House votes to remove Marjorie Taylor Greene from committee assignments
The House voted 230-199 on Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from her committee assignments over her past endorsement of baseless conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric against Democrats.
Why it matters: It's a drastic step that comes after Republican leadership declined to take action against the controversial congresswoman, prompting Democrats to take the matter into their own hands. 11 Republicans joined 219 Democrats in voting to remove Greene from the Education and Budget committees.
Republicans who voted to strip Greene's committee assignments:
- Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.)
- Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.)
- Rep. John Katko (N.Y.)
- Rep. Chris Jacobs (N.Y)
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez (Fla.)
- Rep. Young Kim (Calif.)
- Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (Fla.)
- Rep. Chris Smith (N.J.)
- Rep. Fred Upton (Mich.)
- Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (Fla.)
Background: Past social media posts show Greene expressing support for QAnon and 9/11 conspiracy theories, and suggesting that school shootings in Parkland and Newtown were "false flag" operations to crack down on the Second Amendment.
- She has also accused top Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of "treason" and "liked" comments calling for her to be executed.
- On Thursday, just before the vote began, Greene acknowledged on the House floor that "school shootings are absolutely real" and "9/11 absolutely happened," but argued that the media has taken her words out of context and that she never campaigned on QAnon or conspiracies.
- She concluded: "Will we allow the media, which is just as guilty as QAnon at presenting truth and lies, to divide us?"
The big picture: Many GOP lawmakers were frustrated that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was unable to reach an agreement with Democratic leadership, which forced them to cast this difficult vote.
- Some believe it sets a dangerous precedent in which a majority party can target a minority lawmaker for comments they made before being elected, with McCarthy condemning the move in a statement as a "partisan power grab."
- Pelosi told reporters Thursday: "If anybody starts threatening the lives of members of Congress on the Democratic side, we’d be the first to eliminate them from committees. [Republicans] had the opportunity to do so."
What they're saying:
"As Americans, we must hold ourselves to a higher standard and fully condemn such comments regardless of which side of the aisle they come from."— Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, in a statement after the vote
The bottom line: Greene has received strong support from former President Trump and will continue fundraising off of Democratic attempts to condemn her. The controversy over her stripping her of committees assignments has shone a light on the divisions within the Republican Party.