Cheney keeps GOP leadership role in blow to Trump faithful as Greene faces no consequences for bigoted remarks

Third-ranking House Republican retains leadership role after voting to impeach former president, as Georgia congresswoman receives standing ovation

Alex Woodward
New York
Thursday 04 February 2021 07:39
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Top Republican defends Marjorie Taylor Greene decision

Liz Cheney, among 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump a second time, will retain her leadership role with the party, following a vote during a closed-door conference to determine whether to unseat the third-ranking GOP member of the House of Representatives.

While Republicans determined whether to punish Ms Cheney for breaking from the party to impeach the former president for inciting an insurrection at the US Capitol, members gave Marjorie Taylor Greene – whose history of support for conspiracy theories and legacy of antisemitic and racist comments has drawn widespread calls for her removal – a standing ovation.

She reportedly apologised during the closed-door meeting on Wednesday, which followed resolutions from Democratic lawmakers to oust her from Congress or remove her from her House committee appointments.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also issued a statement on Wednesday announcing that the congresswoman will not face any consequences from within her own party for her history of bigoted remarks, including apparent support for executing prominent elected Democrats and Islamophobic attacks against other members of the House.

He said "past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and antisemitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference,” but his party has not introduced any punitive measures.

With support from Mr McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Ms Cheney clinched a vote of confidence on Wednesday after she defended her vote to impeach the former president for his role in the attacks on the halls of Congress. She said at the time that there has “never been a greater betrayal by a president of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution.”

Her vote prompted protests from Republican lawmakers in her home state of Wyoming, threats of censure, and potential primary challenges in 2022.

Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers have been largely silent about Ms Greene’s history of racist, anti-Muslim and antisemitic remarks and endorsement of violence against her now colleagues, as well as amplification of a range of baseless far-right conspiracy theories before she was elected in 2020.

In a damning statement condemning the GOP leader’s approach to Ms Greene, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that his “failure to lead his party effectively hands the keys over to Greene – an antisemite, QAnon adherent and 9/11 truther."

"After several conversations and literally running away from reporters, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) made clear that he is refusing to take action against conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene,” said the statement from her office, replacing the “R” next to his designation with “Q” in a reference to the mass conspiratorial delusion.

The full House will vote on Thursday on a resolution to strip Ms Greene of her seats on both the House Education and Labour Committee and the House Budget Committee, putting House Republicans on record whether they support Ms Green’s place within the party.

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