Stefanik votes against punishing fellow Republican Greene
Condemns past remarks but says voters have spoken
U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik voted “no” on a resolution to remove a Georgia Republican from her congressional committees because of controversial comments.
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed, by a vote of 230-199, a Democratic-sponsored resolution to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her position on the Budget and Education and Labor committees “in light of conduct she has exhibited.”
Eleven Republicans voted in favor. Two Democrats and one Republican did not vote.
Greene has come under fire for past remarks that supported violence against Democrats, claimed that school shootings were faked, questioned whether a plane hit the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and backed unfounded theories by the QAnon online group that Democrats were part of child abuse rings.
Stefanik, R-Schuylerville, said she strongly condemns what she called “inexcusable” statements made by Greene before she took office.
“However, it is the will of the people of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District to elect her. It is not the right of House Democrats to unilaterally overturn the people of Georgia’s decision, as Speaker Pelosi has done by removing Representative Greene from any and all committee assignments, even after Representative Greene apologized,” she said in a statement.
“The hypocrisy of this partisan power grab is evidenced by the Democrats’ refusal to use this standard against members of their own party who have made horrific statements, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota who has a well-known record of anti-Semitic comments during her time in Congress. As leaders, we must unequivocally condemn dangerous rhetoric when we see it, no matter who or what political party it comes from,” Stefanik added.
The vote came after a spirited debate. Greene took to the House floor to defend herself ahead of the vote.
Greene attempted to disavow statements she has made, saying that the media takes a snippet of comments and takes them out of context.
“These were words of the past. These things do not represent me. They do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values,” she said.
Greene said she is a wife of 25 years, a mother of three children and the first person in her family to graduate from college. She said she had not been politically active until Donald Trump arrived on the political scene.
She said she started frequenting the QAnon website during the investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. She read the information and would ask questions and do her own research elsewhere on the internet, she said.
In 2018, she said, she started to believe that the material on the QAnon website was not true.
She cautioned the public to consider carefully the sources of information.
“Any source of information that is a mix of truth and a mix of lies is dangerous, no matter what it is saying, no matter what party it is helping,” she said.
She said school shootings are real and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks happened.
She said the big media companies can take some words out of context and portray people as something they are not. She said the “cancel culture” is a real thing. She said she is being singled out.
“If this Congress is to tolerate members that condone riots that have hurt American people, attacked police officers, occupied federal property, burned businesses and cities, yet wants to condemn me and crucify me in the public square for words that I said and I regret a few years ago, I think we’re in a real big problem,” she said.
“What shall we do as Americans? Shall we stay divided like this? Will we allow the media that is just as guilty as QAnon at presenting truth and lies to divide us?”
Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., said comparing the media to QAnon was “beyond the pale.” He said Greene had supported Facebook posts that said Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be violently attacked. Greene harassed a survivor of the Parkland school shooting and made various homophobic and Islamophobic remarks.
“I did not hear a disavowment or an apology for those things. I did not hear an apology or denouncement for the claim or insinuation that political opponents should be violently dealt with,” he said.
Earlier in the day, House Republicans voted 145-61 in a secret ballot vote to reject an effort to remove Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming from their No. 3 leadership position. Cheney was one of the few Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching former President Donald Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
Stefanik’s office did not answer an inquiry about how she voted on Cheney.