Firebrand Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene was ousted from her congressional committee assignments on Thursday, Feb. 4.
The House voted 230 to 199 along mostly party lines — 11 Republicans voted with the Democrats — to remove the freshman representative from Georgia’s 14th District from the House Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee. Thursday’s full vote on the House floor followed a four-hour, closed-door Wednesday night meeting of House Republicans, who decided not to take action against Greene. It also follows Greene saying Thursday afternoon in a speech before the House, “I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true,” and she regrets “some words of the past,” but without offering an apology for comments embracing violence and conspiracy theories.
One of the main catalysts leading the push for Greene’s removal was Cori Bush, a Black representative who has kept up the pressure in the wake of the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riots.
Greene has been a powder keg in Washington after winning the deep-red Georgia district’s seat last fall despite her years-long embrace of QAnon and other far-right wing conspiracy theories steeped in delusion. She’s supported calls for violence against Democratic legislators, including numerous threats to execute House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
The Georgia lawmaker became a quandary for top Republican lawmakers, who were unsure whether to acquiesce to Democratic leaders’ calls to punish her. Greene also has faced pushback from power brokers within the GOP. Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a statement Monday, Feb. 1, to criticize Greene for promoting delusion.
“Loony lies and conspiracy theories are cancer for the Republican Party and our country,” McConnell said. “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.”
Vice explained in a story last month that Greene is also a believer in a freakish conspiracy theory known as “frazzledrip.”
As the bizarre claim goes, a video found on former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop shows Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin — a longtime Clinton aide and Weiner’s ex-wife — raping a young girl, filleting her face, then taking turns wearing the girl’s face as a mask. It was all part of a Satanic ritual and death sacrifice designed to horrify the child enough that her blood secretes adrenochrome, a chemical compound produced by the stress hormone adrenaline; it polymerizes into melanin when combined with oxygen.
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer cited Greene’s violent and inflammatory rhetoric in announcing the decision to vote to remove her from her committee assignments Wednesday.
Bush is one of the Democratic caucus members with whom Greene has feuded most ardently since both landed in Washington last month.
In a Jan. 7 tweet, she targeted Bush among a group of Democratic progressives, calling them “accomplices” in the Capitol riots. Greene also mentioned Vice President Kamala Harris, Minnesota Rep. Ihan Omar, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.
“Those who stoke insurrection & spread conspiracies have blood on their hands. They must be expelled,” she said.
But unlike many of her other blue-party counterparts, Bush has struck back at Greene just as hard.
Bush has grassroots as a Black Lives Matter activist. She rose to prominence protesting in the streets during Ferguson uprisings that followed Michael Brown’s killing in 2014. She was elected to her first term in November, becoming Missouri’s first Black congresswoman.
The St. Louis representative remains unrelenting in her crusade to force Greene out of office altogether. On Jan. 11, Bush introduced a House resolution calling for the Ethics committee to find out if any members of Congress made efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and remove them.
“You should never have to fear for your life at work,” Bush tweeted Tuesday, calling for Congress to investigate and expel GOP members who incited the insurrection. “You should never have to be constantly retraumatized at work. You should never have to beg for accountability at work. All of that must be true in Congress too.”
Greene has made no secret of her loyalties to former President Donald Trump. She fanned his disproven claims that the election was fixed and supported his failed attempts to remain in the Oval Office. Greene filed articles to impeach President Joe Biden on Jan. 21, Biden’s second day in office, citing an abuse of power.
Bush has made no qualms about her disdain. On Jan. 29, she announced that she was relocating her offices and moving her staff out of the Longworth House Office Building. Greene’s office was on the same floor. But the two newly minted congresswomen had a Jan. 13 run-in. Bush said a ranting, unmasked Greene ran up behind her yelling at her to “Stop inciting violence with Black Lives Matter.” Greene and her staff also “berated” Bush’s staff during the tirade, which happened in a tunnel between the Cannon Office and Capitol buildings.
Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy rebuked Greene’s past commentary on Wednesday. But in the same breath he refused to take any disciplinary action against her. He called the Democratic-run House chamber’s decision to possibly dismiss Greene from her committee seats a “partisan power grab.”
During a closed-session meeting with her Republican colleagues Wednesday, Greene apologized for her troubling comments and received a standing ovation from some, according to The Hill.
House Republicans have made pushes to remove Minnesota Democrat Ihan Omar from her committee positions. Bush came to the defense of the fellow progressive.
“White supremacy in 2021 is the House GOP trying to smear @IlhanMN in a racist, islamophobic attack instead of holding their hateful, dangerous member accountable for their actions,” she wrote Wednesday following the secret meeting of the Republicans.