Potomac Watch: House Republicans agree on Liz Cheney and punishing Marjorie Taylor Greene. Images: AFP via Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly
Nearly 70% of the House’s GOP voted Wednesday to keep Liz Cheney at the helm. Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she regretted entering the rabbit hole of QAnon conspiracy theories. Not a bad 24 hours for Republicans trying to create a post-Trump future that could win back the suburbs.
Ms. Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the house, came under fire for voting to indict President Trump. She did not withdraw. “Several members asked me to apologize for voting,” Ms. Cheney told her colleagues, according to a source. “I owe you honesty. I owe you the truth. I can not do that. It was a conscience vote. It was a vote in principle – a principle that I stand by and still believe. “
Only 10 Republicans backed Mr Trump’s impeachment. However, the vote in Ms. Cheney’s favor was 145-61. What a blow in particular to Rep. Matt Gaetz, the would-be Trump who flew to Ms. Cheney’s home state last week to declare, “We are in a battle for the soul of the Republican Party and I intend to to win him. ” Ms. Cheney is still facing a potentially difficult elementary school, but at least the GOP civil war is canceled for the time being.
On Thursday, under pressure from all sides, Ms. Greene rejected her past cuckoo rhetoric. “When I started finding misinformation, lies and things that weren’t true in those QAnon posts, I stopped believing in them,” she said. School shootings are “absolutely real” and September 11th “absolutely happened,” she said. Her comments, Ms. Greene added, were “words from the past” that “do not represent my values”.
Democrats claimed Ms. Greene didn’t exactly say she was sorry, and she tweeted about her success at raising $ 175,000 online by promising not to step down. The Democrats stripped Ms. Greene of her committee assignments in a largely partisan vote (230-199) on Thursday evening just weeks after she was in office.
Everyone agrees that Ms. Greene’s previous social media posts were insane. But it is a worrying precedent for the majority party in the House to override minority committee assignments based on the words of a politician before taking office. “Could a member be punished for statements made five years ago? Ten years ago? Twenty years ago? “Asked Oklahoma Republican Tom Cole. He warned against an” exchange of escalating partisan penalties and point accounts. “
The anti-Semitic remarks made by Democratic MP Ilhan Omar in the past and MP Maxine Waters’ call for masses to harass Trump administration officials in public were also addressed. As if on cue, Ms. Waters told MSNBC on Tuesday that President Trump “should definitely be charged with premeditated murder” given his guilt for the Capitol riot. A GOP house will no doubt find an opportunity one day to follow Thursday’s precedent.
Republican leader Kevin McCarthy quoted what Mitch McConnell said when the Democrats made the filibuster a nuk for federal judges: “You will regret it, and you may regret it much sooner than you think.” It looks like Mr. McCarthy will have many ways to use this line over the next two years.
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Published in the print edition on February 5, 2021.