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House GOP leaders are facing mounting pressure to take action against freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), with key outside groups calling on party officials to condemn her and House Democrats pushing for Greene’s removal from Congress or committees.
Amid the firestorm, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy will sit down for a conversation with Greene next week, his office said. But whether McCarthy decides to punish Greene will depend on how that meeting goes.
McCarthy had a similar face-to-face meeting in 2019 with former Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) after he defended white nationalism in an interview with the New York Times. The Iowa Republican showed little remorse during their interaction, and shortly afterward, McCarthy booted King from his committees.
And so far, Greene has remained publicly defiant: “I will never back down. I will never give up,” she said in a statement Friday. Greene has, however, started to scrub some of her old social media posts.
The controversy surrounding Greene — who has espoused racist views, dabbled in QAnon conspiracy theories, and questioned the veracity of some of the nation’s deadliest and most tragic school shootings — has swirled in recent days as offensive videos and comments from before her time in Congress have continued to surface.
The timing of Greene's comments — which also appear to take place before the start of her 2020 campaign — have complicated efforts to sanction her.
The Republican Jewish Coalition, as well as the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, both put out statements Friday condemning Greene’s rhetoric. RJC also said it is "working closely with the House Republican leadership regarding next steps in this matter.”
"We opposed her as a candidate and we continue to oppose her now,” RJC said.
Republican leaders over the summer raced to condemn Greene after POLITICO uncovered a trove of racist Facebook videos she made. But afterward, most of them did little to stop her from winning her GOP primary and she was welcomed into the conference. And Greene has her share of high-profile allies on the right, including Donald Trump.
The calls for action among Democrats, meanwhile, continue to grow loud, citing Greene’s record of inflammatory rhetoric, particularly her false claims that multiple school shootings were hoaxes.
A pair of House Democrats unveiled a censure resolution on Friday afternoon — the first of its kind — against Greene, who has endorsed social media posts encouraging violence against Democrats including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The resolution from Reps. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) and Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.) would also call for Greene to resign.
“Congresswoman Greene’s comments and actions are dangerous, unpatriotic, and a clear threat to every Member of Congress,” Williams wrote in a statement, noting that it is the “same rhetoric that provoked the lawlessness” that led to the storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The censure resolution is among several punitive measures floated by House Democrats in recent days, including a resolution from Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Calif.) that seeks to expel Greene from the House.
Gomez will try to force a floor vote on that resolution, potentially as early as next week. While expulsion is highly unlikely, since it requires two-thirds support in the House, it would still force every single Republican to go on the record over Greene.
Another measure from Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) would strip Greene of her committee assignments — including the Education committee, a position that Democrats say would be particularly egregious given her conspiratorial claims that shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012 were staged.
Tensions had already been high as Democrats and Republicans grappled with how to proceed after the Jan. 6 attacks, where some of their own colleagues — including Greene — have been accused of aiding the rioters.
And in another sign of how controversial Greene has become, freshman Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) tweeted Friday that Greene and her staff “berated” her in a hallway and she now plans to move her office away from the Georgia Republican’s “for my team's safety.”
Democrats say Greene’s behavior and rhetoric demands swift action.
“Rep. Taylor Greene’s pattern of appalling behavior, both prior to her election and during her term, has caused additional trauma for survivors of violence, fueled domestic terrorism, endangered the lives of her colleagues and brought shame on the House of Representatives,” Wasserman Schultz wrote in a letter to her colleagues circulating the measure.