Ohio Republicans vote against removing former QAnon adherent Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees assignment
The Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted largely along party lines to remove Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her posts on the education and budget committees as punishment for past statements she made that supported QAnon conspiracy theories, questioned whether school shootings and the Sept. 11 terrorist attack at the Pentagon were faked, and indicated support for executing prominent Democrats.
Eleven Republicans - none of them from Ohio - joined the institution’s Democrats in the 230 to 199 vote to sanction the newly elected Greene, which occurred after she delivered a ten minute speech that disavowed her past interest in QAnon, declared “school shootings are absolutely real,” and acknowledged that the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks “absolutely happened.”
She said she explored QAnon online in 2017 and stopped believing it after discovering it was riddled with falsehoods.. She said she hadn’t discussed QAnon during her campaign, or since she’d been elected to Congress, saying those were “words of the past” that don’t represent her, her district or her values.
“Any source of information that is a mix of truth and a mix of lies is dangerous, no matter what it is saying, what party it is helping, anything or any country it’s about, it’s dangerous,” said Greene. “And these are the things that happen on the left and the right.”
Greene’s speech suggested Democrats were hypocrites for tolerating members of Congress who condoned riots where police officers were attacked, federal buildings were occupied and businesses were burned “and yet want to condemn me and crucify me in the public square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago.
“What shall we do as Americans, shall we stay divided like this?” she asked. “Will we allow the media that is just as guilty as QAnon of presenting truth and lies to divide us? Will we allow ourselves to be addicted to hate, and hating one another? I hope not, because that’s not the future I want for my children and it’s not the future I want for any of your children.”
Democrats faulted her speech for neglecting to address the threats she’d made against
Democratic officials, and said her problematic conduct continued while she was a candidate and after her election. House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland brought a photo Greene posted on social media to the House floor titled “Squad’s Worst Nightmare,” which showed Greene with an assault rifle next to photos of Democratic legislators Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Hoyer also criticized Greene’s approval of a statement that said suggested House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California should be shot. He said removing Greene from her committees was about principle, not partisanship.
“No member ought to be permitted to engage in the kind of behavior that Rep. Greene has and face zero consequences,” said Hoyer, who criticized Republicans for failing to sanction her themselves.
A statement from Columbus Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty called Greene’s words and actions “disturbing, despicable, dangerous,” and said they “fly in the face of the very oath she and every elected official takes to defend the Constitution.
“I will not stand idly by as she spews outrageous lies, bullies gun violence survivors, and celebrates threats toward my colleagues and friends,” Beatty continued. “She has no business serving on any congressional committee, let alone being called a Congresswoman.”
In a statement posted on Twitter, Niles-area Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan questioned her claim that the media is as guilty of falsehoods as QAnon.
“What are you talking about?” said Ryan. “QAnon spurred on violent insurrectionists who scrawled ‘murder the media’ on a door in the US Capitol. They erected gallows outside. You don’t get to bothsides this.”
Champaign County Republican Rep. Jim Jordan defended Greene on the House of Representatives floor, saying that “everyone has said things they wish they didn’t say, everyone has done things they wish they didn’t do. So who’s next? Who will the cancel culture attack next?”
Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said Democrats peddled “the biggest conspiracy theory of all time, the Russia hoax,” despite the fact that the nation’s intelligence director told the House Intelligence Committee he saw no evidence that President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to meddle in the 2016 election.
Jordan issued an early campaign endorsement of Greene, recording a political ad that called her “exactly the kind of fighter needed in Washington to stand with me against the radical left.” His campaign committee gave her a $4,000 donation and a political action committee run by the House Freedom Caucus that Jordan co-founded donated more than $100,000 to Greene’s campaign treasury, according to tallies by the Center for Responsive Politics.
Rocky River Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez said Wednesday that he felt Greene’s advocacy of political violence, anti-Semitic remarks and claims that school shootings were false flags, were “disgusting behavior,” but observed that voters in her district elected her “and she didn’t hide who she was.”
“Her voters knew these things about her and they sent her anyway,” said Gonzalez, who said he thought Greene should not be removed from Congress
Holmes County GOP Rep. Bob Gibbs said Greene’s comments were “terrible” and he would never condone them, but noted that she made those remarks before she was elected to Congress and voters were aware of them before they elected her.
“It sets a very dangerous precedent because people in Congress could determine that you shouldn’t be here even though you just got elected and this was not new information,” Gibbs said. “That’s my concern.”
Bainbridge Township Republican Rep. Dave Joyce released a statement that said the Republican Party’s “big tent has room for those who admit to, and apologize for, mistakes made prior to being sworn in as a Member of Congress. It does not have room for crackpot conspiracy theories.”
“I am relieved that Rep. Greene apologized last night to our conference and renounced such theories on the House floor earlier today,” Joyce continued. “Why she did not do so sooner escapes me. I have made it abundantly clear, both in previous statements and in person last night, that any similar rhetoric used while in office must be met with strong and swift repercussions.
“However, if we start stripping Members of their committee assignments for mistakes they previously made as private citizens, Congress will find itself with sparsely populated committees unable to adequately review and produce legislation to meet the needs of the American people. That is not a precedent I am willing to set.”