WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — The House of Representatives voted Thursday to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., from committees, following bipartisan outcry over her embrace of conspiracy theories, including suggestions that mass shootings at the nation’s schools were staged.
The House voted 230 to 199 to strip Greene of her committee assignments; 11 Republicans voted in favor. Two Democrats and one Republican did not vote.
Ahead of the vote, Greene said on the House floor that she regrets some “words of the past,” but she didn’t specifically apologize for supporting violence against Democrats.
“These were words of the past and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my (congressional) district and they do not represent my values,” Greene said.
“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,” she said.
The newly elected Georgia Republican had been named to the education committee, a decision that drew harsh criticism because of her suggestions prior to being elected that school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, and Parkland, Florida, could be hoaxes.
On social media, Greene has also previously expressed racist views and supported calls for violence against Democratic politicians, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
In her speech on Thursday, Greene disavowed belief in a QAnon conspiracy theory, acknowledging that school shootings really happened and that the Sept. 11 attacks did occur.
“I never said any of these things since I was elected for Congress,” Greene said.
Greene, who took office last month on the House Budget Committee and the House Education and Labor Committee, also said the House was preparing to “crucify me in the public square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago” after tolerating other lawmakers who she accused of condoning violent urban riots and attacks on police last year.
Greene also assailed the media.
“You see, big media companies can take teeny tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said – any of us – and can portray us into someone that we’re not. And that is wrong. Cancel culture is a real thing,” Greene said.
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer released a statement Wednesday announcing the vote on the resolution to strip Greene of committee assignments would occur after speaking to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
“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 said. “The Rules Committee will meet this afternoon, and the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow.”
Minority Leader McCarthy had met privately with Greene late Tuesday in his Capitol office for about 90 minutes. House Republicans then met Wednesday evening for a closed door caucus vote, opting not to punish Greene for her incendiary comments.
“I denounce all of those comments that were brought up, everybody and she came inside our conference and denounced them as well. She said she was wrong. She has reached out in other ways and forms and nothing that she said has been based upon since she’s been a member of Congress, and the voters, the voters decided she could come and serve,” McCarthy told reporters after the Wednesday closed door session.
“McCarthy’s failure to lead his party effectively hands the keys over to Greene — an anti-Semite, QAnon adherent and 9/11 Truther,” Pelosi said in a statement Wednesday.
That same day, McCarthy had earlier condemned Greene’s comments in a statement.
“Past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference. I condemn those comments unequivocally. I condemned them in the past. I continue to condemn them today. This House condemned QAnon last Congress and continues to do so today,” he said.
Also in his statement, McCarthy invoked comments and controversies surrounding some Democrats including Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Eric Swalwell of California and Rep. Maxine Waters of California.
“While Democrats pursue a resolution on Congresswoman Greene, they continue to do nothing about Democrats serving on the Foreign Affairs Committee who have spread anti-Semitic tropes, Democrats on the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committee compromised by Chinese spies, or the Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee who advocated for violence against public servants,” McCarthy said.
Some Republicans expressed concern about the precedent of the vote.
“I do worry a lot about the precedent of another party choosing to ‘remove members from committees,'” said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and others boosted pressure earlier this week on the House GOP to act.
In a statement that didn’t use Greene’s name, McConnell called her “loony lies” a “cancer” on the GOP.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., said earlier this week he favored removing Greene from her committees, saying Republicans must “take a stand to disavow” her.
Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, a Trump critic and the GOP 2012 presidential nominee, said Tuesday that Republicans must “separate ourselves from the people that are the wacky weeds.”
This comes as the GOP faces unrest from opposing ends of the Republican spectrum over Greene and Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
On the GOP’s furthest right wing, some lawmakers tried to oust Cheney, a traditional conservative and daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, from her post as the No. 3 House Republican after she voted to impeach Trump last month.
McConnell praised Cheney, R-Wyo., as “a leader with deep convictions and courage.”
House Republicans, in the same Wednesday evening closed door caucus session, voted overwhelmingly to keep Cheney as the No. 3 leader.
“People were able to air their differences. People were able to focus. The most important part that came out of this conference was where our focus is at,” McCarthy said after the session. He continued, “This Republican Party is a very big tent. Everyone’s invited in and you look at the last election, we continue to grow and in two years will be the majority.”
John Fredericks, who led Trump’s Virginia campaigns in 2016 and 2020, warned that there would be party primaries against Cheney defenders.
“We’ve got millions and millions of woke, motivated, America-first Trump voters that believe in the movement,” Fredericks said. “If you’re going to keep Liz Cheney in leadership, there’s no party.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., a leader of the effort to oust Cheney, says he has enough support to succeed.
“She’s brought this on herself,” Rosendale said. He said Cheney, who was joined by only nine other Republicans in backing impeachment, was wrong to not forewarn colleagues about her decision.
Republicans later voted overwhelmingly Wednesday evening in a secret 145-61 to keep Cheney as their No. 3 leader.