cloudy.png
Saturday February 27th, 2021 1:55PM

Fiercely divided House kicks Greene off both her committees

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A fiercely divided House has tossed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off both her committees, an unprecedented punishment that Democrats said she’d earned by spreading hateful and violent conspiracy theories.

Underscoring the political vise her inflammatory commentary has clamped her party into, all but 11 Republicans voted against the Democratic move Thursday but none spoke in defense of her lengthy history of outrageous social media posts.

Yet in a riveting moment, the freshman Republican from a deep-red corner of Georgia took to the House floor on her own behalf. She offered a mixture of backpedaling and finger-pointing as she wore a dark mask emblazoned with the words “FREE SPEECH.”

The chamber’s near party-line 230-199 vote was the latest instance of conspiracy theories becoming pitched political battlefields, an increasingly familiar occurrence during Donald Trump’s presidency. He faces a Senate trial next week for his House impeachment for inciting insurrection after a mob he fueled with his false narrative of a stolen election attacked the Capitol.

Thursday’s fight also underscored the uproar and political complexities that Greene — a master of provoking Democrats, promoting herself and raising campaign money — has prompted since becoming a House candidate last year.

Greene showed no signs of repentance Friday.

“I woke up early this morning literally laughing thinking about what a bunch of morons the Democrats (+11) are for giving some one like me free time,” she tweeted.

She did not say how she would use that time.

A day earlier on the House floor, Greene tried to dissociate herself from her “words of the past.” Contradicting past social media posts, she said she believes the 9/11 attacks and mass school shootings were real and no longer believes QAnon conspiracy theories, which include lies about Democratic-run pedophile rings.

But she didn’t explicitly apologize for supportive online remarks she’s made on other subjects, as when she mulled about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi being assassinated or the possibility of Jewish-controlled space rays causing wildfires. And she portrayed herself as the victim of unscrupulous “big media companies.”

News organizations “can take teeny, tiny pieces of words that I’ve said, that you have said, any of us, and can portray us as someone that we’re not,” she said. She added that “we’re in a real big problem” if the House punished her but tolerated “members that condone riots that have hurt American people” — a clear reference to last summer’s social justice protests that in some instances became violent.

Greene was on the Education and Labor committee and the Budget committee. Democrats were especially aghast about her assignment to the education panel, considering the past doubt she cast on school shootings in Florida and Connecticut.

The political imperative for Democrats was clear: Greene’s support for violence and fictions were dangerous and merited punishment. Democrats and researchers said there was no apparent precedent for the full House removing a lawmaker from a committee, a step usually taken by their party leaders.

The calculation was more complicated for Republicans.

Though Trump left the White House two week ago, his devoted followers are numerous among the party’s voters, and he and Greene are allies. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., hopes GOP victories in the 2022 elections will make him speaker. Republicans could undermine that scenario by alienating Trump’s and Greene’s passionate supporters, and McCarthy took no action to punish her.

“If any of our members threatened the safety of other members, we’d be the first ones to take them off a committee,” Pelosi angrily told reporters. She said she was “profoundly concerned” about GOP leaders’ acceptance of an “extreme conspiracy theorist.”

At one point, No. 2 Democratic leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland strode to the GOP side of the chamber carrying a poster of a Greene Facebook post from last year. “Squad's Worst Nightmare,” Greene had written in the post, which showed her holding an AR-15 firearm next to pictures of three of the four Democratic lawmakers, all young women of color, who've been nicknamed “The Squad."

“They are people. They are our colleagues,” Hoyer said. He mimicked Greene's pose holding the weapon and said, “I have never, ever seen that before."

Republicans tread carefully but found rallying points.

McCarthy said Greene’s past opinions “do not represent the views of my party.” But without naming the offenders, he said Pelosi hadn’t stripped committee memberships from Democrats who became embroiled in controversy. Among those he implicated was Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who made anti-Israel insults for which she later apologized.

“If that’s the new standard,” he said of Democrats’ move against Greene, “we have a long list.”

Committee assignments are crucial for lawmakers for shaping legislation affecting their districts, creating a national reputation and raising campaign contributions. Even social media stars like Greene could find it harder to define themselves without the spotlights that committees provide.

Not all Republicans were in forgiving moods, especially in the Senate. There, fringe GOP candidates have lost winnable races in recent years and leaders worry a continued linkage with Trump and conspiracists will inflict more damage.

That chamber’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., this week called Greene’s words a “cancer” on the GOP and country. On Thursday, No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Thune of South Dakota amplified that thinking.

Thune said House Republicans must stop “dabbling” in conspiracy theories, adding, “I don’t think that’s a productive course of action or one that’s going to lead to much prosperity politically in the future.”

The fight came a day after Republicans resolved another battle and voted to keep Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., in their leadership. Pro-Trump conservatives tried removing her because she supported Trump's impeachment.

News organizations have unearthed countless social media videos and “likes” in which Greene embraced absurd theories like suspicions that Hillary Clinton was behind the 1999 death of John F. Kennedy Jr. Greene responded, “Stage is being set,” when someone posted a question about hanging Clinton and former President Barack Obama.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Presidential Election News, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News, AP Elections - Political Conventions
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Fiercely divided House kicks Greene off both her committees
A fiercely divided House has tossed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off both her committees
5:16AM ( 6 minutes ago )
Serena Williams, Osaka drawn in same half at Australian Open
Serena Williams pulled out of a tuneup tournament after being been drawn into the same quarter at the Australian Open as second-ranked Simona Halep and the same half as Naomi Osaka in her latest bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title
5:14AM ( 8 minutes ago )
The Latest: Germany to receive 1st AstraZeneca vaccine
Germany’s health minister says first batches of the newly authorized AstraZeneca vaccine for will be delivered to the country’s 16 states Friday
5:01AM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Surprise tax forms reveal extent of unemployment fraud in US
Unemployment agencies across the country were bombarded with so many claims during the pandemic that many struggled to distinguish the correct from the criminal
3:38AM ( 1 hour ago )
Myanmar resistance to coup builds despite army's pressures
Nonviolent resistance to Myanmar’s military coup is gathering steam, with public protests extending to several regions including the tightly controlled capital
2:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
India clamps down on free speech to fight farmer protests
Media coverage and social media chatter around the tens of thousands of protesting farmers at the edges of the Indian capital have prompted a furious reaction from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government
2:45AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Trump rejects Dems' request to testify at impeachment trial
Former President Donald Trump is rejecting a request by House Democrats to testify under oath for his Senate impeachment trial
12:36AM ( 4 hours ago )
Divided House kicks Greene off committees
A fiercely divided House has tossed Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene off both her committees
12:20AM ( 5 hours ago )
Biden ending US support for Saudi-led offensive in Yemen
President Joe Biden says he's ending U.S. support for a Saudi-led military offensive in Yemen
10:48PM ( 6 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
The Latest: Israel to begin easing lockdown on Sunday
Israel plans to begin slowly easing its latest coronavirus lockdown on Sunday, hoping that its rapid vaccination campaign helps to contain an outbreak accelerated by new variants
3:32AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Germany's death toll tops 60,000 as cases ease
Germany’s death toll in the coronavirus pandemic has topped 60,000 even as new infections decline significantly
3:27AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Pfizer withdraws vaccine application in India
Pfizer says it has withdrawn its application for emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine in India
3:20AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Ocasio-Cortez leads lawmakers recalling Capitol siege
Lawmakers are sharing their personal, often stunning accounts of the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol
9:01PM ( 8 hours ago )
The Latest: US officials mull sending masks to each American
Biden administration officials are weighing sending masks to every American as they hope to nudge individuals to do their part in lowering coronavirus transmission rates
7:34PM ( 9 hours ago )
Biden delays Trump rule that weakened wild bird protections
The Biden administration is delaying a rule finalized in former President Donald Trump’s last days in office that would have drastically weakened the government’s power to enforce a century-old law protecting wild birds
7:09PM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Election officials say combating lies will be big challenge
Top election officials across the country are looking ahead to future elections and grappling with how they can counter a wave of lies and misinformation, after a 2020 election season dominated by conspiracy theories and false claims about voting
4:14PM ( 13 hours ago )
Greene regrets 'words of the past' without explicit apology
Embattled Rep_ Marjorie Taylor Greene says she regrets some of her “words of the past.”
3:35PM ( 13 hours ago )
Uganda's Bobi Wine urges 'strong action' over disputed polls
Ugandan opposition figure Bobi Wine is urging the international community to back up concerns over the country’s disputed elections with “strong actions.”
2:33PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Elections
Haiti opens debate on proposed constitutional changes
Haiti has unveiled multiple proposed changes to overhaul the country’s Constitution that officials plan to present to voters starting this week for an upcoming referendum that looms amid growing unrest
5:33PM ( 1 day ago )
Ecuador to pick new president amid deepening economic crisis
Voters in Ecuador are heading to the polls to pick a new president amid a deepening economic crisis exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic
4:16PM ( 1 day ago )
Canada designates the Proud Boys as a terrorist entity
The Canadian government has designated the Proud Boys group as a terrorist entity
1:33PM ( 1 day ago )
General Presidential Election News
As Wisconsin's Johnson weighs future, Trump ties take a toll
Fealty to former President Donald Trump has endeared Republican Sen. Ron Johnson to the far-right base in Wisconsin, but it could prove costly if he decides to seek a third term in 2022
10:47AM ( 5 days ago )
AP Exclusive: GOP to stay neutral should Trump run again
The head of the Republican National Committee is declining to encourage former President Donald Trump to run for the White House in 2024
9:42PM ( 1 week ago )
GOP Ohio Sen. Portman not seeking reelection, cites gridlock
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio says he won't seek reelection and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades
9:06PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Serena Williams, Osaka drawn in same half at Australian Open
Serena Williams pulled out of a tuneup tournament after being been drawn into the same quarter at the Australian Open as second-ranked Simona Halep and the same half as Naomi Osaka in her latest bid for a record-equaling 24th Grand Slam singles title
5:14AM ( 8 minutes ago )
Skiing worlds in Cortina will lack fans but not scenery
The natural beauty of Cortina d'Ampezzo will take center stage when the skiing world championships open next week
4:57AM ( 26 minutes ago )
The Latest: UK arrivals to spend 10 days in hotel isolation
British officials say everyone arriving in the country from coronavirus hot spots will have to spend 10 days in hotel quarantine starting Feb. 15 in a bid to stop new variants of the virus reaching the U.K. The government is facing criticism for the delay in implementing the policy, which it first announced in late January
4:48AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Williams withdraws from semifinals in Australian Open tuneup
Serena Williams has withdrawn from a semifinal match against top-ranked Ash Barty in an Australian Open tuneup event
4:25AM ( 57 minutes ago )
South Korea's trade minister drops bid to become WTO chief
South Korea’s top trade official is dropping her bid to become the next director-general of the World Trade Organization, making it highly likely that the job will go to former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
4:07AM ( 1 hour ago )