(CNSNews.com) - At a congressional hearing on hate-fueled violence against the LGBTQ+ community on Wednesday, one member of Congress spewed some hatred of her own -- hatred directed at "white supremacists" on the committee and at Republicans in general.
Testifying before the House Oversight and Reform Committee were survivors of the recent Club Q Shooting, followed by a second panel of LGBTQ activists, including the head of the Human Rights Campaign and the head of the National Center for Transgender Equality Policy.
"Let me say to the witnesses, thank you for your testimony," said Rep. Cori Bush, the far-left Democrat who represents the St. Louis area in Congress.
"Thank you for staying, and sorry you have to listen to the white supremacy raise its ugly head, you know, throughout this hearing. But we're here to fight it, and so I just want to make sure you know that."
"Madam Chair? My God," interjected ranking member Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), but Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said nothing, allowing Rep. Bush to plow on:
"The rise of hate...follows a surge of anti-LGBTQ plus legislation, driven by Republican state lawmakers, including in my home state of Missouri," Bush said. She counted hundreds of allegedly "anti-queer and/or trans bills" in Missouri's latest legislative session, describing (misrepresenting) some of them:
"According to Promo Missouri, in 2020, the Missouri State House introduced 23 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. They've repeatedly -- it's absolutely disgusting -- filed library book bans, bans on doctor-recommended care, student organization bans and sports bans."
Bush then asked the head of the Human Rights Campaign about "the draconian measures state Republicans have advanced that target the health, the safety, and the rights of our LGBTQ-plus community."
HRC President Kelley Robinson replied, "It's a crisis that we're experiencing" as "we are trying to simply be able to live freely, safely and wholly as our true selves in every aspect of life, and what we see is continued legislative attacks paired with extremist rhetoric..."
"Thank you," Cori Bush responded. "Hate drives these Republican bills, which in turn drive dangerous hate and violence towards our LGBTQ-plus community."
Bush accused Missouri Republicans of waging "an obsessive attack on trans and gay rights" by introducing legislation "that would have criminalized parents and health services for providing care approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics and other leading organizations.
"They even sought to turn bills into ballot initiatives to drum up further hate, and have run for office on platforms grounded in anti-LGBTQ plus hate."
Bush then asked another witness, "What is the connection between a Republican crusade to target the LGBTQ+ community and the surge of hateful anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric online?"
The witness agreed that "this rhetoric" encourages bad actors.
Bush demonized Republicans as white supremacists and hate-mongers after Republican Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) quoted two black lawmakers: One, Rep. Ayana Pressley (D-Mass.) who once called for "unrest in the streets," and the other, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) who said, "we've got to get more confrontational." Fallon was making the point that incitement is not one-sided.
At the conclusion of Bush's anti-Republican rant, ranking member James Comer (R-Ky.) said, "I'm not even going to comment on what Miss Bush said. But I'll say this.
"Crime is going to be a top priority for the Republicans on the committee in the next Congress."
Comer, who will become committee chair in January, suggested that Bush might be able to "give us some pointers" on how to reduce crime in St. Louis, where crime is rampant.
"So maybe she can come tell us how to secure the border and give her expertise on crime moving forward, because that's what the issue is in America. We have a crime rate that's out of control, and we have to do better in America."