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US House Votes to Expel Controversial Republican Lawmaker From Committees

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U.S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) heads to the U.S. Capitol prior to a vote in the U.S. House of Representives on a resolution that would punish her for remarks supporting violence against Democrats, on Capitol Hill, Feb. 4, 2021.

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to expel from two committees a controversial Republican lawmaker who encouraged violence against her Democratic colleagues.

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in taking a public stand, 230-199, against Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene after House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy declined to reprimand her Wednesday.

FILE - House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California
FILE - House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California

Passage of the resolution means the first-term legislator from the southeastern state of Georgia will not be a member of the Education and Budget committees, limiting her ability to influence legislation.

Greene came under fire for expressing support for various baseless conspiracy theories, including the far-right QAnon theory that maintains elite Democrats are members of a sect of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and cannibals.

A CNN search of Greene’s Facebook page showed she “liked” in recent years calls for executing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats. The posts were dated 2018 and 2019, before Greene launched her campaign, and have since been deleted.

McCarthy has met privately with Greene to discuss the revelation of her social media posts advancing numerous conspiracy theories.

Greene has also promoted the false claims that Donald Trump won the November 3 presidential election and that mass school shootings that claimed the lives of dozens of children were staged events; has questioned whether the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon actually occurred; and has suggested a space laser was deliberately used to ignite a California wildfire.

Greene has said her social media posts are managed by several people and that she does not see all of them. Earlier this week, Greene said she had spoken with Trump and had his continuing support.

Greene deviated from her incendiary remarks and actions on Thursday, telling colleagues in remarks from the House floor that “school shootings are absolutely real,” that “9/11 absolutely happened” and that “I do not believe it is fake.”

House Democrats, who control the chamber, have taken the unusual step of filing a resolution that would strip Greene of her committee assignments, denying her one of the most important responsibilities a lawmaker can fulfill. Most important legislation is debated in committees before being submitted for a vote by the full House.

FILE - U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland
FILE - U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters Wednesday that the action was necessary because Greene “has placed many members in fear for their welfare and she has attacked and made incendiary remarks prior to but also during her term as a member of Congress with respect to the safety and welfare of the speaker of the House.”

The political atmosphere in Congress has been especially acrimonious since the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which Trump is accused of inspiring. Some Trump supporters who broke into the building as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s presidential win threatened to kill Pelosi and other Democratic lawmakers, as well as Mike Pence, Trump’s vice president.

As the House Republican caucus reached an uneasy agreement Wednesday to spare Greene of punishment, it also turned back an effort to remove Liz Cheney from her position as the third-highest-ranking Republican in the House over her January 13 vote to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection.

VOA's Katherine Gypson contributed to this report.

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