The House of Representatives voted Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) from her committee assignments, handing a rebuke to the QAnon House of Representatives believer who has a history of calling for violence against lawmakers.
The chamber voted 230-199 to remove Greene from the budget and education committees, with 11 Republicans breaking ranks to side with Democrats. She’ll now be left out of several key agenda meetings and the ability to sponsor legislation or work with other lawmakers. All coming within her first weeks of being in office.
Democrats said the move was in response to Greene’s violent rhetoric and the assistance provided to those who sparked violent riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Although, Republicans have warned that her removal could lead to retaliation down the road.
In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Greene said she regretted the social media posts based on QAnon theories and far-right-wing beliefs. She stopped short of apologizing for her antics or calling for an end to violence after the Capitol attacks.
“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true and I would ask questions about them and talk about them and that is absolutely what I regret,” Greene said Thursday, wearing a “Free Speech” mask. “If it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today and you couldn’t point a finger and accuse me of anything wrong, because I’ve lived a very good life that I’m proud of.”
Democrats criticized Greene’s speech, saying her remarks fell short of an apology. “It was unpersuasive,” said Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.). “It is so easy to say ‘I am sorry.’ Those are three important words in our culture.”
As for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), he opted Wednesday not to remove Greene from her committees over her incendiary past comments during a closed-door meeting, but urged her to publicly denounce them.
“If we are now going to start judging what other members have said before they are members of Congress, I think it will be a hard time for the Democrats to place anybody on committee,” McCarthy told reporters.”
McCarthy received a sharp response by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who urged the GOP leader to remove Greene.
“I remain profoundly concerned about House Republican leadership’s acceptance of extreme conspiracy theorists,” Pelosi told reporters Thursday. She also said she wasn’t afraid of the possibility of GOP retribution. “If any of our members threaten the safety of other members, we’ll be the first ones to take them off of committee,” Pelosi said.
A loyalist to former President Donald Trump, Greene emerged as the most contentious Republicans of the 2020 cycle before arriving in Washington. She’s now reduced to facing severe punishment and her political career in jeopardy.