roger Williams. And that’s when we start to see that this issue is not about one incident. It is cultural. It is a culture of lack of impunity, of accepting of violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.”

Here is a transcript of the speech Rep. Yoho gave on the House floor Wednesday:

Rep. Ted Yoho: “Mr. Speaker, I stand before you this morning to address the strife I injected into the already-contentious Congress.

"I have worked with many Members in this Chamber over the past four terms, Members on both sides of the aisle--and each of you know that I am a man of my word. So let me take a moment to address this body.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise to apologize for the abrupt manner of the conversation I had with my colleague from New York. It is true that we disagree on policies and visions for America, but that does not mean we should be disrespectful. Having been married for 45 years, with two daughters, I am very cognizant of my language. The offensive name-calling words attributed to me by the press were never spoken to my colleagues, and if they were construed that way, I apologize for their misunderstanding.

“As my colleagues know, I am passionate about those affected by poverty. My wife, Carolyn, and I started out together at the age of 19 with nothing. We did odd jobs, and we were on food stamps. I know the face of poverty, and for a time, it was mine. That is why I know people in this country can still, with all its faults, rise up and succeed and not be encouraged to break the law.

“I will commit to each of you that I will conduct myself from a place of passion and understanding that policy and political disagreement be vigorously debated with the knowledge that we approach the problems  facing our Nation with the betterment of the country in mind and the  people we serve.

“Mr. Speaker, I cannot apologize for my passion or for loving my God, my family, and my country.”

Here is the speech that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer gave after Yoho had spoken:

Rep. Steny Hoyer. “Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the words of the gentleman from Florida (Mr. Yoho). They were appropriate because the language we use matters. The way we treat one another matters.

“Mr. Yoho needed no apology for his passion about poverty and for the downtrodden, but he ought to remember and acknowledge that the person to whom he spoke so inappropriately was one of the strongest fighters in this Congress for those with the least, those who are downtrodden, those who are forgotten.

“Mr. Speaker, the apology was appropriate. I hope that Mr. Yoho feels that apology sincerely, and I hope all of us will take a lesson to think before we speak so harshly to one another.

“This country is a divided country. There are some of us who believe that our Chief Executive uses harsh language and inappropriate language

directed at some of our citizens. We ought not to replicate that conduct.

“The apology was appropriate. I know that our colleague, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appreciates that apology, but let us treat one another with the respect and dignity each of us deserves not only as a Member of this body, but as a human being.”

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