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LIVE COVERAGE: House debates removing Greene from committees

The House will vote Thursday to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments due to her endorsement of conspiracy theories and violence against Democratic politicians.

House Republicans declined to take action against Greene themselves, which prompted Democrats to move unilaterally to prevent her from serving on committees.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyRepublicans need to stop Joe Biden's progressive assault on America Top academics slam Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act Boehner: 'There's a lot of leaders in the Republican Party' MORE (R-Calif.) condemned Greene’s past statements in support of the QAnon conspiracy theory, suggestions that school shootings were staged and endorsement of executing Democrats. But Greene also has the support of former President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to move ahead with billion UAE weapons sale approved by Trump Fox News hires high-profile defense team in Dominion defamation lawsuit Associate indicted in Gaetz scandal cooperating with DOJ: report MORE, whose supporters McCarthy is wary of alienating.

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Thursday’s vote is expected to fall largely along party lines.

The debate is set to begin on the rule covering the measure at 12:30 p.m. The House will vote on the rule at about 1:30 p.m., with a final vote later on Thursday.

Keep up with the debate below.

Hoyer floor drama: Top Democrat says Greene endangering 'Squad'
 
6:40 p.m.
 
House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerNY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap Democrats face mounting hurdles to agenda This week: Congress returns with lengthy to-do list MORE (D-Md.) made a point of displaying a blown-up placard version of a social media post by Greene's campaign account that shows the Georgia Republican holding a gun next to three progressive Democrats. Hoyer warned that such rhetoric puts their lives in danger.

"I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle when they take this vote: Imagine your faces on this poster. Imagine it’s a Democrat with an AR-15. Imagine what your response would be and would you think that that person ought to be held accountable?" Hoyer said while facing the Republican side of the chamber.

Greene posted the photo on Facebook in September of herself next to images of Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap The Memo: How liberal will the Biden presidency be? Five hurdles Democrats face to pass an infrastructure bill MORE (N.Y.), Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarNew York Times defends itself against Project Veritas defamation suit Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan MORE (Minn.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibObama on Daunte Wright: We need to reimagine policing Tlaib: US policing 'intentionally racist,' can't be reformed Biden, first lady send 'warmest greetings' to Muslims for Ramadan MORE (Mich.) with the caption "Squad's Worst Nightmare." Facebook removed the image for violating its policies.

Hoyer walked from the Democratic side of the aisle to the well in the center of the chamber and held the poster up high to ensure that Republicans could see it.

When he returned to the microphone, Hoyer said that rhetoric like Greene's dehumanizes Omar, Ocasio-Cortez and Tlaib and encourages violence, noting that two of the women were mother's.

"They're not 'the Squad.' They're Ilhan. They're Alexandria. They're Rashida. They are people. They are our colleagues," Hoyer said. 

— Cristina Marcos

Reps. Bush, Omar weigh in on removing Greene from committees

5:38 p.m.

Reps. Illhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Cori Bush (D-Mo.) both weighed in on removing Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from her committee assignments.

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“As a survivor of civil conflict and civil war, I know political violence and political rhetoric will not go away on its own. This is about whether or not we will continue to be a peaceful and functioning democracy,” Omar said. 

Bush gave a separate floor speech in which she said she could not “sit idly by and allow white supremacy and hatred to have decisionmaking power over our students’ futures.” 

“We cannot build an equitable anti-racist society if a member of Congress endorses white supremacy,” she said.

Both lawmakers made headlines this week amid furor over past offensive remarks from Greene. 

Bush said she would move her office away from Greene's, citing safety concerns, while a handful of GOP lawmakers sought to remove Omar from the House Foreign Affairs panel, citing her own past comments.

— Jordan Williams

McCarthy says removing Greene from committees will 'deepen' House divisions

5:13 p.m.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said the resolution to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) from her committees sets a “dangerous new standard that will only deepen divisions” in the House.

McCarthy slammed his Democratic colleagues, who he said have “acted to undermine the people’s House.”

He noted, however, that her past comments do not represent the Republican Party. 

“As a conservative, as an American, I condemn those views unequivocally,” McCarthy said. “I condemned them when they first surfaced and I condemned them today.” 

McCarthy said Greene apologized for her previous comments when they met this week, and vowed to hold her accountable moving forward. He also criticized House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) for rejecting his offer to remove her from the House Education and Labor Committee if Democrats dropped the resolution to remove her from the Budget Committee as well.

“Once again, this Congress will get listed as the least productive Congress in history,” he said. “But the one thing it will have a record of is being one-sided and a long history that I believe this body will be embarrassed by.”

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— Jordan Williams

Wasserman Schultz urges colleagues to remove Greene from committees 

5:10 p.m.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzFlorida Democrats call for DOJ investigation of state Senate races Democrats urge FDA to clear market of all flavored e-cigarettes DeSantis threatens to divert vaccines from communities criticizing distribution MORE (D-Fla.) argued that removing Greene from her committee assignments is an appropriate punishment to limit “future harm” that could be directed toward Congress. 

Wasserman Schultz, who sponsored the resolution to remove Greene from the budget and education committees, said there was no comparing Greene’s controversial comments, which included suggestions of executing Democratic lawmakers, to rhetoric by others who hold political office.

“No one else on this floor has called for violence against other members and law enforcement. Only one member has done that, and refused to back down. That is the precedent that we are dealing with today,” Wasserman Schultz said. 

“Now that she’s made her choices, the House must limit the future harm and violence that she can invite on this body,” Wasserman Schultz said.  “The deceptive, inflammatory conduct that fuels such violence cannot be tolerated anywhere, certainly not in this House.”

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— Jordan Williams

Debate resumes on removing Greene from committees

4:45 p.m.

After multiple procedural votes, the House is now debating the resolution to remove Greene from the Education and Budget committees.

"Conspiracy theories and hate are malignant. They do not fade away. We must stand up to them and say, 'Enough,'" House Ethics Committee Chairman Ted DeutchTheodore (Ted) Eliot DeutchLawmakers want Biden to pressure Saudi Arabia to end Yemen blockade House panel opens probe into Tom Reed over sexual misconduct allegations Biden clean electricity standard faces high hurdles MORE (D-Fla.) said in his opening remarks.

Deutch represents Parkland, Fla., the site of a school shooting in 2018 that Greene previously suggested was staged. Greene also filmed herself harassing survivor David Hogg while he was on Capitol Hill advocating for gun control measures and suggested the Parkland activists were using children to elicit sympathy for their cause.

"The 17 people who never came home from school in Parkland on Feb. 14, 2018 were my constituents. Their families' pain is real. And it is felt every single day," Deutch said.

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Republicans, meanwhile, echoed arguments made throughout the afternoon that they don't condone Greene's actions but that the unilateral move by Democrats would set a dangerous precedent for the rights of the minority party in the future.

Rep. Jackie WalorskiJacqueline (Jackie) R. WalorskiHouse panel opens probe into Tom Reed over sexual misconduct allegations Lawmakers say manufacturers are in better position to handle future pandemics Ethics watchdog: 'Substantial' evidence GOP lawmaker improperly spent funds, misused position to help brother MORE (R-Ind.), the ranking member on the House Ethics Committee, called the vote "nothing more than a partisan power grab."

Final passage of the resolution is expected in the early evening.

— Cristina Marcos

House adopts rule for floor debate, GOP forces vote on motion to adjourn

3:35 p.m.

The House passed a procedural rule along party lines to launch a formal debate on the resolution to remove Greene from the Education and Budget committees.

Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyUS Chamber enters hostile takeover by crony capitalists Exclusive: Biggs offers bill banning federal vaccine passports Both parties look to recruit Asian American candidates as violence against group increases MORE (R-Texas) subsequently forced a vote on a motion to adjourn, which will delay passage of the resolution until later than originally expected Thursday afternoon.

The motion to adjourn is expected to fail. Once that vote is done, lawmakers will have an hour of debate on the Greene resolution before voting on it. 

— Cristina Marcos

House GOP leaders whipping members against resolution

2:31 p.m.

House GOP leaders are urging their members to vote against the Democratic resolution to strip Greene of her committee assignments to minimize any defections.

A notice from House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Republican House campaign arm rakes in .7 million in first quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Biden seeks expanded government, tax hikes MORE's (R-La.) office said that removing a lawmaker from a committee based on comments made before taking office "sets a dangerous new precedent in the House."

"The resolution before the House today is not about the comments Representative Greene made in the past but is instead a further infringement upon minority rights which will have a lasting and damaging impact on the institution," the notice said.

The document added that GOP "leadership has made it abundantly clear that the comments Representative Greene made prior to running for elected office are completely inappropriate and should be condemned."

— Cristina Marcos

Greene ignores reporters' questions; staffer says 'she doesn't answer to you'

2:28 p.m.

Greene stared straight ahead and ignored questions from the media — which she equated to QAnon in her floor speech — as she walked through the Capitol complex from the House chamber.

While Greene said in her floor speech that 9/11 and school shootings "absolutely" happened after previously questioning the events, she did not address some of her most alarming comments endorsing violence against Democratic politicians.

Greene previously liked a Facebook comment in January 2019 that said "a bullet to the head would be quicker" to remove Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says she would have put up a fight against Capitol mob: 'I'm a street fighter' Biden to address Congress on April 28 NY House Democrats demand repeal of SALT cap MORE (D-Calif.). And when a Facebook commenter asked her in April 2018 "now do we get to hang them," referring to former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhy does Bernie Sanders want to quash Elon Musk's dreams? Republican legislators target private sector election grants How Democrats can defy the odds in 2022 MORE and former President Obama, Greene responded: "Stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly or liberal judges would let them off."

A reporter asked Greene how she was feeling going into the vote and if she planned to vote on the resolution. Greene ignored the reporter, but a staffer interjected, "She doesn't answer to you. She answers to the people of the 14th [congressional] District."

Some reporters responded that they "report to the people of the 14th District" and "all the districts."

— Cristina Marcos

McGovern rips Greene’s speech expressing regret

1:52 p.m. 

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) ripped Greene’s floor speech in which she expressed regret for her previous support of conspiracy theories, criticizing her for not apologizing for her remarks. 

McGovern slammed Greene for comparing QAnon to the media. 

“To equate the media to QAnon is beyond the pale,” McGovern said.  

In her speech, Greene said: “Will we allow the media, which is just as guilty as QAnon, of presenting truth and lies to divide us?"

McGovern also criticized Greene for having “profited off of these hurtful remarks and dangerous statements.” 

— Jordan Williams

Greene expresses regret for statements in floor speech

1:10 p.m.

Greene gave a floor speech in which she expressed regret for her controversial comments regarding school shootings and 9/11 prior to her run for office.

During her speech, Greene said she’s a “very regular American,” adding that she wasn’t a political person until former President Trump ran for election.

Greene said she started looking things up on the internet at the end of 2017 when she stumbled across QAnon. 

“I was allowed to believe things that weren’t true, and I would ask questions about them and I would talk about them, and that is absolutely what I regret,” Greene said. She said she stopped believing QAnon in 2018. 

Greene said that school shootings are “absolutely real” and added that “9/11 absolutely happened.” 

The Georgia Republican said she never expressed any of those views on the campaign trail or since she was elected. She said they no longer represent her values. 

"These are words of the past and they do not represent me, they do not represent my district, and they do not represent my values," Greene said.

— Jordan Williams

House begins floor debate on Greene

12:54 p.m.

Preliminary House floor debate has begun on the resolution up for a vote later today on ousting Greene from committees.

The House first has to pass a procedural rule that establishes parameters for floor debate on the actual resolution. Then it will move to debate on the resolution before a vote.

House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) kicked off floor debate by expressing disgust that Republicans applauded Greene during a private conference meeting the night before.

"Will they not draw the line at calling for the assassination of another member of this body?" McGovern asked of Republicans.

Rep. Tom ColeThomas (Tom) Jeffrey ColeFlorida Rep. Alcee Hastings dies at 84 Congress looks to rein in Biden's war powers House GOP holdouts muddle Trump vaccine message MORE (Okla.), the top Republican on the House Rules Committee, said that he found Greene's past comments "deeply offensive" but noted that she expressed "regret" during the private meeting.

Cole argued that Democrats were risking a slippery slope by taking unilateral action against a member of the minority party. Typically, members of leadership have taken action on their own to remove controversial lawmakers from committees, such as former Res. Steve KingSteven (Steve) Arnold KingRep. Gosar denounces 'white racism' after controversial appearance In Marjorie Taylor Greene, a glimpse of the future House votes to kick Greene off committees over embrace of conspiracy theories MORE (R-Iowa) in 2019.

"Today's resolution raises serious questions for this institution," Cole said.

— Cristina Marcos