Democrats to Oust Marjorie Taylor Greene From Committees If GOP Won’t
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell denounced the “loony lies and conspiracy theories” of controversial GOP Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, whom House Democrats are threatening to punish if her party’s officials don’t take action over her past incendiary remarks and social media posts.
McConnell didn’t specifically name Greene in a statement released Monday but it was clear who he was referring to.
“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,” McConnell said. He called such views a “cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”
McConnell took the unusual step of harshly criticizing a fellow Republican as the Rules Committee in the Democratic-controlled House is set to consider a resolution that would remove the Georgia freshman from the Budget and Education and Labor committees, to which she was assigned last week. That would allow the measure to go to a floor vote later this week.
“It is my hope and expectation that Republicans will do the right thing and hold Representative Greene accountable, and we will not need to consider this resolution. But we are prepared to do so if necessary,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement Monday.
Hoyer has spoken to House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy about the GOP taking its own action again Greene, according to two people familiar with the matter.
McCarthy plans to have a conversation with Greene this week, according to a person briefed on this plans.
The controversy over Greene and McConnell’s statement, first reported by the Hill, are signs of the struggle over the Republican Party’s future as members look for the path to retake control of the House and Senate in 2022. It also will determine how much influence former President Donald Trump continues to exert, despite the fact voters ousted him from the White House after one term and gave Democrats control of the Senate.
McConnell also weighed in on another internal House GOP conflict Monday, praising Representative Liz Cheney for her “deep convictions” as she faces attacks from Trump loyalists over her vote to impeach the former president.
“Liz Cheney is a leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on them,” McConnell said in a statement. “She is an important leader in our party and in our nation. I am grateful for her service and look forward to continuing to work with her on the crucial issues facing our nation.”
House Republicans are scheduled to meet on Wednesday, and several lawmakers and aides said Cheney’s role as Republican conference chair -- the third ranking House GOP leader -- is sure to come up. Some members, including Ohio Representative Jim Jordan and Arizona Representative Andy Biggs, have called for Cheney to be stripped of her leadership post.
Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, was the highest-ranking Republican to call for Trump’s removal from office, saying there has “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”
Her office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on McConnell’s remarks.
McCarthy has said that while he still supports her, she has to answer to the conference. It’s not clear that enough Republicans would vote to oust Cheney from leadership. Any vote to remove her would be private, and no one on either side of the dispute would know who did what.
Greene, who has closely aligned herself with Trump, presents a different challenge for House GOP leadership. Greene’s promotion of QAnon conspiracies was known before her November election to the House. But outrage has mushroomed after her recently disclosed history of social media posts, including endorsing violence against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats, and suggesting mass school shootings were staged.
She punched back at McConnell on Twitter, saying “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”
Asked for a response to the move by Democrats, Greene accused them and the media of working against conservative Republicans and targeting her as “a threat to their goal of Socialism.”
“They are coming after me because, like President Trump, I will always defend America First values,” Greene said in a statement.
Republicans had removed former GOP House member Steve King of Iowa from his committee assignment for comments that were taken as supportive of white supremacy.
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