WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her roles on two House committees Thursday as 11 Republicans voted with Democrats for her removal.
The 230–199 vote came after CNN dug up Facebook posts from 2018 and 2019 in which Greene called for executing Democratic politicians.
It was looking like an almost party-line vote before a bloc of Republicans voted against Greene at the same time just as the voting period was ending. The Republicans who voted to strip Greene of her committee roles were Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Brian Fitzpatrick, Carlos Gimenez, John Katko, Chris Jacobs, Young Kim, Nicole Malliotakis, María Salazar, Chris Smith, Fred Upton, and Mario Diaz-Balart.
Greene became a national figure for becoming the first person to be elected to Congress who had been a follower of QAnon, a mass delusion fueled in online circles that Donald Trump is fighting a covert war against a cabal of satanic child sex abusers who secretly control the American government.
In 2018 she expressed doubt that a “so-called plane” crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11. She agreed with a Facebook comment that the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead was a “false flag planned shooting.” She confronted one of the survivors, David Hogg, in person while hurling conspiracy theories. (Seven of the Republicans who voted to remove Greene from her committees represent New York, New Jersey, or Florida in Congress).
Greene will remain a member of Congress, but after Thursday’s vote she will no longer serve on the Education and Labor Committee or the Budget Committee, reducing her power in the House.
Before the vote, Greene gave a speech denouncing — though not apologizing for — her past comments regarding QAnon and school shootings. She said she first came across the QAnon conspiracy in late 2017 when searching online for information outside of TV news.
“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them,” she said. “And that is absolutely what I regret 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 because I’ve lived a very good life.”
Greene said she had walked away from QAnon by the end of 2018, something she has argued before, despite sharing pro-QAnon articles and echoing QAnon conspiracy theories since. During her speech Thursday, she equated QAnon and the media, saying the press is “just as guilty” as the delusional conspiracy theory for “presenting truth and lies, to divide us.”
Her speech veered from contrition to defiance — she condemned Democrats, the media, and abortion — to affirming that she believes in basic tenets of reality, saying “school shootings are absolutely real” and “I also want to tell you 9/11 absolutely happened.”
Greene asked that her past comments and Facebook likes not be held against her.
“I never said any of these things since I have been elected for Congress. 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 said.
Republicans took to the floor to condemn Greene’s prior comments but defend her right to move on from them. Rep. Tom Cole said the matter should be kicked to the Ethics Committee, where Greene would have due process and the right to tell her side of the story. Republicans warned that Democrats removing a minority member from a committee seat would set a dangerous new precedent, where every time there is a new majority party, they override the rights of the minority.
Democrats pressed forward, noting that as recently as 2019 Greene had liked a comment about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi getting “a bullet to the head.” As recently as Sunday, Greene tweeted that people who criticized her and Donald Trump are pedophiles.
“I didn’t hear an apology for the incredibly dangerous and hurtful remarks that she’s made. I didn’t hear an explanation for why she’s still fundraising off of these terrible things here,” said Rep. Jim McGovern. “To equate the media to QAnon is beyond the pale.”
On Wednesday evening, Republicans had an unrelated vote on whether to strip Rep. Liz Cheney from her position in party leadership because she voted in favor of impeaching Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. Cheney held on, with 61 Republicans voting for her to lose her leadership role and 145 voting for her to keep it.
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