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DJ Marjorie Taylor Greene Says Her Removal From Committees Stifles Her Constituents

· 02/05/2021 12:41
By Eliza Collins

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Georgia Republican who was removed from her committee assignments over her past embrace of conspiracy theories, said Friday that the move would stifle her constituents -- but added that serving on committees under Democratic control was a waste of her time.

Mrs. Greene, speaking to reporters in a combative press conference, said lawmakers who voted to remove her from the committees "actually stripped my district of their voice, they stripped my voters of having representation to work for them."

The House voted 230-199 on Thursday to remove Mrs. Greene from the budget and education committees, with 11 Republicans siding with Democrats. The move will diminish Mrs. Greene's ability to shape legislation and work with other lawmakers, sidelining her just weeks into her first term in office.

Still, Mrs. Greene said that she felt freed by the decision because Democrats held the power in Washington.

"If I was on a committee, I'd be wasting my time because my conservative values wouldn't be heard and neither would my district's," she said.

Democrats said the move was a necessary response to counter the violent rhetoric and misinformation that helped foment the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, since GOP leaders declined to sanction her. Republicans who defended keeping Mrs. Greene on the committees said she had expressed regret, and they denounced the action as an infringement on the minority party's rights.

In a speech on the House floor Thursday, Mrs. Greene said she regretted posts she made about QAnon, the far-right-wing, loosely organized network and community of believers who embrace a range of unsubstantiated beliefs. She said she first encountered QAnon posts in 2017 but realized late in the next year that she was receiving misinformation and stopped believing it.

She told reporters on Friday that she was "grateful that I had the opportunity to say the things that I don't believe, and I shouldn't have said in the first place."

"I'm sorry for saying all those things that were wrong and offensive," she said.

Mrs. Greene had also espoused conspiracy theories about who was responsible for school shootings, and in one video she aggressively questions David Hogg, a former student at the Parkland, Fla., school who became a gun-violence-prevention advocate.

Republicans warned that Mrs. Greene's removal from committee assignments could spark retaliation in the future, and Mrs. Greene said the 11 GOP House members who voted to remove her could cost the party down the road.

"That's something our leaders should be very upset about," she said. "When you have Republicans in the ranks voting against one of their own, opening the door for Democrats to go after every single Republican next. That really is a big betrayal and that could cost us the majority."

The 11 Republicans who voted with Democrats largely represented competitive districts, including a cluster of lawmakers from New York and Florida. Only three of the 11 Republicans had voted last month to impeach former President Donald Trump: Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, Fred Upton of Michigan and John Katko of New York.

Some of Mrs. Greene's fellow GOP freshmen voted to oust her from committees, including Reps. Nicole Malliotakis of New York, Young Kim of California, and Carlos Gimenez and Maria Salazar of Florida.

"I hope that my Republican colleagues think about what they've done. I'm sure they're going to hear from their voters at home because the base is loyal to President Trump and the base has been very loyal to me," she said.

--Kristina Peterson contributed to this article.

Write to Eliza Collins at eliza.collins@wsj.com.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

February 05, 2021 12:41 ET (17:41 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.