Georgia Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene will not face consequences from within her own party for her history of bigoted, conspiracy-mongering behaviour, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Wednesday.
Mr McCarthy had been mulling whether to boot Ms Greene from her committee assignments as the House Democratic majority united in condemnation of the congresswoman.
“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,” Mr McCarthy said in a statement on Wednesday, referring to the congresswoman he was declining to jettison from the House GOP.
“I condemn [Ms Greene’s] 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,” Mr McCarthy said.
The minority leader’s statement did not outline any punitive steps against Ms Greene, rendering it a sharp-tongued, but ultimately toothless, rebuke.
It did, however, attempt to draw false equivalence between Ms Greene’s behaviour – for which she has never publicly apologised – and the past controversial comments and actions of various Democratic House members.
Ms Greene is the first member of Congress who has openly supported the QAnon conspiracy theory that Democrats and other elites are part of a Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic ring of paedophiles. She has a years-long history of espousing discredited conspiracy theories, endorsing violence against Democratic politicians on social media, and making bigoted remarks.
House Democrats are moving forward with a resolution to deprive her of her committee assignments.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday issued a scathing reproach to Mr McCarthy’s inaction, describing his handling of the Greene situation as “cowardly” and out of line with the thinking among more tempered Republican politicians such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“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,” Ms Pelosi said, slamming him for failing to take a stand against a onetime promoter of the QAnon movement that was well-represented among the insurrectionists at the US Capitol on 6 January.
The 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, Ms Pelosi said.
“McCarthy’s failure to lead his party effectively hands the keys over to Greene – an antisemite, QAnon adherent and 9/11 truther,” Ms Pelosi said.
Mr McCarthy, the top Republican in the House, had been leaning towards booting Ms Greene from the Education and Labour Committee – but not the Budget Committee – after meeting with the congresswoman on Tuesday.
After that hours-long meeting with Ms Greene, Mr McCarthy then convened with members of the House GOP Steering Committee, which is responsible for doling out committee assignments to members of the Republican conference. The Steering Committee reportedly had not reached a decision on what to do with Ms Greene as of Tuesday.
Democrats – some of whom have been the targets of social media death threats endorsed by Ms Greene’s accounts – have stood steadfast that the congresswoman must not be allowed to work on committees with them.
Ms Greene has even earned rebukes from the top two Republicans in the Senate, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Whip John Thune of South Dakota.
Mr McConnell has characterised Ms Greene’s “loony lies” about everything from 9/11 to school shootings to the 2020 election results as a “cancer” on the GOP.
The controversy swirling around Ms Greene came to a head last week amid reports she verbally abused a high school shooting survivor from Parkland, Florida, supported the execution of Democratic leaders in Congress on social media, and disputed whether or not a plane crashed into the Pentagon on 9/11.
She was also one of dozens of GOP members of Congress to vote against the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory after the insurrection at the Capitol on 6 January.
Many of those who stormed the Capitol were followers of the QAnon movement, which Ms Greene once championed.
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