US House punishes conspiracy theorist Marjorie Taylor Greene

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US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene  talks to Rep Bob Good as they walk in the Cannon tunnel after a vote at the US Capitol February 5, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene talks to Rep Bob Good as they walk in the Cannon tunnel after a vote at the US Capitol February 5, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Photo: AFP

In a test of unity for a House Republican caucus riven by division, nearly 95 per cent of Republicans voted to oppose the punishment after Greene expressed regret for remarks made before she entered office but failed to apologise.

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in a 230-199 vote to approve the Democratic-backed resolution, which stripped Greene of her seats on the House budget committee and the House education and labour committee.

“I have never encountered a situation like the one before us now, where a member has made such vile and hurtful statements, engaged in the harassment of colleagues and expressed support for political violence,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said before the vote today.

“This is not about party. It’s about whether or not you will vote for decency and truth.”

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The vote to punish Greene, a first-term lawmaker from Georgia and ally of former president Donald Trump, came a day after the chamber’s Republican leader, Kevin McCarthy, opted not to reprimand her.

Republicans mainly attacked the resolution as a “partisan power grab” by Democrats and warned that punishing lawmakers for statements made before they entered office would set a dangerous precedent.

Hours before the vote, Greene disavowed some of her previous statements.

“These were words of the past and these things do not represent me, they do not represent my (congressional) district and they do not represent my values,” Greene told the House.

Before taking office last month, Greene voiced support for an array of unfounded conspiracy theories, including the QAnon one that holds that elite Democrats are part of a cabal of Satanist pedophiles and cannibals.

According to CNN, Greene expressed support online for executing prominent Democrats including Pelosi.

Greene, 46, embraced his false claim that he won the November 3 election, alleged that deadly US school shootings were staged, suggested a space laser was used to deliberately start a California wildfire and questioned whether a plane struck the Pentagon in the 2001 attacks on the United States.

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In her speech, Greene disavowed belief in the QAnon theory and acknowledged school shootings really happened and the September 11 attacks did occur.

Reuters

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