Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) yells at journalists as she goes through security outside the Chamber of the House on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on January 12, 2021.
Andrew Cabellero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images
The House will vote on Thursday on a resolution to deprive MP Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., Of her committee duties, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said.
The move comes amid resounding criticism of Greene for a series of extreme remarks she made prior to winning her Congress seat and increasing pressure on Republican leaders to reprimand or condemn these comments.
The resolution ousting Greene from the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Education and Labor was passed in the House Rules Committee on Wednesday afternoon.
Hoyer, D-Md., Said in a statement on Wednesday that the resolution will be voted on Thursday on the floor of the house.
“It is clear that there is no alternative to holding a vote on the decision to remove Rep. Greene from her committee duties,” Hoyer said, noting that he was speaking with Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., About Greene had spoken.
McCarthy had suggested to Hoyer that Republicans remove Greene from the education committee if she could stick to her budget committee mandate, a source knowledgeable told NBC News. Hoyer turned down this deal, which would have avoided a vote on the floor of the house.
Greene’s assignment to the Education Committee has proven more controversial amid reports that she mocked a survivor of the school shooting, suggesting that other shootings were jokes.
McCarthy met Greene in his Capitol office Tuesday night. After this discussion, he made no immediate comment.
But in a statement later Wednesday, McCarthy said he “unequivocally” condemns Greene’s many controversial remarks about “school shootings, political violence and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories”.
The Republican leader said he made it clear to Greene during their meeting that “it is our responsibility, as members of Congress, to keep ourselves to a higher standard” and that “her previous comments now have a much greater significance”.
“Marjorie recognized that in our conversation. I keep her word,” said McCarthy in his statement.
But Greene did not publicly apologize for her earlier remarks, only declaring on Wednesday that “we owe them no apology” and “we will never step down,” citing criticism from Democrats and the media.
McCarthy’s testimony stated that his offer to Hoyer was intended as a “way to bring the temperature down and remove those concerns” regarding Greene. But “Democrats are choosing to raise the temperature by taking the unprecedented move to fuel their partisan takeover of the other party’s committee duties,” McCarthy said.
Greene, who won her House seat after running unopposed in Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, has long received extensive scrutiny and conviction for promoting an extensive list of conspiracy theories.
Greene has a history of support for the baseless QAnon conspiracy that alleges that former President Donald Trump was embroiled in a secret battle against a cabal of “deep state” political and media criminals. She also recently came under fire after a CNN report revealed she liked multiple comments on Facebook calling for the execution of prominent Democrats, including House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Media also reported that Greene suspected in 2018 that forest fires in California might have been caused by laser beams.
At a House Rules Committee hearing on Wednesday, Chairman Jim McGovern, D-Mass., Tore up the “really sick stuff” Greene said.
“If a person is encouraged to talk about shooting a member in the head, they should lose the right to serve on a committee,” McGovern said. “If that’s not the bottom line, I don’t know where the hell the bottom line is.”
McCarthy “is unwilling or unable to do the right thing,” added McGovern.
McGovern also expressed hope that the regulatory body could come to a bipartisan agreement on the resolution.
“It’s not about turning down someone with a different political belief, it’s about accountability,” said McGovern. “This is not a debate about a difference in politics or even ideology. It is about what she said.”
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the top Republican member of the committee, said at the hearing, “I find Congressman Greene’s comments deeply offensive.”
However, he considered the committee’s hearing “premature” and said the ethics committee should review the matter and make recommendations.
“I urge this committee to consider an alternative course of action before it’s too late.”
“I am very concerned about the precedent of another party that chooses to” ditch the duties of a membership committee, “said Cole.
Earlier this week, Senate Minority Chairman Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Condemned Greene’s “crazy lies and conspiracy theories” calling them “cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”
But many Republicans have remained silent about Greene or withheld judgment about her possible expulsion from the congressional committees.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, RS.C., tweeted earlier Wednesday that Greene’s “alleged comments on various topics” would be “worrying” if they accurately reflected her current views. But “the most important thing for me is to understand what Rep. Greene believes now and in the past,” tweeted Graham, urging her to correct the record “if it needs to be corrected.”
Meanwhile, Greene has attacked the media during the latest wave of harmful stories about her.
“If @SpeakerPelosi were the leader of the minority, she would use every identity ploy in the book to defend her member,” Greene claimed on Twitter on Wednesday. “White, woman, woman, mother, Christian, conservative, business owner […] Those are the reasons why they don’t want me at Ed & Labor. “
She previously warned that if Democrats attempt to excise them from House committees, “I can assure you that the precedent they are setting will be used extensively against members on their side once we regain a majority after the 2022 elections.” “
Some Republicans have already taken steps in this direction. Republican lawmakers tabled an amendment this week to oust Minnesota Democratic MP Ilhan Omar from their committees, accusing them of making anti-Semitic comments.
Omar, one of the first Muslim women to serve in Congress, said in a statement that these efforts are “a desperate smear based on racism, misogyny and Islamophobia”.
“Republicans will do everything possible to distract from the fact that they have not only admitted members of their own caucus but also increased those encouraging violence,” Omar said.