Republican strategist Evan Siegfried told CNBC that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. and “her abhorrent views present a serious problem for the GOP,” as the House of Representatives gears up to vote Thursday on a resolution to strip Greene of her committee assignments.
“Not only do they force the [Republican] party to say whether or not they agree with them, but they are a gift to Biden and the Democrats because they don’t allow Republicans to effectively communicate their message opposing President Biden’s agenda,” said Siegfried, the author of “GOP GPS: How to Find the Millennials and Urban Voters the Republican Party Needs to Survive.”
The step to remove Greene from committee assignments comes amid widespread criticism for a series of extreme remarks that she made before winning her congressional seat, including suggesting that school shootings like the one at Sandy Hook in 2012 were staged and mocking a Parkland survivor.
Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., released a statement Wednesday condemning Greene’s past comments, but said the resolution to remove her from committees is a distraction from Congress.
“Democrats are choosing to raise the temperature by taking the unprecedented step to further their partisan power grab regarding the committee assignments of the other party,” McCarthy said.
Siegfried told “The News with Shepard Smith,” that McCarthy and Republicans were missing an opportunity by not taking action.
“Leader McCarthy and the House GOP have abdicated their responsibility by saying they’re now leaving it up to the full House to decide her fate,” Siegfried said. “It should not be difficult to take action against someone with views that are morally repugnant.”
On Wednesday, Democrats on the House Rules Committee gave the green light for the vote, and said they had to act because Republicans were not taking any action.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., tweeted that after speaking to Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that there was “no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments.”
Greene capitalized on the Democrats’ actions, and began fundraising Tuesday based on claims that she was unfairly targeted for her beliefs. She tweeted that she has since raised $160,000 for her efforts.
Democratic strategist Eric Koch told “The News with Shepard Smith,” that Democrats should not worry that their opposition potentially benefits Greene’s base.
“Marjorie Taylor Greene is a dangerous Q-anon conspiracy theorist and she needs to be held accountable for her extremist, anti-Semitic views, and the trauma she’s brought to survivors of violence,” Koch said. “Democrats should not worry about what her base might think of it.”
At the Rules Committee hearing, ranking Republican Tom Cole of Oklahoma said he was concerned that allowing the Democrats to take unilateral action against a lawmaker in another party would set a dangerous precedent.
Committee Chair Jim McGovern, D-Mass. said he was fine setting a precedent if a member advocates violence against their colleagues. “If that’s not the bottom, I don’t know what the hell is,” McGovern said.
Koch said that, “if Republicans would rather side with someone who thinks the Parkland shooting was a hoax or that Jewish space lasers start forest fires that’s their own decision.”
The vote will force Republicans to go on the record as to whether Greene should be rebuked for her past comments.
Siegfried predicted that GOP representatives will “be lauded by the media and loathed by the base, and, as a result, many will see them as part of the ‘establishment’ and somehow against them personally.”
Siegfried added that elected Republicans looked the other way at many of Trump’s “absurdities” because they believed the party would revert to its pre-Trump era as soon as he was out of office.
“They did not count on the base not wanting to return to it and also electing pro-Trump officials who continue to espouse what can only be described as crazy and morally repugnant views.”
A parallel drama has also played out in the House with Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wy. Supporters of former President Donald Trump want to strip Cheney from her No. 3 leadership position for supporting Trump’s impeachment on a charge of incitement of insurrection.
Siegfried said the debate among House Republicans on whether to retain Cheney signals to him that the base Trump helped create hasn’t changed.
“They will be a presence for years to come and promote individuals and ideas that are more like Greene than Rep. Cheney,” Siegfried said.
A source told NBC News that Cheney refused to apologize for impeaching Trump during a reportedly raucous, closed-door GOP meeting.
Koch said the move against Cheney showed that “the Republican Party is the party of Trump and Marjorie Taylor Greene.”
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