Resolution Stripping Rep. Greene From Committee Assignments Moves to Full House

In this March 3, 2020 file photo, Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to a GOP women’s group in Rome, Ga. (John Bailey/Rome News-Tribune via AP)

(CN) — The House Committee on Rules advanced a resolution seeking to strip the freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments Wednesday, saying House Republicans have failed to hold accountable the representative’s past comments espousing conspiracies and violence against members of Congress.

“The minority party should protect our ability to do people’s work and to take a stand against what we all agree is harmful and brings shame upon the House,” said Democrat Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who introduced the resolution. “But if they refuse, the House as a whole must step in.”

Republicans have decried Wasserman Schultz’s resolution against the Republican from Georgia as a partisan, norms-busting move that would further divide an already fractured country.

The resolution would remove Greene of her assignments to the budget and education committees. The Rules Committee advanced the resolution by a voice vote to the full House.

The question of how the larger Republican Party will respond to Greene’s past comments is seen as a sign of how the party of Lincoln may evolve in a post-Trump era. In 2019, House Republican leaders stripped then-Rep. Steve King from his committee assignments after he made racist remarks.

Before she ran for Congress in a race where her Democratic opponent dropped out ahead of the election, Greene expressed support for the baseless pro-Trump conspiracy QAnon, social media posts that said some mass shootings were “false flags,” and other posts calling for the murder of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

A 2019 video also showed Greene following Parkland shooting survivor and gun-control activist David Hogg around Capitol Hill, asking him question after question, telling him she carried a gun and calling him a coward as he walked away.

“What is the consequence of doing nothing?” Democratic Rep. James McGovern, chairman of the committee, said at the end of the hearing. He noted Republican lawmakers during the meeting neither condoned nor defended Greene’s past comments.

“It’s not enough to just distance yourself from her remarks given the gravity and the seriousness of what she has said,” McGovern said. “The real question is what action will you take? What we’re doing here today is saying she does not have, she should not enjoy the privilege of serving on committees.”

As the rules committee deliberated, House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy issued a statement saying Democrats’ actions to address Greene’s past statements only served to “raise the temperature.”

McCarthy said he spoke with Greene and told her the conspiracy theories she approved of and entertained are not shared by the House Republican Conference and she must have a higher standard than when she was not in office.

“Her past comments now have much greater meaning,” McCarthy’s statement said. “Marjorie recognized this in our conversation. I hold her to her word, as well as her actions going forward.”

Rep. Greene did not return an emailed request for comment.

About 40 minutes after the rules committee passed the resolution, Greene turned to Twitter to fundraise.

“Let’s keep sending the message to the Democrat mob,” Greene wrote, linking to a donation page. “We raised over $160,000 yesterday. We’ve already raised $100,000 today. Can we raise $50,000 more to defend my seat before midnight?”

Republicans on the rules committee such as Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, who represents an area in the southwest of Pennsylvania, said the resolution raised several issues, such as if there would be a statute of limitations preventing Congress from looking into actions of members before they were lawmakers.

“There will come a time when the gavel will change,” Reschenthaler said. “So process is important because it protects the sanctity of the institution and stabilizes the institution as we change from party to party.”

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