House removes Marjorie Taylor Greene from committee assignments

WASHINGTON, D,C. — The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. The expulsion comes after her previous comments questioned the truth about school shootings, encouraged political violence and expressed anti-Semitic falsehoods.

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The 230-199 vote, mostly along party lines, included 219 Democrats and 11 Republicans favoring Greene’s removal from the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee.

“I don’t understand what is complicated here,” House Rules Committee Chairman James McGovern, D-Mass., said on the House floor. “We know the result of these violent conspiracy theories. We saw that on Jan. 6. We know what it leads to. I don’t ever want to see that again. And we all should make clear where we stand on this.”

In remarks on the House floor ahead of Thursday’s vote, Greene, 46, said she regretted “words of the past” but stopped short of apologizing for her racist and violent rhetoric. She called herself “a very regular American” who became curious about the QAnon conspiracy theory in 2018 before she began campaigning for Congress.

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, and I would ask questions about them and talk about them,” Greene said. “And that is absolutely what I regret. Because if it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today, and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong. Because I’ve lived a very good life that I’m proud of.”

“These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values,” Greene said.

Greene later said in a tweet that she would be holding a news conference Friday morning.

The move to strip Greene of her committee assignments could set a risky precedent as Democrats target a sitting member of the opposing party in Congress over views expressed prior to her serving as an elected official, and several Republicans expressed that belief during the hour-long debate before the final vote was taken.

A motion to adjourn the hearings earlier Thursday afternoon failed by a 218-205 vote.

Greene, who has suggested that school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, could be hoaxes, was selected to serve on the House education and budget committees, The Washington Post reported. Democrats told McCarthy this week that if he didn’t remove Greene from her committees, the House would vote to do so, according to the newspaper.

The Republican Steering Committee can remove House GOP members from their committee posts, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Wednesday ruled out taking action. Instead, he accused Democrats of a “partisan power grab” for targeting Greene, who once suggested that a Jewish-owned financial firm may have been involved in a plot to spark California wildfires using a space laser.

Without mentioning Greene by name, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Monday that the “loony lies and conspiracy theories” embraced by the freshman representative amounted to a “cancer” on the Republican Party.

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“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said. “Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality. This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”

Several of Greene’s social media posts and videos have resurfaced in the past week, according to The New York Times. In online videos and through supportive “likes” on social media, Greene has voiced support for racist beliefs, calls for violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former President Barack Obama and various false theories.

It’s unusual for party leaders to strip lawmakers of committee assignments, which can help them address their districts’ needs and raise campaign contributions.

In 2019, House GOP leaders removed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who had a history of racist comments, from the Agriculture and Judiciary panels after he wondered aloud in a New York Times story about when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. He lost the Republican primary for his seat in 2020 and is out of Congress after serving nine terms.

On Wednesday, House Republicans blocked an effort by conservative hardliners to oust the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., from her leadership role. Cheney, a daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, had enraged supporters of former President Donald Trump by voting to impeach him over the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.