UPDATED, 6:02 PM: Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) survived an effort to oust her from House Republican leadership, a move that would have been punishment for her vote to impeach Donald Trump.
The vote was 145 to 61 among the House Republican conference to retain Cheney, according to the Associated Press.
A vote to oust Cheney would have signaled the durability of Trump’s support even after he has been out of office. As it was, House Republicans already were facing criticism for taking a vote on Cheney’s future while not taking action against Marjorie Taylor Greene.
PREVIOUSLY: Marjorie Taylor Greene is getting far greater attention in the media than her actual power as a freshman congresswoman in the minority party, filling a void that may have otherwise gone to Donald Trump.
Much was already known about Greene when she sought a Georgia House seat last year, but recent stories have revealed more of her past beliefs, including an anti-Semitic tropes that connected space lasers to California’s wildfires. She has “liked” comments on Facebook calling for violence against Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A video surfaced last week in which she was seen berating Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg, while she mocked him in another.
On Thursday, the House is expected to vote on whether to strip Greene of her committee assignments, on the Budget and Education and Labor committees. The House Rules Committee voted on party lines on Wednesday to advance the resolution.
“We have hoped the Republican leadership would have dealt with this, but they are not dealing with this,” said Rules Committee chairman, Rep. Jim McGovern (R-MA).
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), another member of the committee, said that the theories that have been advocated by Greene “aren’t just deluded, they also advocate violence.” Republicans on the committee characterized the action as premature.
Since Joe Biden’s inauguration, Greene has quickly become the most polarizing figure on cable news, as her fate is framed as setting no less than the future course of the Republican party. Her beliefs were out in the open when she won her primary and her seat last year, but they were overshadowed by the chaos in the Trump White House. That isn’t the case anymore, as the former president has been banned on social media and absent from traditional outlets.
While GOP leaders in the House may minimize her importance to the GOP’s future, the notion that some action needed to be taken against her got some fuel after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called “looney lies and conspiracy theories” a “cancer for the Republican party and our country.”
After meeting with Greene, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) condemned her remarks and said, in a statement, “Her past comments now have much greater meaning. Marjorie recognized this in our conversation. I hold her to her word, as well as her actions going forward.”
Even though he has faced calls to take action against Greene, McCarthy instead tried to turn the tables and accuse Democrats of not taking action against some of their own members. He referred to comments made by Ilhan Omar (D-MN) in 2019. After McCarthy called for punishing Omar over comments she made that were critical of Israel, she wrote, “It’s all about the Benjamins, baby.” She later apologized and said that she was being educated on the “painful history on anti Semitic tropes.”
As Omar has been held up as an example of a “double standard” by conservatives on Fox News and elsewhere, she herself weighed in, calling it a “desperate smear rooted in racism, misogyny and Islamophobia.”
“She actively encouraged the insurrection on the Capitol that threatened my life and the life of every Member of Congress, and resulted in multiple deaths,” Omar said. “She ran a campaign ad holding an assault rifle next to my face. She came to the Capitol demanding that me and Rep. [Rashida] Tlaib swear in on the Christian bible instead of the Quran.”
Greene has accused Democrats of trying to “cancel” her while complaining that she was being targeted by “fake news CNN.” As the House Rules Committee took steps to remove her from the committee, she took to Twitter to boast about the amount of money she has raised as she has become the center of attention.
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