A fiercely divided House tossed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off both her committees, an unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she’d earned by formerly supporting fringe conspiracy theories.
All but 11 Republicans voted against the Democratic move on Thursday.
The freshman Republican from Georgia took to the House floor to defend herself, wearing a dark mask emblazoned with the words “FREE SPEECH.”
Greene said that she regrets some of her “words of the past” and that she no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories.
She portrayed herself as the victim of unscrupulous “big media companies.”
News organizations “can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us as someone that we’re not,” she said.
She added that “we’re in a real big problem” if the House punished her but tolerated “members that condone riots that have hurt American people.”
Greene was on the Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee.
There was no apparent precedent for the full House removing a lawmaker from a committee, a step usually taken by party leaders.
“If any of our members threatened the safety of other members, we’d be the first ones to take them off a committee,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters. She said she was “profoundly concerned” about GOP leaders’ acceptance of an “extreme conspiracy theorist.”
At one point, No. 2 Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland displayed a poster of a Greene Facebook post from last year.
“Squad’s Worst Nightmare,” Greene had written in the post, which showed her holding an AR-15 firearm next to pictures of three of the four Democratic lawmakers who’ve been nicknamed “The Squad.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Greene’s past opinions “do not represent the views of my party.”
He noted that Pelosi hadn’t stripped committee memberships from Democrats who became embroiled in controversy. Among those he implicated was Rep. Ilhan Omar, who made anti-Israel comments for which she later apologized.
“If that’s the new standard,” he said of Democrats’ move against Greene, “we have a long list.”
In the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell this week called Greene’s words a “cancer” on the GOP and country.
On Thursday, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Thune said House Republicans must stop “dabbling” in conspiracy theories, adding, “I don’t think that’s a productive course of action or one that’s going to lead to much prosperity politically in the future.”
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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