WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted 230-199 on Feb. 4 to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from her committee assignments.
House Democrats and 11 Republicans voted against Greene, who has embraced conspiracy theories, claiming that school shootings were staged, and supported violence against Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats in Congress. She has aligned herself with the QAnon claim that there is an anti-Trump “deep state” that engages in child sex trafficking and satanism, expressed doubt that the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon took place, and suggested that Jewish-controlled space lasers caused the California wildfires.
In a statement on the House floor before the vote was taken, Greene walked back some of her previous statements but accused the media of misrepresenting her views. “Big media companies can take teeny-tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us and can portray us and to someone that we’re not, and that is wrong. Cancel culture is a real thing. It is very real. And when big tech companies like Twitter, you can scroll through and see where someone may have retweeted porn. This is a problem …
“I never once said during my entire campaign, QAnon. I never once said any of the things that I am being accused of today during my campaign. I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. 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 will no longer serve on the Budget Committee or the Education and Labor Committee, but can still vote on legislation and give speeches from the floor.
Rep. Young Kim (R-Yorba Linda) was the only Republican from California to vote for House Resolution 72, introduced by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.). Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Huntington Beach) was critical of Greene but did not vote for punitive action.
“Anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories and threats should never be part of our political discourse,” said Kim. “This should not be tolerated by either party. I came to Congress to focus on policy issues that unite our country and improve the lives of my constituents in the 39th District. Comments like what we’ve seen from Rep. Greene make that more difficult and are not what the Republican Party stands for.
“Rep. Greene’s comments and actions, from spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories to questioning 9/11 and school shootings, are wrong in any context. I cannot in good conscience support this rhetoric in any way. House Democrats also should have held their members accountable when they made reprehensible comments.
“Our country needs to unite and work on policies to help the American people. We need to get people back to work, reopen small businesses and expand access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Just as I continue to show my commitment to working across the aisle, I hope Democrats come to the table to work with us. The only way we can get big things done in Congress is by working together.”
Steel said in a statement, “Conspiracy theories like QAnon have no place in this country or in our Congress, and I condemn this dangerous and unfounded movement. The comments made by Rep. Greene before she was sworn in as a member of Congress are dangerous and I don’t agree with them.
“Next year, the people of Northwest Georgia will have an opportunity to hold her accountable for her actions and her words. In the meantime, I’m focusing on delivering results on behalf of our Orange County community. I’m working this week on policies that protect California taxpayers, and help families and businesses across the country fight back against the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is what your Congress should be focused on and I’ll keep supporting solutions that matter to you.”
The other Republicans who voted for the resolution were Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez and Maria Elvira Salazar of Florida, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan, Christopher H. Smith of New Jersey, Chris Jacobs, John Katko and Nicole Malliotakis of New York, and Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) expressed concern about Greene’s beliefs but chose not to take any disciplinary action. House Speaker Pelosi (D-San Francisco) commented, “McCarthy’s failure to lead his party effectively hands the keys over to Greene – an anti-Semite, QAnon adherent and 9/11 truther.”
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) tweeted, “I am disappointed but not surprised to see that Republicans have failed to strongly condemn Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s actions. Leader McCarthy had a chance to hold her accountable for spreading dangerous falsehoods and supporting political violence against Speaker Pelosi and other members of Congress. Instead, he embraced the QAnon conspiracy theorist and failed to send a clear signal that the Republican Conference rejects extremists and kooks …
“As a former public school teacher, I don’t believe that anyone who alleges that the horrific school shootings in our country were ‘false flags’ belongs on a committee chiefly in charge of shaping education policy, nor should she have such a large role in influencing our budgetary process. Rep. Green has expressed no regret or remorse for stalking a young high school activist [David Hogg] whose friends were viciously murdered in the Parkland shootings.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) described Greene’s embrace of “loony lies and conspiracy theories” as a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
The Republican Jewish Coalition, which supported Greene’s opponent, John Cowan, in the Georgia primary, said in a statement, “We did so because we found Greene’s past behavior deeply offensive. She repeatedly used offensive language in long online video diatribes, promoted bizarre political conspiracy theories, and refused to admit a mistake after posing for photos with a long-time white supremacist leader. It is unfortunate that she prevailed in her election despite this terrible record …. We are offended and appalled by her comments and her actions. We opposed her as a candidate and we continue to oppose her now.”