(Bloomberg) — Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on House Republicans to remove freshman Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from the Education and Labor Committee, citing her past comments dismissive of school-shooting victims.
“What could they be thinking?” Pelosi said of the Republican leaders on Thursday. “It’s absolutely appalling.”
Pelosi criticized Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and other top GOP members for rewarding Greene with a role in overseeing education policy. Greene in the past has said that the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut was a hoax created to enable the government to infringe on gun-ownership rights.
Greene’s election in November brought someone who has spoken favorably about right-wing conspiracy theories like QAnon — involving the fabricated schemes of an anonymous government agent — to Washington as an elected official. The mottos and slogans of these online movements were also prominent among the mob of President Donald Trump’s supporters who stormed the Capitol Jan. 6 and threatened lawmakers.
The last Congress adopted a bipartisan resolution denouncing QAnon, and McCarthy in August said “there is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party.” But McCarthy hasn’t publicly objected to members of his House conference who have suggested support.
Asked about Greene’s online comments, McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar said they are “deeply disturbing and Leader McCarthy plans to have a conversation with the Congresswoman about them.”
Marjorie Taylor Green
Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg
Pelosi’s complaint about Greene’s committee assignment was echoed by the Democratic leader of the Education panel.
“Republicans have appointed someone to this committee who claimed that the killing of 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax,” Education Committee Chairman Bobby Scott of Virginia said in a statement on Thursday. “McCarthy must explain how someone with this background represents the Republican party on education issues.”
The Georgia Republican has also disparaged students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed by a gunman in 2018. Her past comments on social media suggest support for executing Democrats, including Pelosi, CNN reported.
Greene, in a statement from her office, said her previous comments were being distorted by the media.
“Democrats and their spokesmen in the Fake News Media will stop at nothing to defeat conservative Republicans,” she said. “They are coming after me because like President Trump, I will always defend conservative values. They want to take me out because I represent the people. And they absolutely hate it.“
Pelosi didn’t answer a question about whether Greene should be expelled from Congress, something that would take a two-thirds vote of the House. Representative Jimmy Gomez, a California Democrat, introduced a resolution this week to expel her.
(Updates with details about Greene’s election in the fourth paragraph and McCarthy spokesman in the sixth paragraph.)
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