WASHINGTON — Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell denounced newly elected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday, calling the far-right northwest Georgia, Republican’s embrace of conspiracy theories and “loony lies” a “cancer for the Republican Party.”
“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” said McConnell, R-Ky. “This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.”
The statement comes as House Democrats are mounting an effort to formally rebuke Greene, who has a history of making racist remarks, embracing conspiracy theories and endorsing violence directed at Democrats. It also puts pressure on House Republican leaders to discipline her.
Democrats have teed up action Wednesday to send a resolution to the House floor that would strip Greene of assignments on the House education and budget committees, if House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., doesn’t do so first.
“It is my hope and expectation that Republicans will do the right thing and hold Rep. Greene accountable, and we will not need to consider this resolution,” said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. “But we are prepared to do so if necessary.”
Some Democrats have called for going further and expelling Greene from the House — an unlikely outcome that would require backing from Republicans, since expulsion requires a two-thirds vote. Another option is censure.
Democrats’ willingness to act against a member of the opposing party underscores their desire to confront far-right politicians, like Greene, who are closely aligned with some of former President Donald Trump’s fringe supporters, including extremist groups that were involved in the violent Capitol insurrection. It also shines a light on the GOP’s reluctance to punish Trump supporters in their ranks for fear of alienating some of the former president’s most ardent voters.
“If Republicans won’t police their own, the House must step in,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., who is sponsoring the measure to remove Greene from the committees.
In a tweet over the weekend, Greene, R-Rome, sounded a defiant tone. She also said she had spoken to Trump and was “grateful for his support.”
“I will never back down and will stand up against the never ending blood thirsty mob,” she tweeted.
On Monday, she tweeted that Democrats, if they move forward, will come to regret the “precedent they are setting,” arguing that it would be “used extensively against members on their side once we regain the majority after the 2022 elections.”
Last week, Pelosi pressed for House Republicans to take action against Greene.
McCarthy is supposed to meet privately with Greene this week. A spokesperson for the Republican leader declined to comment on Monday.
Although it’s not certain he will take action against Greene, McCarthy has punished members of the House Republican caucus before. Former Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, was stripped of all his committee assignments after expressing support for white supremacists in 2019.