WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Democrats will move to do what Republicans won’t: strip Georgia U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments.
That would greatly limit Greene’s ability to take an active role in legislating, but Democrats say the Republican from Rome doesn’t deserve to be an active participant in Congress after refusing to apologize or retract racist comments and baseless conspiracy theories that she has spread about mass shootings.
Democrats, who hold the majority in the House, will get the ball moving on the resolution this afternoon at a Rules Committee meeting. A floor vote is scheduled for Thursday. Hoyer said he gave Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, time to act but it didn’t happen.
“I spoke to Leader McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments,” Hoyer wrote on Twitter.
The furor over Greene grew last month as headlines focused on her past confrontation with a teenage victim of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting and her spreading of false conspiracy theories about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
Greene’s critics were particularly enraged that those comments came to light at the same time as her appointment to the Education and Labor Committee, which deals with legislation regarding school safety and security.
McCarthy and Greene met Tuesday night, and afterward, McCarthy called an emergency meeting of the Republican steering committee that decides which committee its members will serve on. But no actions from the GOP side surfaced.
The House Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. Tuesday on the resolution. Because Democrats are in the majority, they can push it through without Republicans’ support, although it would be unusual for one party to dictate committee assignments for the other.
Although many Republicans are upset that Democrats are trying to force their hand, they also know that if the resolution moves to a floor vote it could be a problem for them. They don’t want to cast a vote interpreted as defending Greene and her past statements that include spreading baseless QAnon conspiracy theories and insulting African Americans, immigrants, Muslims and Jewish people.
On the other hand, Republicans are also hesitant to weigh in on Greene too forcefully because she has the support of former President Donald Trump and a growing, vocal base of conservatives behind her. Greene and Trump are both adept at harnessing the support of far-right activists in the Republican Party.
Later this evening, House Republicans will gather behind closed doors. While some members will want to discuss Greene, others are more bothered by the party’s No. 3 leader in the chamber, Wyoming U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach Trump.
If McCarthy and the House GOP take action against Cheney and not Greene, it will have deep reverberations in the party as a whole and indicate that the Trump-aligned branches of the party have more influence than longer-serving GOP officials.