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Retired Navy SEAL condemns ‘wholly inappropriate’ Gaza cease-fire protest by congressional staffers

Retired Navy SEAL Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wisc., criticized the Congressional staffers who walked out of the Capitol Building to support a ceasefire in the Middle East.

Rep. Derrick Van Orden, R-Wis., said Thursday that although congressional staffers have free speech rights, they are not the people elected to "write and dictate" policy. The retired Navy SEAL denounced the staffers who walked out of Congress in support of a Gaza ceasefire on "America's Newsroom." 


REP. DERRICK VAN ORDEN: The staff should never be the story because the staff's name is not on the door. I was elected by 750,000 Wisconsinites to represent them. Those folks are staff. They have the right of free speech, but they must understand that they don't write and dictate policy. The elected representatives, my Democrat colleagues and I, are chartered to write policy. Our staff is not. So I have a tremendous amount of respect for my Republican and Democrat colleagues who have been elected to this office to make sure that we can write effective policy to make the world and the country first and foremost, a better place. And these folks, I think it's wholly inappropriate for staff to be doing this. 

The protests came on the heels of Congress censuring Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich.

Twenty-two Democrats voted with 212 Republicans to censure Tlaib after she was criticized for sharing a video on social platform X that included the phrase "From the river to the sea," a pro-Palestinian liberation slogan.

"If this is not worthy of censure, what is? When you can call for the annihilation of a country and its people, if that’s not worthy of a censure, what is?" Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Ga., said on the House floor Tuesday. 

FOX News' Jeffrey Clark contributed to this report. 

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