In light of past statements and former support for numerous debunked conspiracy theories, the House of Representatives voted Thursday night to relieve freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments.
The vote ended in a 230-199 tally, with eleven Republicans breaking party lines to remove Greene from her committees. Republican representatives Carlos Gimenez (FL), Young Kim (CA), Nicole Malliotakis (NY), Chris Jacobs (NY), John Katko (NY), Adam Kinzinger (IL), Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Chris Smith (NJ), Fred Upton (MI), and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) voted alongside the Democrats’ against Greene
Greene defended herself in a ten 10-minute speech on the House floor before the vote, renouncing her previous positions. “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,” she stated.
Greene has cast support for numerous fringe conspiracy theories, including QAnon, a debunked theory that former President Donald was sent to fight an underground legion of Satan-worshipping, pedophilic Democrats and celebrities, the “Fazzledrip” conspiracy, which believes a police officer was assassinated because he had a a videotape depicting Hillary Clinton and former Clinton aide Huma Abedin sexually assaulting a child before ripping the child’s face off to wear as a mask in a Satanic blood sacrifice, and “Pizzagate,” alleging Clinton and other prominent Democrats run a human-trafficking ring out of a pizzeria in Washington, D.C.
Greene has also suggested the 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville was an “inside job” to “further the agenda of the elites” and questioned if both the Parkland and Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings and 9/11 were “staged” events. She has even liked posts that called for the death of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Explaining after she “things in the news that didn’t make sense to me,” she “stumbled across” QAnon at the end of 2017, becoming “very interested” and spreading support for it because she “was upset about things.”
“The problem with that is though is I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, and I would ask questions about them and talk about them, and that is absolutely what I regret,” she said. “Because if it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong.”
Ahead of the vote, Pelosi criticized Republicans for not removing Greene themselves, saying “I remain profoundly concerned about House Republican leadership acceptance of extreme conspiracy theorists.” She added, what was “particularly disturbing is their eagerness to reward a QAnon adherent, a 9/11 truther, a harasser of child survivors of school shootings and to give them valued committee positions, including, who could imagine they would put such a person on the education committee.”
[House Minority Leader Kevin] McCarthy released a statement on Wednesday condemning Greene’s past support for conspiracy theories but also made sure to mention Democrats’ failure to address serious concerns for members in their own congressional committes.
“Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference. I condemn those comments unequivocally. I condemned them in the past. I continue to condemn them today. This House condemned QAnon last Congress and continues to do so today.”
I made this clear to Marjorie when we met. I also made clear that as a member of Congress we have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard than how she presented herself as a private citizen. Her past comments now have much greater meaning. Marjorie recognized this in our conversation. I hold her to her word, as well as her actions going forward.
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. 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.
While Democrats pursue a resolution on Congresswoman Greene, they continue to do nothing about Democrats serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee who have spread anti-Semitic tropes, Democrats on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committee compromised by Chinese spies, or the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee who advocated for violence against public servants.
In the end, this resolution continues to distract Congress, especially given the limited time that Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership want the House to debate and work, on what it needs to focus on: getting Americans back to work, getting kids back to school, and providing vaccines to all Americans who need it.