House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Wednesday gave a clear-cut condemnation of embattled Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-GA) past comments but accused House Democrats of dismissing his leadership in pursuit of unproductive action against the freshman congresswoman.
McCarthy said in a statement that he met with Greene and expressed to her “unequivocally” that he condemns views she espoused prior to joining Congress, including about school shootings, political violence, and antisemitic conspiracy theories. The GOP leader said Greene was receptive and that he intends to hold her accountable now that she is under his purview in the House.
“I also made clear that as a member of Congress we have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard than how she presented herself as a private citizen,” McCarthy said. “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.”
Greene has come under fire for her past inflammatory and conspiratorial remarks that emerged in videos and social media posts amid her congressional bid, including Facebook screenshots of her believing the Parkland school shooting was a “false flag” operation and supporting extreme violence against Democrat leaders, though Greene said to CNN in relation to the violence that the posts did not accurately portray her views and has contended on a broader level that Democrats are attempting to smear her.
After remarking on his meeting with Greene, McCarthy expressed frustration that Democrats, and specifically House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), refuse to compromise with Republicans and are continuing with their demand that Greene be stripped of her committee memberships despite his tone-setting conversation with her. Greene sits on both the Education and Labor Committee and Budget Committee.
McCarthy had proposed to Hoyer on Wednesday that Hoyer dismiss the call for Greene’s committee removal in exchange for McCarthy transferring Greene from the Education and Labor Committee to the Small Business Committee, according to Politico. However, Hoyer rejected the offer and said the House will move forward with voting on a resolution Thursday to kick her off both her committees.
“She has placed many members in fear for their welfare. And she has attacked and made incendiary remarks prior to but also during her term as a member of Congress,” Hoyer justified, per Politico.
McCarthy described the move as a hypocritical “power grab,” pointing out that Democrat House leaders have not removed their own controversial members from committees, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) who has made antisemitic remarks about Israel or Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) who allegedly developed ties with a Chinese spy while serving as a member of the Intelligence Committee.
The House GOP leader ultimately denounced the Democrats’ committee removal mission as a distraction from useful work.
“In the end, this resolution continues to distract Congress,” McCarthy explained, “especially given the limited time that Speaker Pelosi and the Democrat leadership want the House to debate and work, on what it needs to focus on: getting Americans back to work, getting kids back to school, and providing vaccines to all Americans who need it.”
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