WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) As Chris Marquette reports, “No Democrat voted against the resolution to expel Greene from House committees. Eleven Republicans broke ranks to support the measure’s adoption.”
The House voted 230-199 on Thursday to remove Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. Greene had earlier attempted on the floor to distance herself from previous violent and outlandish comments without renouncing them, while also claiming Democrats were out to “crucify” her for speaking her mind.
No Democrat voted against the resolution to expel Greene from House committees. Eleven Republicans broke ranks to support the measure’s adoption.
Prior to her election to Congress last year, Greene expressed support on social media for the assassination of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, agreed with those who said the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 was a “false flag” operation, questioned whether a plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, said President Barack Obama was Muslim, posted a photo of herself on Facebook holding a gun to images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, mused that a space laser aligned with Jewish financial interests caused devastating wildfires in California and aligned herself with QAnon, a baseless belief about an anti-Trump “deep state” that engages in child sex trafficking and satanism.
Greene did say “school shootings are absolutely real” and that “9/11 absolutely happened,” which does not contradict her conspiracy theories about the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School or that a plane did not hit the Pentagon. Saying she was present as a student when a fellow student took her school hostage, she said, “I know the fear that David Hogg had that day.” Among her behavior in question was video footage of her confronting Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland shooting and calling him a “coward.”
H. Res. 72, which was introduced by Florida Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, would remove Greene from the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee. Greene will still be able to vote and give speeches on the House floor.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., decried the move by the Democratic majority as an unprecedented power grab and argued that because Greene’s comments were made before she was a member, the House should not address it.
McCarthy said Democrats would regret their decision to strip Greene’s committee seats.
McCarthy mispronounced “QAnon” and then proceeded to cast aspersion on the behavior of several Democrats. “If the majority party gets to decide who sits on what other committees, I hope you keep that standard, because we have a long list you can work with in your own.”
In 2019, when former Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, made comments sympathetic to white supremacy, McCarthy swiftly ensured King was removed from his committees. He has deviated from that approach regarding Greene. To be clear, King made his comments as a sitting member of Congress.
Pelosi told reporters she is not concerned about the precedent Democrats are setting by removing a member of the minority party from committees.
“If any of our members threatened the safety of other members, we’d be the first ones to take them off of a committee,” Pelosi said.
During Greene’s floor speech, which was heralded by a member of Republican leadership as her taking accountability, Greene claimed the media is equally culpable in spreading misinformation as the QAnon conspiracy theory is.
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“Will we allow the media that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us,” Greene asked.
House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said Greene did not “take responsibility” nor did she apologize “for some of the most egregious things that she’s posted and said.”
Greene stressed that her conduct at issue occurred before she became a lawmaker, a point her Republican colleagues also made.
“I never said any of these things, since I have been elected for Congress,” she said. “These were words of the past and these things do not represent me.”
She also said everyone makes mistakes.
“I believe in God with all my heart and I’m so grateful to be humbled to be reminded that I’m a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross to forgive me for my sins,” Greene said. “And this is something that I absolutely rejoice in today to tell you all, and I think it’s important for all of us to remember none of us are perfect.”
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said Greene “actually held herself to account.”
During his time to speak, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer walked around the floor and made sure his Republican colleagues looked at a poster of the manipulated photo Greene posted on Facebook of her holding a gun near images of Ocasio-Cortez, Omar and Tlaib with the words: “Squad’s Worst Nightmare,” the informal name of the group of Democrats those members belong to.
“This is not about polling. This is not about your base. This is about your conscience and your moral judgment,” Hoyer said. “In other words, each of us will have to look inside our hearts to the answer we know is right and is best for the House and for our country.”
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., plans to introduce a resolution to expel Greene from the chamber, but it requires a two-thirds majority, which is unlikely to result in her expulsion. His office is in talks with leadership to figure out the most appropriate legislative avenue and timing for introduction, an aide said. It has 69 Democratic co-sponsors.
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