WASHINGTON — House Democrats are denouncing GOP leaders for tapping Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to serve on the Education and Labor Committee, amid a growing outcry over the Georgia Republican’s past comments challenging the veracity of deadly school shootings.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called it “appalling” that Republicans selected someone who “has mocked the killing of little children” to be on a panel that oversees education.
“What could they be thinking?” the California Democrat asked during a news conference Thursday. “Or is thinking too generous a word for what they might be doing? It’s absolutely appalling.”
A member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), has circulated a letter calling for Greene to be replaced. Another Democrat, Rep. Jimmy Gomez of California has gone further, introducing a resolution to expel her from the House of Representatives.
It’s unlikely that Democratic leaders will attempt to expel Greene, who was elected to her first House term in November. But her placement on the Education and Labor Committee could be reversed without a House vote: Those committee assignments are at the whims of each party’s leadership.
The latest uproar surrounding Greene stems in part from a video that reemerged, showing her harassing gun control activist David Hogg — a survivor of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. — as he walks toward the U.S. Capitol. Hogg doesn’t respond as she follows him, shouting questions and calling him a “coward.”
Other recent reports have detailed her social-media posts endorsing false claims that the Parkland shooting and the 2012 mass shooting at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School were staged.
CNN also uncovered social-media posts that Greene made in 2018 and 2019, in which she indicated support for executing prominent Democratic politicians — including Pelosi.
Michele Exner, a spokesperson for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, called Greene’s comments “deeply disturbing,” adding that McCarthy “plans to have a conversation with the congresswoman about them.”
Greene’s office issued a statement from her Thursday afternoon, accusing Democrats and reporters of “coming after” her.
“They want to take me out because I represent the people,” Greene said in the statement. “And they absolutely hate it.”
Hayes, the lawmaker seeking to have Greene removed from the Education and Labor panel, wrote in the letter to House Republican leaders that Greene’s conduct is “antithetical” to the committee’s work and values.
“Representative Greene, who has shown such a heinous and wanton disregard for school safety, student trauma, and ultimately, the truth, has proven that she cannot be expected to engage in good faith discussions of policy,” Hayes wrote.
Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott, a Virginia Democrat, also spoke out against Greene’s appointment to his panel, saying in a statement Thursday that McCarthy “must explain how someone with this background represents the Republican party on education issues.”
“He is sending a clear message to students, parents, and educators about the views of the Republican Party,” Scott said.