The House, in an overwhelmingly party-line vote, stripped Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments over her past incendiary statements and social media interactions.
“I could never live with myself if we did nothing here,” said Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern, chairman of the House Rules Committee, on the House floor on Thursday. “If this isn’t the bottom, I don’t know what the hell is.”
The rare floor vote move to strip a member from committee assignments came after more than a week of vocal outrage from members of Congress over Greene’s past comments in support of conspiracy theories such as QAnon, flirtations with 9/11 trutherism, and social media posts that some took as threatening violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among other incendiary comments.
Greene, a freshman Georgia representative, addressed her past comments in a floor speech on Thursday and in doing so, took aim at the press for being “just guilty as QAnon” of presenting disinformation and dividing the public.
“These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me,” Greene said. “We’ve got to do better. Big media companies can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us into someone that we’re not. And that is wrong.”
It was too little, too late for Democrats and for Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, a frequent critic of former President Donald Trump who had criticized Greene for expressing regret for her past statements privately but not doing so publicly. He told the Washington Examiner that Greene’s speech did “not necessarily” change his opinion.
Kinzinger supported the measure, with a handful of other Republicans.
Democrats forced the issue to a full floor vote after Republicans declined to do so themselves.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy tried to broker a deal with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer: Remove Greene from the Education and Labor Committee in order to prevent a vote on the House floor to remove her from both that one and the Budget Committee. Hoyer denied that request.
In a statement on Wednesday, McCarthy, a California Republican, said that while he condemns her past comments, he opposes a partisan removal of Greene.
“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,” McCarthy said.
Republicans opposed to removing Greene from the committees argued that Greene should have been subject to an Ethics Committee investigation and argued that the partisan move sets a dangerous precedent.
Republican members also turn their focus back on to controversial statements made by Democrats, saying that if Greene is removed from committees, they should be, too. Rep. Brian Babin offered a resolution Tuesday to remove Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee over her past remarks, a symbolic gesture that would not pass the Democratic-controlled House.
But a defiant Greene remains defiant, telling the Washington Examiner in an interview on Wednesday that Democrats “don’t even realize they’re helping me. I’m pretty amazed at how dumb they are.” She has fundraised off of getting kicked off of committees.