The House of Representatives voted to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) of her committee assignments Thursday, with 11 Republicans joining the Democratic caucus.
The aisle-crossing Republicans were Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), John Katko (R-NY), Fred Upton (R-MI), Carlos Giménez (R-FL), Chris Jacobs (R-NY), Young Kim (R-CA), Maria Salazar (R-FL), Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL) and Chris Smith (R-NJ).
“This is a sad day and a difficult day for the House of Representatives and this country,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) moments before the vote. He added that never in his 40-year career had a “member made such vile and hurtful statements, engaged in harassment of colleagues and expressed support for political violence.”
He brought out a blown-up picture from Greene’s Facebook page, where she is holding a machine gun next to a picture of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). “DEFEAT THE DEMOCRATS,” she had captioned it. Hoyer walked it around the chamber, forcing his Republican colleagues to look at it.
“They are people,” he said, his voice raising with emotion. “They are colleagues.”
“I have never ever seen that before,” he added.
Democrats took matters into their own hands after House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced publicly that he wouldn’t do anything to punish her on Wednesday. Greene has a rich history of inflammatory statements, though the recently unearthed social media comments in which she approved of calls for the execution of Democratic lawmakers were the tipping point.
“These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me,” Greene said during a Thursday floor speech defending herself. “They do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values.”
House Republicans signaled that most would not vote to punish Greene during a House Rules Committee meeting on Wednesday, when they coalesced behind the argument that the House stripping Greene of her committees would be bad precedent. Democrats on the committee pointed out that they wouldn’t be taking any action at all if McCarthy had dealt with Greene himself, like he did with former Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in 2019.
McCarthy reportedly offered to Hoyer that he would remove Greene from one of her committees, the Health Education and Labor Committee, and leave her on the Budget Committee. Hoyer opted to move ahead with the resolution.
During a Republican caucus meeting Wednesday Greene reportedly defended herself and apologized for some of her behavior, earning her a round of applause from some of her peers. She has yet to apologize in public.
Senate Republicans were much more outspoken against Greene than their House counterparts, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) calling someone with her beliefs a “cancer” on the party.
“You left it to us to do your job,” Hoyer blazed at the Republican side of the chamber, adding: “This is not partisan, it’s about principle.”