U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has been stripped of her House committee assignments.
After days of demands from House Democrats to their Republican colleagues to remove Greene from the committees themselves, a full vote of the House was held to remove Greene from the House Education and Labor and the Budget committees. The resolution passed the Democrat-held chamber in a 230-199 vote.
Eleven Republicans broke ranks and voted with the Democrats to remove Greene from the committees.
The freshman Republican representative from Rome's district includes Whitfield and Murray counties. She has been the focus of outrage from some after social media activity resurfaced that showed her support of the execution of high-profile Democratic leaders and outlandish claims about deadly mass shootings, along with other QAnon conspiracy theories.
When addressing her colleagues Thursday, Greene recanted a number of specific conspiracy theories that she has spread in the past but did not apologize.
"These were words of the past,” she said. "These things do not represent me. They do not represent my district. And they do not represent my values.”
During debate, her Democratic colleagues slammed her for calling mass school shootings “false flag” operations and harassing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School (Parkland, Florida) mass shooting survivor David Hogg, then a teenager, on the street in Washington before she took office.
They also condemned her for social media activity that seemingly encourages the execution of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams, who represents Georgia's 5th District, said the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was an example of the chaos that violent rhetoric can lead to.
"On Jan. 6, we witnessed what can happen when our leaders spread baseless conspiracy theories and spew violent rhetoric that echoes the same call to violence that resulted in a domestic terrorist attack on the United States Capitol,” Williams said. "We can't control what Rep. Greene does and says, but we can control how we operate as a governing body that holds us officials accountable.”
U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, a Democrat who represents Georgia's 6th District, noted that the Parkland tragedy coincided with her son’s birthday, who was killed in an act of gun violence.
"This, today, is about a member’s words and actions that are beneath this body, beneath the American people we have sworn to protect,” she said. "This is about a member stalking the children of tragedy, attacking survivors.”
Republican members of Georgia’s delegation argued that the House does not have the authority to punish members for actions taken before being elected to office.
"Much has been said about what my colleague from Georgia has spoken of in her past — but the past is past,” U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, from the 9th District, said. "I do not believe Congress has jurisdiction to relitigate what a member of this body said before they took their solemn oath of office. That is an issue to be adjudicated by her constituents at the ballot box in the 14th District of Georgia, not here in Congress.”
But even the Senate’s top Republican leader, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said “loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”
Not referring to Greene by name, McConnell said, in a comment reported by The Hill, that extremest members are no benefit to the GOP.
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” he said. "This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
Riley Bunch covers the Georgia statehouse for CNHI’s newspapers and websites.