The top US House Republican on Wednesday refused to punish QAnon-backing congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, snubbing a growing chorus of calls to remove the controversial lawmaker from two committees over her incendiary rhetoric.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his Democratic counterpart Steny Hoyer deadlocked over how to proceed with Greene, amid a raging debate about her inflammatory words and support of offensive social media posts.
McCarthy broke his silence after meeting with Greene Tuesday and Wednesday.
While he “unequivocally” condemned her remarks, he said Democratic efforts to boot her from the panels was a “partisan power grab regarding the committee assignments of the other party.”
Hoyer said the impasse left him with no choice but to bring the issue of disciplining Greene to the a House vote on Thursday.
“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.
McCarthy shot back, warning that the vote served to “distract” Congress from addressing pressing issues like coronavirus relief and vaccine distribution.
But Greene’s case has consumed Capitol Hill, enflaming Republican divisions as the party grapples over whether to move on from the bellicose politics of former President Donald Trump or to embrace them.
The 46-year-old conservative from the southern state of Georgia aligns with Trump and said last weekend that the two spoke by telephone.
Before running for Congress, Greene “liked” Facebook posts that advocated the execution of Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and she once posted a video of herself harassing a teen school shooting survivor.
In 2018 she asserted that California wildfires were ignited by a space laser controlled by a Jewish family, and she has supported QAnon conspiracy theories that a “deep state” cabal of satanic paedophiles was operating to bring down Trump.
Senate Republicans have turned on her, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who branded her rhetoric a “cancer.”
McCarthy offered his own criticism, saying “past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do not represent the values or beliefs of the House Republican Conference.”
But while he acknowledged Greene has “caused deep wounds to many,” he would not oust her from both committees.
Instead, McCarthy reportedly offered to remove her from the Education and Labor Committee if she could stay on the Budget Committee. Hoyer refused the deal.
Republican members have little appetite to punish one of their own for things she may have done or said before entering Congress.
But Democrats insisted on taking action.
“Reducing the future harm and disgrace she could cause” by sitting on committees is “a necessary and proper restraint of her influence,” said congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Greene remains remorseless, doubling down on Trump’s baseless claims that the election was stolen.
She tweeted Wednesday that she owes “no apologies” for her actions and will “never” back down.