MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) — Embattled Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene has been stripped of her committee assignments after being the subject of controversy in recent weeks.
The vote tally was 230-199 with 11 Republican House members voting with Democrats to remove Greene from her committee assignments.READ MORE: Condo Collapse: Outpouring Of Support, Sympathy For Families Impacted 'This Is An Unimaginable Tragedy':
House Democrats, who control the chamber, set up the vote after first attempting to pressure Republicans to strip the Georgia Republican of committee assignments on their own. House Republicans did not take that action, however, and House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday released a statement calling the push by Democrats to take away the congresswoman’s committee assignments a “partisan power grab.”
It all stems from comments, behavior and social media activity Greene engaged in before being elected to office.
Greene has expressed support for QAnon and various conspiracy theories, including one conspiracy theory that Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland two years ago was a so-called false-flag operation.
The uproar over Greene’s past behavior led to calls for her to be removed from her committee assignments.
She spoke on the House floor Thursday in an effort to prevent being stripped of those assignments.
Greene explained coming across QAanon a few years ago and becoming interested in posts related the group.
“The problem with that is though is I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true. And I would ask questions, questions about them and talk about them. And that is absolutely what I regret, because if it weren’t for the Facebook posts and comments that I liked in 2018, I wouldn’t be standing here today. And you couldn’t point a finger and accused me of anything wrong.”
Greene spoke in her own defense ahead of a House vote.
Greene has questioned whether school shootings, including Parkland and Sandy Hook, were staged, claimed there’s no evidence a plane hit the Pentagon on 9/11 and reportedly liked social media posts calling for violence against some Democrats.
However, on the House floor on Thursday, she also said she believes “9/11 absolutely happened” and “school shootings are absolutely real and every child that is lost, those families mourn it.”
In an attempt to put the controversy behind her, the congresswoman said, “These were words of the past, and these things do not represent me. They do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values.”
She also said, “Later in 2018 when I started finding misinformation, lies, things that were not true in these QAnon posts I stopped believing it.”
But her words were in vain as the House voted to remove her from the House Education and Labor Committee and the Budget Committee “in light of conduct she has exhibited.”
South Florida Republican Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez and Maria Elvira Salazar all broke from party lines, voting to remove Greene.
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I’ve previously stated that MTG’s comments are unacceptable, & today I voted to remove her from her committee assignments. These are also members I’ve consistently said should be removed from committee assignments for their irresponsible, inflammatory speech:
— Mario Diaz-Balart (@MarioDB) February 4, 2021
The move could set a risky precedent as Democrats target a sitting member of the opposing party in Congress over views expressed prior to her serving as an elected official — one that has the potential to someday be used against the party by Republicans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisted on Thursday, however, that she has no concerns about the precedent it could set.
“None, not at all. Not at all. If any of our members threatened the safety of other members we’d be the first ones to take them off of a committee. That’s it,” Pelosi said.
Outrage over Greene grew more intense in Congress in the wake of a report from CNN’s KFile that she repeatedly indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians in 2018 and 2019 before being elected to Congress.
Her recently resurfaced comments about the 2018 Parkland school shooting has led to student survivors and families of the victims to call for her resignation.
Despite her remarks on the House floor Thursday, Greene has otherwise been publicly defiant in the face of the criticism. In a tweet on Thursday, she wrote, “It’s not just me they want to cancel. They want to cancel every Republican. Don’t let the mob win.”
She addressed the controversy during a closed-door meeting of the House GOP conference on Wednesday evening and said her social media posts do not reflect who she is as a person, according to a person in the room.
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She announced on Saturday that she had spoken with former President Donald Trump and said she is “so grateful for (Trump’s) support,” adding, “More importantly the people of this country are absolutely 100% loyal to him because he is 100% loyal to the people and America First.”
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, made the first move toward stripping Greene of her roles on the two committees after speaking with McCarthy on Wednesday.
“I spoke to Leader McCarthy this morning, and it is clear there is no alternative to holding a Floor vote on the resolution to remove Rep. Greene from her committee assignments,” Hoyer said in a statement, adding that “the House will vote on the resolution tomorrow.”
McCarthy later told reporters he had offered to have Greene moved to the Small Business Committee.
“Marjorie’s also a small business owner. Move her to Small Business. I made that offer to Democrats and they chose to do something that Congress has never done,” he said.
Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who sponsored the privileged resolution to have Greene removed, outlined on Monday in a call with reporters how the House could strip Greene of her committee assignments. The resolution required only a simple majority to pass, not a two-thirds vote.
“We can remove her from the committee because ultimately even though our party leaders and our party process appoints us to committees, the House actually ultimately confirms those party recommendations, essentially, and so because it’s a House action we’re able to take a House action to remove a member from committee,” she said.MORE NEWS: Surfside Condo Collapse: At Least One Dead, 51 Unaccounted For; 55 Units Involved In Catastrophe
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