Pressure is growing on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to strip Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments after a series of reports about her previous support for conspiracy theories.
Greene, who represents Georgia’s 14th congressional district, is currently seated on the House Education and Labor Committee and the House Budget Committee, both chaired by Democrats.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi joined a chorus of criticism on Thursday aimed at Greene and the perceived inaction on the part of GOP leadership to admonish her.
“What could they be thinking? Or is thinking too generous of a word for what they might be doing?” Pelosi said at a press briefing.
“It’s absolutely appalling, and I think the focus has to be on the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives for the disregard they have for the deaths of those children.”
Pelosi was referring to reports that Greene engaged in conspiracy theories about deadly school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The parents of two children killed at Sandy Hook have criticized Green’s appointment to the Education Committee, while Parkland survivor David Hogg has called for her resignation after video resurfaced of her following him and calling him a “coward”, while also claiming he was being funded by billionaire George Soros.
Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter was killed at Parkland, called out McCarthy for not acting against Greene and highlighted a report that Greene had suggested California wildfires were caused by a space laser.
“Let me get this straight. @RepMTG does not believe my daughter died in Parkland or my brother from 9/11 but she does believe that because I am Jewish I had something to do with wild fires?@GOPLeader, do you agree with this? You either reject or own it,” Guttenberg tweeted on Thursday.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger of Illinois told CNN on Thursday that Greene should be removed from her committee assignments.
“She may be like this new definition of Republican, but that’s kind of a RINO thing,” Kinzinger said. “I don’t think she should have the privilege of any committees.”
Democratic members of the House Education Committee have called for Greene’s removal but that could prove difficult for the Republican leadership if Greene tries to stay in place.
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy must explain how someone with this background represents the Republican party on education issues,” House Education Committee Chair Bobby Scott said in a statement on Thursday.
“Once a member is placed on a standing committee, the party leadership can’t actually remove that member from just that committee—at least not until there is a new Congress,” American University professor Andrew Ballard told Newsweek on Thursday.
However, McCarthy did strip former Congressman Steve King of his committee assignments in 2019 after the Iowa representative asked why the phrase “white nationalism” had become offensive.
Though criticism so far has focused on Greene serving on the Education Committee, she also has a seat on the House Budget Committee, which will be a crucial committee during the expected budget reconciliation process.