WASHINGTON — Before the House voted Wednesday to censure Republican Rep. Paul Gosar and throw him off committees, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a veiled warning to Democrats that their seats may not be safe if his party takes control next year. The clash is the latest example of escalating political warfare as far-right lawmakers push the limits of acceptable discourse and Democrats insist that their behavior cannot go unpunished. In 2019, Republicans acted on their own to kick former Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, off committees for speaking positively about white supremacy. But since then they've declined to act on violent or racist rhetoric of other members who have aligned themselves with former President Donald Trump. Democrats took matters into their own hands by booting Gosar and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from committees. Gosar was striped of his committees after he posted an anime video depicting himself killing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and brandishing swords at President Joe Biden. Now Republicans are citing remarks by Democrats that are dissimilar, but have drummed up outrage among their voters, as basis for future retaliation if they seize control of the House next fall. McCarthy referred to past comments by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., saying that U.S. support for Israel was "all about the Benjamins," a remark that she apologized for after bipartisan criticism that she was pushing anti-Semitic tropes. He also referred to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., tweeting, "Lock up Kyle Rittenhouse and throw away the key." And he mentioned reports that Rep. Eric Swalwell was targeted by a suspected Chinese spy, which the California Democrat and intelligence officials have said did not result in compromising any sensitive information. McCarthy argued that the precedent set by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — allowing members of the minority to be removed from committees by a vote of the majority — could subject those Democrats to similar punishments in a Republican-led House. All hold highly-sought committee assignments: Swalwell on Intelligence, Omar on Foreign Affairs and Jeffries on Judiciary. "What they have started cannot be easily undone. Their actions today, and the past, have forever changed the way the House operates," McCarthy said on the House floor. "And furthermore, it means under the Pelosi precedent, all the members that I have mentioned earlier will need the approval of a majority to keep those positions in the future." "This body has suffered greatly. And the new standard will continue to be applied in the future," he said, without d . . . read the full article here.