Posts tagged with "House Dems"

Down, but not out: 11 House Republicans join with Democrats to boot Greene off committees

February 8, 2021

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) will remain in the U.S. Congress, but will not be seated on any committees, following a vote by the full House on Thursday night, February 4, The Daily Beast reports.

On Wednesday night, 61 Republican lawmakers—30% of the conference—voted in favor of Representative Liz Cheney’s removal as the third-ranking leader in the House GOP after she said that former President Donald Trump had incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. However, 145 voted for Cheney’s survival by secret ballot, in a move that she said “was [a] very resounding acknowledgement that we need to go forward together.”

Less than 24 hours later, nearly 100% of the GOP conference voted to keep Representative Greene (R-GA) on her committees after Democrats forced a vote on Thursday, prompted by a string of reports unearthing her past endorsement of outlandish conspiracy theories and threats of violence against top Democrats.

According to The Daily Beast, this “is the first time the majority party has stripped a minority member of their committee posts.”

Eleven Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the move: Reps. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pennsylvania), John Katko (New York), Chris Jacobs (New York), Nicole Malliotakis (New York), Fred Upton (Michigan), Mario Diaz Balart (Florida), Carlos Gimenez (Florida), Maria Salazar (New York), Chris Smith (New Jersey), and Young Kim (California).

The resolution to remove Greene was approved 230-199, and the freshman from Georgia will no longer sit on the House Education and Labor or the House Budget Committees.

In a floor speech before the vote, Greene sought to distance herself from her past positions—clarifying she believes the 9/11 terror attacks were real and disavowing the QAnon conspiracy theory—while refusing to apologize or acknowledge a host of other comments and posts that have infuriated Democrats.

The vote effectively ends days of drama over what, if any, repercussions Greene might face for her mounting, outrageously offensive paper trail on social media. She was known to be an extreme conspiracy theorist even before her election, but scrutiny of her record grew after a CNN report last week that revealed that before taking office, she said recent school shootings like those in Parkland, Florida, and Las Vegas were staged “false flag” operations.

But Greene’s expulsion from committees—which ice her out from the main venue through which lawmakers do their work—figures to poison the well even further between the two parties, a month after the Jan. 6 attack that had already fomented distrust and resentment across the aisle.

Over the howls of Republicans who increasingly closed ranks around Greene, Democrats framed Thursday’s vote as an unfortunate but necessary step they had no choice but to take—because Republican leadership refused to address the outrageous past conduct of one of their own.

The second ranking House Democrat, Representative Steny Hoyer (D-Maryland), underscored the stakes of the vote when he appeared on the House floor during the debate on Thursday bearing a poster of a photo Greene posted to social media, in which she posed with a gun next to images of the progressive “Squad.”

 “When you take this vote, imagine your faces on this poster,” Hoyer said to his GOP colleagues seated on the floor. “Imagine it’s a Democrat with an AR-15. Imagine what your response would be.”

Research contact: @thedailybeast

Trump aides see personal malice, not political strategy, in Twitter attacks on Baltimore, Cummings

August 2, 2019

After a week during which President Donald Trump was labeled a “racist” and a “white supremacist” for his affronts to “The Squad” of women of color in the House, the activist Reverend Al Sharpton, CNN anchor Don Lemon, Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland—and the latter’s home district, Baltimore, which Trump described as “rat-infested and  a “living hell”— the POTUS was asked by the media to explain his strategy.

“There’s no strategy. I have no strategy. There’s zero strategy,” he told reporters on July 30. “It’s very simple.”

However, most political pundits believe that he did have two underlying reasons for the attacks. First, he believes that his denigration of Puerto Ricans, immigrants, blacks, and others of color builds the loyalty of his largely white base nationwide.

Second, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal,  Trump was “set off by last week’s decision by the House Oversight Committee,” which Cummings chairs, to subpoena top White House aides, including Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, for its probe into official emails and texts sent from personal accounts.

The news outlet also pointed to Cummings’ remarks at a news conference last week, at which he suggested further action against the administration was imminent. “There comes a point when silence becomes betrayal,” Cummings said, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.

“People know this is the president. He’s going to fight back,” said one campaign adviser. “It’s not a surprise to anyone as much as it was before.”

Cummings responded on Twitter: “I will continue to do every day what I am duty-bounded to do—help my constituents to live their best lives and serve as a check on the Executive Branch.”

While Trump’s supporters have not come out in defense of the president’s remarks, they also have not criticized him to any great degree. Indeed, the Journal reports, Trump campaign officials do not view the gibes against Cummings as damaging to the president’s odds of re-election. The campaign sees the president’s polling numbers as most vulnerable when voters perceive the White House to be in chaos, when Mr. Trump’s base of supporters dislike legislation he signs, and when the president is perceived as “punching down,” one adviser told the news outlet.

In direct opposition to what he, himself, has said publicly, the president repeatedly has  bragged about his record on behalf of African-Americans. On Tuesday, he said African-Americans had “been calling the White House” and were “happy as hell.”

Research contact: Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com