WASHINGTON – The Democratic-led House will vote Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee posts after Republican leaders signaled they were unwilling to punish the Georgia freshman for a litany of incendiary, conspiratorial and racist posts on social media prior to her arrival in Congress last month.
The Rules Committee Wednesday voted to bring the matter to the full House for a vote Thursday that will decide whether Greene can stay on her committees for the rest of her term, which expires in January 2023.
“We had hoped that the Republican leadership would have dealt with this. For whatever reason, they don’t want to deal with it. And that’s unfortunate So we are taking this step,” said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass, who chairs the Rules Committee. “The question we all have to ask ourselves is what is the consequence of doing nothing.”
While acknowledging Greene’s past posts, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blasted the Democrats for overstepping their bounds.
“I understand that Marjorie’s comments have caused deep wounds to many and as a result, I offered Majority Leader (Steny) Hoyer a path to lower the temperature and address these concerns,” McCarthy said in a statement. “Instead of coming together to do that, the Democrats are choosing to raise the temperature by taking the unprecedented step to further their partisan power grab regarding the committee assignments of the other party.”
Prior to joining Congress. Greene had “liked” calls for violence against prominent Democrats on Facebook, described school shootings as staged events, and outlined conspiracies such as space lasers causing deadly wildfires in California. More recently, she has insisted that Donald Trump won the Nov. 3 election due to widespread fraud even as no legitimate evidence has been presented and dozens of court decisions affirmed Biden’s victory.
Democrats were particularly incensed about her appointment to the Education and Labor Committee following her statements that a number of school shootings, including the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre in 2012 and the Parkland, Florida, rampage in 2018 were staged by Democrats to promote gun control measures.
Her views have drawn ridicule and ire from some Republicans as well. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., told reporters Tuesday, she was “nutty” and an “embarrassment to our party. There’s no place for her in the Republican Party, there ought to be no place.”
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the top Republican on the Rules Committee, said Greene’s comments were “repugnant and unbecoming of any member of Congress.” But he said Democrats’ actions are “premature.”
Greene did not answer questions Wednesday from reporters as she left her office. But her campaign sent out a fundraising appeal.
“Today’s the day I could be removed from committees, or worse, expelled from Congress,” she said in the fundraising email. “Why? Because I stood up for President Trump, I stand for America First, I filed Articles of Impeachment against Joe Biden, and I speak the truth. I need you to call your Representative and urge them to #StandWithMTG! Tell them not to cave to the radical socialists in Congress!”
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In response, a cadre of pro-Trump lawmakers are trying to remove Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from her House committee assignments for controversial statements made over the past two years.
House Republicans Brian Babin of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Jody Hice of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ronny Jackson of Texas — who, like Greene, also spread misinformation about election fraud — sponsored a proposed amendment to remove Omar from committee, first reported by FOX News.
“Leftist Members of Congress have advocated for violence, anti-Semitism, anti-law enforcement, & other sentiments that have violated rules of decorum & principles of American decency,” Biggs tweeted Wednesday. “That’s why I’m calling for Rep Omar to be removed from her committee.”
Babin claims several of instances as evidence for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including her Feb. 2019 tweet “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in responding to a comment made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about punishing Omar for being critical of Israel.
Omar’s tweet triggered swift backlash from both sides of the aisle, with some accusing her of using anti-Semitic stereotypes.
After the backlash, Omar apologized for her tweet. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar tweeted. “My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”