Foreign

Marjorie Taylor Greene: US House Votes to Strip Republican of Key Posts

The US House of Representatives has voted to expel a Republican congresswoman from two committees over incendiary remarks she made before being elected last November.

Marjorie Taylor Greene had promoted baseless QAnon conspiracy theories and endorsed violence against Democrats.

Before the vote, she said she regretted her views, which included claims that school shootings and 9/11 were staged.

Eleven Republicans joined the Democrats to pass the motion by 230-199.

It means the representative – who was elected in November, representing a district in the southern state of Georgia – cannot take up her place on the education and budget committees.

This would limit her ability to shape policy as most legislation goes through a committee before reaching the House floor. Committee positions can determine the influence of individual lawmakers in their party.

It is highly unusual for one party to intervene in another party’s House committee assignments.

How did she explain her comments?

According to The Hill, a political news outlet, Mrs Greene received a standing ovation at a closed-doors meeting with members of her party on Wednesday after she apologised for her past remarks, and on Thursday before the vote, she expressed regret for her past comments.

On the floor of the House, she said her controversial remarks had been made before she ran for office last year.

  • She said she had “stopped believing” in QAnon – a conspiracy theory claiming that former President Donald Trump was waging a clandestine war on a Satan-worshipping cabal of child-abusers and cannibals – sometime in 2018 after finding “misinformation, lies and things that weren’t true” in the group’s posts
  • She walked back comments suggesting that school shootings – such as the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook elementary school and the 2018 Parkland shooting – were staged. “School shootings are absolutely real,” Mrs Greene said on Thursday
  • She retracted a past claim suggesting that no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11. “I want to tell you 9/11 absolutely happened,” she said. “I do not believe that it’s fake.”

“These were words of the past. These things do not represent me,” she said.

Mrs Greene said she had been “upset about things” happening in the US and did not trust the government when she came upon conspiracy theories online in 2018.

The 46-year-old also sought to pin blame on the media, saying they were “just as guilty as QAnon for promoting lies”.

But she did not address a series of past inflammatory remarks:

  • She once liked a Facebook post calling for Mrs Pelosi to get “a bullet to the head” and replied to another calling for Barack Obama to be hanged: “Stage is being set”
  • In 2019, she heckled a teenage survivor of the Parkland school shooting and called him “a coward”
  • She said the 2018 midterm elections ushered in “an Islamic invasion of our government”
  • In 2018, she suggested the California wildfires were started by a space laser beam which was controlled by the Rothschilds, a prominent Jewish banking company

BBC

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