New York Daily News: MANHATTAN, NY – A key House panel voted Wednesday to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of all her committee assignments in a blistering rebuke of her calls for violence against fellow members of Congress and embrace of a cacophony of far-right conspiracy theories.
The vote in the House Rules Committee advanced a resolution to remove the controversial Georgia Republican from her posts on the chamber’s education and budget committees and also ban her from getting any other appointments.
The vote — which fell along party lines — sends the resolution to the full House, where it is expected to get final approval Thursday.
Ahead of the vote, House Rules Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass) said he had never before held a similar hearing because “we have never had a member like this.”
“She has encouraged violence against members of this institution, going so far as agreeing with a comment that advocated for putting a bullet in the head of the speaker of the House,” McGovern said. “This is truly sick stuff. Congresswoman Greene has also promoted truly appalling things from implying that 9/11 is a hoax to saying school shootings were false flag operations and spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including one about a Jewish space laser being the cause of wildfires in California. I mean, this is unbelievable.”
Though they opposed the resolution, all four Republicans on the committee sought to distance themselves from Greene.
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, the panel’s top Republican, called Greene’s promotion of various crackpot conspiracy theories “deeply offensive,” “vile” and “repugnant,” but argued against the resolution on process grounds.
“This hearing is premature,” Cole said, reasoning that the matter should first have been adjudicated by the House Ethics Committee to avoid setting a new precedent for reprimanding members.
But the committee’s Democrats countered they were forced to take this route because House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) rebuffed calls to rescind Greene’s committee assignments through an intra-party process.
If the resolution sets a new precedent for removing members, McGovern added that’s okay with him.
“If the precedent’s going to be that if somebody advocates for putting a bullet in the head of a member … if that is going to be the new determination as to what it takes to throw people off of committees, I’m fine with that,” he said. “If this is not the bottom, I don’t know what the hell is.”
McCarthy defended his decision to not reprimand Greene and pointed fingers at Democrats.
“I understand that Marjorie’s comments have caused deep wounds to many and as a result, I offered Majority Leader Hoyer a path to lower the temperature and address these concerns,” McCarthy said, referring to the No. 2 Democrat in the House. “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.”
McCarthy did not explain how he would’ve preferred to address the Greene scandal.
The push to punish Greene comes in response to a flurry of the congresswoman’s past statements on social media resurfacing in recent days.
Before being elected in November, it has been discovered that Greene used her Facebook and Twitter accounts to call for the executions of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), former President Barack Obama and other prominent Democrats she claimed were part of the “deep state.”
The first-term congresswoman also harassed survivors of a 2018 school shooting in Florida and falsely claimed they faked the massacre as part of a Democratic plot to implement stricter gun laws. Adding to the deranged web, Greene has pushed baseless claims about 9/11 being an “inside job” and peddled anti-Semitic theories about wealthy Jews using “space lasers” to set forest fires in California.
Many of Greene’s unsettling claims are inspired by the QAnon conspiracy theory, which she has a history of promoting.
Elected on a hard-right political platform and endorsed by former President Donald Trump, Greene has refused to apologize for her wild conspiracy mongering.
“Today’s the day I could be removed from committees,” she wrote in an email to supporters Wednesday asking for “emergency” campaign donations. “Why? Because I stood up for President Trump, I stand for America First … and I speak the truth.”
Greene’s lack of contrition has some Democrats saying that the committee resolution is not enough.
“Removing her from her committees is the first step, but by no means should it be the last. As long as she serves in this legislative body, her hateful rhetoric and misconduct will only continue to grow and put others in danger. MTG must be expelled,” tweeted California Rep. Jimmy Gomez, who has introduced a resolution to remove Greene from Congress that has gained support among dozens of Democrats.
Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in Congress, has not said if she’d consider the resolution to expel Greene.
But the speaker harshly ripped McCarthy on Wednesday for his “cowardly refusal” to punish Greene on his own and noted that plenty of Republicans have broken with him.
“As No. 2 Senate Republican John Thune warned Tuesday, McCarthy has chosen to make House Republicans ‘the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon,’” Pelosi said, “and Rep. Greene is in the driver’s seat.”
- Top Feature Photo: Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga, wears a “Trump Won” face mask as she arrives on the floor of the House to take her oath of office on opening day of the 117th Congress at the US Capitol in Washington, Sunday, Jan 3, 2021 – Erin Scott/Pool via AP