Why Republicans Can’t Win on QAnon-Supporting Marjorie Taylor Greene
To say Marjorie Taylor Greene is a problem for the Republican brand is a massive understatement. Her colleagues know it, too. Which is why Republican leaders are trying to figure out how to solve their problem of MJT, as she is known in some circles, the same way progressive icon Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is known as AOC. Greene is one of the most visible reminders of just how far the party that nominated bland technocrat Mitt Romney in 2012 veered toward the bombastic celebrity Donald Trump four years later.
House Democrats – furious over Republican leadership’s lackluster attempts to rein in controversial Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene – are weighing a multitude of options in dealing with her themselves. © House TV via Reuters
Greene, a freshman congresswoman, has a long record of making incendiary remarks ranging from allegedly supporting violence against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democrats, to spreading baseless claims that mass school shootings were staged.
Democrats have called on Greene to be expelled from Congress or formally censured.
"Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene must be held accountable for her reprehensible statements, and I am discussing with members the best course of action to do so," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement provided to ABC News.
Cori Bush Accuses Marjorie Taylor Greene of Harassment, Will Relocate Her Office for Safety
"She targeted me & others on social media," Bush tweeted Friday about Greene. "I'm moving my office away from hers for my team's safety."Bush, a progressive lawmaker from Missouri, accused Greene of "berating" her in a hallway, targeting her on social media, and posing a threat to her team and fellow colleagues over spreading the coronavirus.
Hoyer has spoken with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy about a path forward in dealing with Greene, according to an aide. The aide declined to provide more details of their private conversation. © House TV via Reuters Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during debate ahead of the House vote on impeachment against President Donald Trump, while wearing a mask that reads, "censored," in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Jan. 13, 2021. MORE: Pelosi claims the 'enemy is within the House of Representatives'
On Monday, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she plans to introduce a resolution that would strip Greene of her committee assignments.
"Today, I have a resolution to remove Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments, both on the House Education and Labor, and the House Budget Committees, based on her actions and statements and her belligerent refusal to disavow them,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters on a call Monday.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene brags about phone call and 'support' from Trump amid rash of controversies
"I'm grateful for his support and more importantly the people of this country are 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people," she said.Greene, who over the years has spread debunked conspiracy theories on everything from the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and the 2018 Parkland shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida to the Sept. 11 attacks and the 2017 Las Vegas music festival shooting, has attracted bipartisan scorn for her comments and social media profile.
“She should not be permitted to participate in the important work of these two influential committees. If she had honor, of course, she would resign," Wasserman Schultz added.
“Reducing the future harm that she can cause in Congress, and denying her a seat at committee tables where fact-based policies will be drafted, is both a suitable punishment and a proper restraint of her influence,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Wasserman Schultz said her resolution, which she plans to introduce this week, would be privileged, thus requiring action from leadership, which could either move to hold a vote on the resolution or table it.
Democrats’ fury comes after McCarthy has so far refused to take action himself. He has condemned Greene’s words and has said he will have a conversation with her sometime this week.
“These comments are deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them," a spokesman for McCarthy told ABC News.
House Republicans, divided and angry, meet to decide fate of Liz Cheney and Marjorie Taylor Greene
The GOP's future will depend on how its voters view Trump. His approval ratings are up after falling to record lows following the riots at the Capitol.But the closed-door gathering also could reveal a lot more about the direction of a party openly warring with itself while charting a future without Donald Trump in the White House but very much on GOP voters' minds.
As of Monday, McCarthy and Greene had not spoken yet.
"If Republicans won't police their own, the House must step in," Wasserman Schultz said.
"This is an action that needs to be taken by Kevin McCarthy. If it is not taken by Kevin McCarthy, then the House needs to act because it's ultimately the House of Representatives that grants and approves our committee assignments and so we collectively as a body, I hope in a bipartisan way, need to get action to severely limit the impact that Marjorie Taylor Greene can have, because we can't let her spend one more minute causing pain,” Wasserman Schultz said. © Susan Walsh/AP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 21, 2021.
Democrats are also weighing if they should formally censure Greene, or even vote to expel her.MORE: 'I would not vote for' Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., last week announced plans to introduce a resolution calling for Greene's expulsion from Congress over her social media posts.
As House debates future of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Cori Bush challenges GOP colleagues to show leadership
Freshman Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., said the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol took her back to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., when she marched for more than 400 days in 2014 and 2015 following the killing by police of 18-year-old Michael Brown. She remembers being ambushed by police and white supremacists on several occasions, an experience which, she says, prepared her for the mob violence in the Capitol as Congress prepared to certify President Biden’s electoral victory.
“Such advocacy for extremism and sedition not only demands her immediate expulsion from Congress, but it also merits strong and clear condemnation from all of her Republican colleagues, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Her very presence in office represents a direct threat against the elected officials and staff who serve our government, and it is with their safety in mind, as well as the security of institutions and public servants across our country, that I call on my House colleagues to support my resolution to immediately remove Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene from this legislative body," he said.
It would take two-thirds of the House voting to expel Greene for her to be removed from the chamber. That would require roughly 70 Republicans to vote with all Democrats on the measure from Gomez. It is unlikely to happen.
Pelosi last week called Greene's comments "absolutely appalling" and criticized House Republican leadership for placing Greene on the House Education Committee, given her baseless claims about mass school shootings.
Greene has not shown remorse for her past comments, tweeting over the weekend that she will "never apologize."
She did not immediately respond to an ABC News request for comment Monday.
Meanwhile, Greene announced Saturday she had spoken with former President Donald Trump amid calls for her expulsion from Congress.
In a series of tweets, the Georgia Republican said she was “so grateful for (Trump’s) support and more importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.”
In Greene’s district, a polarized response to her expulsion from House committees .
In interviews Friday, Greene’s supporters cheered her on, even as Democrats said they were outraged by her remarks and glad she’d been stripped of her seats. “I think it’s awful what they’re doing to her,” said Cheryl Hamdani, 64, who voted for Greene in November and works as a house cleaner in Whitfield County. “Georgia should have the authority to do that or not. We voted her in.