WASHINGTON – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., announced Wednesday the House of Representatives would vote Thursday to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., of her assignments from House committees due to violent and racist rhetoric and perpetuation of unfounded QAnon conspiracy theories.
Greene “liked” a Facebook comment in January 2019 that said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., should be taken out with a “bullet to the head.” In a video around that time, Greene said Pelosi was “a traitor to our country,” saying it was “a crime punishable by death.” She also liked other comments calling for violence against specific Democrats, including that they be hanged. She outlined conspiracies such as space lasers causing deadly wildfires in California. And she called Parkland school shooting survivor David Hogg “#littleHitler.”
Democrats and some Republicans say Greene, who has called prominent school shootings staged events, should not be allowed to keep her post on the House Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee.
In retaliation, House Republicans are seeking to remove Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from her House committee assignments.
House Republicans Brian Babin of Texas, Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Jody Hice of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Ronny Jackson of Texas — who, like Greene, also spread misinformation about election fraud — sponsored a proposed amendment to remove Omar from committee, first reported by FOX News.
“Leftist Members of Congress have advocated for violence, anti-Semitism, anti-law enforcement, & other sentiments that have violated rules of decorum & principles of American decency,” Biggs tweeted Wednesday. “That’s why I’m calling for Rep Omar to be removed from her committee.”
Babin claims several of instances as evidence for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including her Feb. 2019 tweet “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” responding to a comment made by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy about punishing Omar for being critical of Israel.
Omar’s tweet triggered swift backlash from both sides of the aisle, with critics accusing her of calling on anti-Semitic stereotypes.
After the backlash, Omar apologized for her tweet. “Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” Omar tweeted. “My intention I never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.”
Greene has said there’s an “Islamic invasion into our government offices right now” and that after the midterm elections “we saw so many Muslim elected … they want to put their hand on the Qur’an and be sworn in? No.”
Greene also said that Muslims do “not belong in our government.”
“Marjorie Taylor Greene has incited violence against her fellow Members of Congress, repeatedly singling out prominent women of color,” Omar, who is Muslim, said Wednesday. “She ran a campaign ad holding an assault rifle next to my face. … It’s time to stop whitewashing the actions of the violent conspiracy theorists, who pose a direct and immediate threat to their fellow Members of Congress and our most fundamental democratic processes.”
Greene has faced increasing criticism from members of both parties, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. R-Ky., who referred to her “looney lies” as a “cancer for the Republican Party” in a statement Monday. Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who led Senate Republicans’ campaign arm, told reporters Tuesday, she was “nutty” and an “embarrassment to our party. There’s no place for her in the Republican Party, there ought to be no place.”
Hoyer and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., met by phone Wednesday in a last effort to reach a compromise, but Hoyer, said in a statement Wednesday after his conversation with McCarthy there was “no alternative” to holding a vote on the House floor to remove Greene from her committees on Thursday. A key House panel is set to take up the motion spearheaded by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., Wednesday afternoon, clearing the way for the full House to vote.
Greene did not answer questions Wednesday from reporters as she left her office. House Republicans have a meeting Wednesday afternoon and Greene’s future within their caucus is likely to be discussed.
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., introduced a resolution calling for Greene to be expelled from Congress, saying she advocated “extremism and sedition.”
However, doing so requires a two-thirds majority vote. Only five lawmakers have ever been expelled from the House, the most recent being Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, in 2002 after being convicted on 10 felony counts including bribery and racketeering. Censure, a lesser form of punishment, or removing members from committees only requires a simple majority.