Top House Democrats are moving to force Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off multiple committees this week — with or without Kevin McCarthy’s help.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is planning to deliver an ultimatum to McCarthy this week: Either Republicans move on their own to strip Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments within 72 hours, or Democrats will bring the issue to the House floor.
The Democrats’ move comes amid intense fury within the Democratic Caucus over Greene’s long record of incendiary rhetoric, including peddling conspiracy theories that the nation’s deadliest mass shootings were staged. Greene also endorsed violence against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats before she was elected to Congress.
Last week, Greene was officially awarded seats on the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee.
Republicans, meanwhile, have been slow to act, with McCarthy saying only he’s planning to have a “conversation” with Greene about the mounting controversies sometime this week. And Greene has shown zero contrition for her past actions, tweeting over the weekend that she will “never apologize.”
The precise path that Democrats would take to remove Greene from those committees is not yet determined, but party leaders have several options.
Hoyer’s spokesperson did not immediately respond to comment.
On a leadership call on Sunday, top Democrats discussed a straightforward motion that would go through the House Rules Committee. That would be separate from a resolution led by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), which would also remove the Georgia Republican from any House panel slots.
“We’re focused on making sure that we can render powerless the poisonous nature of this member,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters Monday, just before introducing her measure. “The House has to be able to take actions to police its own membership.”
A growing number of House Democrats say they are determined to punish Greene for her rhetoric and have drafted a slew of measures to do so. That includes two of the most severe sanctions that can be taken against a member of Congress: a formal censure and expulsion from the House.
Democrats are not ruling out further action and say this week’s move could be a first step.
The effort to force McCarthy’s hand creates even more of a conundrum for the California Republican, who is under increasing pressure from Democrats and some GOP-affiliated groups to take action against Greene yet may be reluctant to alienate the Trump wing of the party. The GOP leader, desperate to keep his ranks united, even trekked to Mar-a-Lago last week to make amends with the former president.
And over the weekend, Greene also claimed she has talked to Trump amid the firestorm and has his full backing. That could make it even tougher for GOP leaders to punish Greene. Plus, Greene is under scrutiny for comments that she made before her time in Congress, making the issue of penalizing her more difficult.
Still, allies to McCarthy insist he hasn’t decided how to proceed. Whether he decides to discipline Greene will depend on how their sit-down conversation goes later this week.
McCarthy had a similar face-to-face meeting in 2019 with former Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) after he questioned why the term white nationalism was so offensive in an interview with The New York Times. The Iowa Republican showed little remorse during their interaction, and shortly afterward, McCarthy booted King from his committees — a move that the California Republican likes to tout when pressed on his willingness to hold his own members accountable.
Many Democrats say publicly and privately they do not expect McCarthy to take action and have been preparing their own options. Greene, meanwhile, has remained publicly defiant, though she has scrubbed some of her past social media posts.
“If we are waiting for Kevin McCarthy to have a moral compass … that’s never going to happen,” Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), who represents the site of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, told reporters Monday as she demanded the House act to strip Greene of all committee positions.
Hayes said Greene has “forfeited her right” to take part in a House panel, particularly the Education Committee. “Her elevation in the party is dangerous.”
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