Sunday, March 7, 2021

Pelosi, Democrats eject Marjorie Taylor Greene from House committees

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Speaker Nancy Pelosi and fellow House Democrats on Thursday voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from the Education and Budget committees to which she had been appointed by the Republican minority.

Most Republicans stuck by Greene, arguing that her adherence to an array of conspiracy theories predated her election and that the vote would set a worrying precedent for removing minority-party legislators from posts.

Greene spoke in her own defense, saying she regrets believing in the QAnon conspiracy theory. But she defiantly accused the news media of being “just as guilty as QAnon” of spreading untruths.

The just-sworn-in congresswoman also disavowed her association with the 9/11 truth movement and her assertion that mass shootings were possible “false flag” operations staged by gun control advocates.

Debate over Greene’s fate consumed most of the House’s attention Thursday.

Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) of his posts on the House intelligence and homeland security committees despite his relationship with suspected Chinese spy Fang Fang.

He said the double standard extends to remarks about Israel and 9/11 made by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and remarks from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) urging people to harass Trump cabinet members.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene inside of the Capitol on February 4, 2021.EPA

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) likened the move to President John Adams having Vermont Rep. Matthew Lyon prosecuted and jailed for four months in 1800 under the now-infamous Sedition Act that forbade speech authorities deemed subversive. 

“We could pick a plethora of people not to seat, or not to give committees to on the other side of the aisle,” Issa said.

Issa noted that Rep.

We cannot judge and should not judge people by what they have done before they arrive.”

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) added: “We had a senator named Biden who looked at a Ku Klux Klan recruiter as a mentor and friend. And you punished him by inaugurating him as president.”

Most House members are powerless to meaningfully influence legislation because major bills usually are negotiated by party leaders. Committee assignments, however, give lawmakers a perch to question witnesses and attempt to attach amendments to bills that aren’t the result of grand deals.

Democrats argued it was important to denounce Greene because some QAnon adherents participated in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot the disrupted certification of Biden’s victory— including a horn-wearing QAnon “shaman” photographed flexing his biceps on the Senate dais.

Majority Leader Rep.Marjorie Taylor Greene’s tweets on the House floor on February 4, 2021.C-SPAN

Among Greene’s offenses were “liking” a Facebook post that said Pelosi should be executed.

Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) said “we need to draw the line at Jewish space lasers and calling for political assassinations.”

Omar did not directly address Republicans who likened her to Greene, but said the vote “is about whether it is acceptable to cheer on and encourage an insurrection against our basic democratic process.”

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) called Greene’s speech “ten minutes of whataboutism comparing American journalists for violent QAnon extremists [and] basically saying it’s not her fault.”

“We have to be better than this,” McGovern said.

Democrats are unlikely to boot Greene from Congress altogether. Expulsion from the House requires a two-thirds vote.

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