House removes Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees in historic vote
House Republicans say standing behind Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene will keep their party united as they work to take back the House in 2022 midterms.
Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was stripped of her committee assignments by a near party-line vote Thursday in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The 230-199 vote was the first time a House majority has voted to remove a committee appointee of the minority party, according to a floor statement by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla. The vote was a rebuke by Democrats — and nearly a dozen Republicans — of Greene’s past social media posts that supported conspiracies and political violence.
All the Democrats in the House were joined by 11 Republicans to pass the House Resolution removing Greene from committees in the chamber. Utah’s four congressmen voted against the resolution.
Ahead of Thursday afternoon’s vote, House Republicans leaders had expressed their support for the freshman congresswoman and sought to send a message that they welcome political ideologies from both of its flanks. It’s a move that GOP House leaders said will ensure unity as they work to regain the majority in the 2022 midterm elections.
“I’m a very regular American,” Greene said on the House floor ahead of Thursday’s vote. She said in her search for more information about “things in the news that didn’t make sense to me,” she found QAnon conspiracies online and that she was “allowed to believe things that weren’t true.”
“And that is absolutely what I regret,” she added, stopping short of apologizing for supporting the harmful and violent social media posts of her past that led to her to removal House committees.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has backed Greene and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming — two members of his caucus who could not be further apart on the spectrum of today’s conservative politics.
Greene has gained national attention as a conspiracy theory-sharing congressional freshman who was praised by former President Donald Trump, while Cheney, an established party leader and daughter of a former Republican vice president, voted to impeach Trump last month.
McCarthy defended his actions choosing not to punish either for bucking party norms as creating unity within the GOP. Reenforcing the party’s flanks is an attempt by McCarthy to balance the caucus’ need “to regain its appeal with traditional Republicans” while “not losing the support of Trump’s most fervent supporters,” The Washington Post wrote.
“You know what that’s going to mean?” McCarthy asked reporters Wednesday night after Republicans ultimately decided to support both congresswoman, according to The Associated Press. “Two years from now, we’re going to win the majority. That’s because this conference is more united. We’ve got the right leadership team behind it.”
GOP House leaders, who have the power to strip Greene of her committee posts, tried to negotiate with Democratic leadership about moving Greene to another committee instead of a total removal, Politico reported.
“Republicans have argued that voting in favor of the resolution would set a dangerous precedent because it would in effect allow the majority party to dictate which lawmakers in the minority party are fit to serve on committees, a crucial pipeline for members to advance legislation,” The New York Times wrote. “Committee assignments have traditionally been the prerogative of the party leaders, who have only rarely acted on their own to remove members from their panels.”
But Democrats said the resolution was to protect the integrity of the House.
“I remain profoundly concerned about House Republican leadership’s acceptance of extreme conspiracy theorists,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday morning in her weekly brief before the House vote. “It’s just so unfortunate,” Pelosi said of the need for the historic vote, “you would think that Republican leadership in the Congress would have some sense of responsibility to this institution.”
Greene will be the only member of Congress not serving on a committee, according to the Times.
The vote on Greene’s role in House comes after an overwhelming number of House Republicans voted late Wednesday to have Cheney remain a senior ranking Republican in the party.
In a 145-61 secret-ballot vote, GOP representatives rebuked internal cries from Trump loyalists that Cheney should lose her position as chairwoman of the House Republican Conference after she voted to impeach Trump last month, the AP reported.
“I won’t apologize for the vote,” Cheney told House Republicans in the closed door session Wednesday night of her decision to impeach Trump, according to the AP.
Cheney, joined by nine other Republicans in the House, voted to impeach Trump after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot for inciting an insurrection, making him the first American president to have been impeached twice. Her decision to impeach as the third ranking House Republican faced additional party scrutiny.
McCarthy told House Republicans Wednesday night, in support of Cheney, that he wanted the chamber’s leadership team to “stay together,” The New York Times reported.
“We’re not going to be divided, and we’re not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership,” a triumphant Cheney said after Wednesday evening’s vote, The Hill reported.
Doubling down on his defense of Greene Wednesday, McCarthy deciding not to remove the Georgia freshman from any of her appointed committee assignments, choosing instead to allow the floor vote — and Democrats — to determine Greene’s fate.
He said that Greene had “denounced” her past behavior and that the congresswoman had “said she was wrong,” according to Politico. The House minority leader also dismissed Democrats’ insistence of Thursday’s floor vote as a “partisan power grab.”
For years leading up to her November 2020 election, the freshman congresswoman from Georgia had created videos and social media posts that favored QAnon conspiracy theories, referred to deadly school shootings as hoaxes and expressed support for political assassinations of Democrats — which included indicating support that “a bullet to the head would be quicker” as a means to removing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from office.
If @SpeakerPelosi was the minority leader, she would pull every identity politics trick in the book to defend her member.— Marjorie Taylor Greene 🇺🇸 (@mtgreenee) February 3, 2021
White, Woman, Wife, Mother, Christian, Conservative, Business Owner
These are the reasons they don’t want me on Ed & Labor.
It’s my identity & my values.
Greene said on Twitter Wednesday that Democrats were trying to remove her from committees because of “my identify & my values” as a “White, Woman, Wife, Mother, Christian, Conservative, Business Owner.”
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said earlier in the week that Greene’s “loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party.”