The House of Representatives on Thursday voted to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments over the controversial Republican lawmaker’s previous endorsement of conspiracy theories.
The House, which is controlled by Democrats, voted 230-199 to remove Greene, a first-term representative from the state of Georgia, from the education and labour committee and the budget committee. All of the Democrats voted in favour of the motion, as did 11 Republicans.
Kevin McCarthy, the top House Republican, had resisted mounting calls to remove Greene from the committees following reports that she had endorsed QAnon conspiracy theories, questioned whether September 11 was an “inside job” and called multiple school shootings that resulted in the deaths of dozens of children “false flags” set up by proponents of gun control.
Democrats pressed ahead with a full House vote after McCarthy rejected their demands.
Elected to Congress in November, Greene is among the most junior Republicans on Capitol Hill. But she has quickly proved to be one of the most vocal House members and her rhetoric has raised concerns among senior Republicans that she will become the face of the party heading into the 2022 midterm elections, when the GOP will try to regain control of both the House and the Senate.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s most senior Republican, earlier this week released a statement that called “loony lies and conspiracy theories” a “cancer” on the Republican party.
McCarthy met Greene on Tuesday evening and the congresswoman addressed the Republican House caucus in a closed-door meeting the following evening.
Wednesday’s meeting was originally convened to debate whether to remove Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican, from her party leadership role after she voted to impeach former president Donald Trump. Cheney survived a secret no-confidence vote, with 145 House Republicans supporting her and 61 voting for her to be removed.
In a debate on the House floor ahead of Thursday’s vote, Greene, a staunch Trump supporter, sought to distance herself from comments she made both in person and on social media prior to her election.
Greene did not apologise for her rhetoric, but said she regretted liking and commenting on certain Facebook posts and insisted she had “stopped believing” QAnon claims. She said school shootings were “absolutely real” and 9/11 “absolutely happened”.
House Democrats dismissed her overtures.
“I did not hear remorse and I didn’t hear an apology, so it’s all about spin,” said Chuy García, a Democrat from Illinois. “She’ll probably try and raise a lot of money from it. I think it’s disgraceful.”
House Republican leaders said they condemned Greene’s comments but argued it “sets a dangerous new precedent” to censure a member of Congress for their record prior to being elected.