Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler voted against stripping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments on Thursday despite calling some of the views espoused by Greene “not just objectionable, but insane.”
In a statement ahead of the vote, the Battle Ground Republican said she would not support sidelining the controversial Georgia Republican because she worries about the precedent that would set.
“The pendulum swings both ways,” Herrera Beutler said. “If we take this vote today and Republicans retake the majority next year, the temptation will be strong to kick the most controversial Democrats off their committees, and we create a new way to endlessly fight with each other instead of getting things done for the American people.”
Greene has repeatedly espoused damaging conspiracy theories, including those embraced by QAnon. Over the past few years, she’s made claims that wildfires in California were caused by space lasers controlled by a Jewish-owned corporation, that the school shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and in Parkland, Fla., were hoaxes, and that a plane never crashed into the Pentagon during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, among other falsehoods.
Greene also encouraged violent behavior on her Facebook page before she ran for Congress. Posts and comments from 2018 and 2019 indicate her support for executing prominent Democrats.
Citing Greene’s conduct, the House voted 230-199 to remove her from the Budget Committee and the Education and Labor Committee. The move, which fell nearly along party lines, all but strips Greene of her influence in Congress, barring her from the conversations about legislation and oversight that take place in committee settings.
She’s now the only member of the House not serving on a committee. It’s the first time in history that a member of Congress was stripped of their assignments by a majority in the opposing party.
Herrera Beutler — though she voted for her fellow Republican to retain her committee seats — excoriated Greene’s views in her written statement.
“I’m sorry, but an airplane really did hit the Pentagon on 9/11. There is no cabal of celebrities and Democratic politicians running a satanic pedophile ring out of a pizza parlor. School shootings are not ‘false flag events.’ California wildfires were not ignited by a space laser. And the presidential election was NOT stolen. It is a national shame that politicians who know better, and maybe unfortunately a few who don’t know better, nurture wrongheaded and dangerous beliefs and coddle the voters who hold them. People deserve the truth,” Herrera Beutler said.
Herrera Beutler added that she would have supported sanctions from Republican Party leadership. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House minority leader, announced on Wednesday he would not formally punish Greene for her comments and actions.
“I’ve expressed my view on this matter to Republican leadership. But what I won’t do is vote on the House floor to set a new precedent where the majority party now dictates to the minority the way in which it seats its members. That is a route to madness,” Herrera Beutler said.