House

Here are the 11 Republicans who voted to remove Greene from House committees

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Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-IL, questions witnesses during a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing looking into the firing of State Department Inspector General Steven Linick, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on September 16, 2020. 

Eleven House Republicans joined all Democrats on Thursday to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) of her committee assignments for embracing conspiracy theories and political violence — a figure much higher than expected heading into the unusual vote. 

While the vast majority of House Republicans rallied behind Greene in the day’s extraordinary debate, the 11 defectors represent a figure similar to that of last month’s vote to impeach former President Trump for inciting the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol. 

There was little overlap between the two groups, however, as only three Republicans supported both Trump’s impeachment and the effort to knock Greene from the two committees — Budget, and Education and Labor — where GOP leaders had placed her just days before.

That short list included Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), Fred Upton (Mich.) and John Katko (N.Y.). 

A total of 199 Republicans — including the party’s leadership — stood by Greene, compared to the 11 who joined with Democrats.

The list of defectors featured three Republicans from Florida, the home of a 2018 high school shooting massacre that Greene has suggested was a hoax. Those Florida lawmakers were Reps. Mario Diaz-Balart, Carlos Gimenez and Maria Elvira Salazar.

“When she goes after students, victimsf, and survivors of senseless gun violence as in the case of the Parkland High School shooting, she loses all credibility as someone assigned to crafting policies in protection of our children from violence,” Gimenez said in a statement.

In another regional trend, a number of Republicans from New York and its surrounding areas also voted to punish Greene, including Katko, Chris Jacobs (N.Y.), Nicole Malliotakis (N.Y.) and Chris Smith (N.J.).

Greene has suggested that the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which partially occurred in New York and effected the tri-state area, were also a hoax. 

First-term Rep. Young Kim (Calif.), who represents a competitive swing district, also voted to remove Greene from committees, as did Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a centrist Pennsylvanian who has criticized Trump vocally in the past.  

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee began running ads this week against some of the 11 Republicans, accusing them of having “stood with Q, not you.” Fitzpatrick, Kim and Salazar were among the committee’s targets.

Katko said after the vote that he looked at Greene’s history and was left with no choice. 

“I looked at the facts and circumstances, like I did as a prosecutor, and I made a decision accordingly,” he said, adding that he’s not concerned about the political fallout that might follow.

“I don’t worry about political ramifications of my votes,” he said. 

Yet Katko also had a warning for his colleagues across the aisle, saying Democrats should expect Republicans to use the same gambit to punish wayward lawmakers whenever the GOP is back in the House majority. 

“They’ve opened a can of worms, and they’re going to live with it now going forward,” he said. 

Diaz-Balart said that he thinks Greene’s comments were “unacceptable,” while calling for some Democrats, including Reps. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) and Maxine Waters (Calif.), to be removed from committees as well for making controversial remarks. 

Salazar cited Greene’s suggestions that the 2018 school shooting in her state was staged, that a plane didn’t crash into the Pentagon on 9/11 and that California wildfires were caused by a space laser to pave the way for a high-speed rail project tied to PG&E and the Rothschilds, a Jewish banking family. 

“Voting against a member of your own party is never easy, but everyone in Congress must be held to the same high standard,” Salazar said in a statement. 

Kinzinger, a vocal Trump critic who also backed impeachment last month, had telegraphed for days that he’d support removing Greene from committees.

“I think a district has every right to put who they want there. But we have every right to take a stand and say, ‘You don’t get a committee.’ And we definitely need to do that,” Kinzinger said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” 

But some of the Republicans who backed impeachment last month opted to side with Greene on Thursday. 

Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.), the third-ranking House Republican, voted “no.” House GOP lawmakers allied with Trump demanded a vote on Wednesday to try to oust her from her leadership position for supporting impeachment, but she ultimately fended off the challenge.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who spoke in support of Cheney during Wednesday’s GOP conference meeting, blasted Democrats for establishing what he described as a “dangerous new standard that will only deepen divisions.”

McCarthy had offered to remove Greene from the Education and Labor Committee and place her on the Small Business Committee instead, given the outrage over her past remarks questioning the veracity of school shootings.

But House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) rejected the idea on the grounds that Democrats believed Greene had forfeited the privilege to serve on any committees at all. 

Updated at 8:27 p.m.

Tags 11 republicans Adam Kinzinger Brian Fitzpatrick Chris Smith Conspiracy theories Donald Trump Fred Upton Ilhan Omar John Katko Kevin McCarthy Liz Cheney Mario Diaz-Balart Marjorie Taylor Greene Maxine Waters removal from House committees Steny Hoyer
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