In a so-called “bipartisan” vote, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments. However, for many Democrats and some left-leaning Republicans, this isn’t enough, and the argument is presented whether or not to expel Greene from Congress entirely.
The argument that Greene should be expelled from Congress because of her rhetoric before being elected to represent Georgia in November falls flat for many reasons. For one, Greene was democratically elected. She was chosen to represent Georgia’s 14th congressional district with nearly 75% of the vote. The people who voted for her last November don’t regret their choice, with a letter written by members of the 14th District Republican Party stating,
We believe Marjorie Greene has been targeted because she is a conservative that represents conservatives like us and those across the district. We have received countless calls, texts, emails, and messages showing continued support for her. We are giving her a chance. We have a process to follow, and if we don’t like what she does or says as our representative, we take it to the voting booth next election.
Removing her from her seat in Congress is disenfranchising all of those voters. Another hole in the rhetoric argument is that the incendiary comments Democrats are bringing up as evidence are from before she took her seat in Congress. While many theories and ideas she has perpetrated and believe are outlandish, they were her opinions as a private citizen, and the Democrats of Congress have no right to punish her for comments made before she was a sitting member. Greene’s supporters already knew about her comments and voted for her anyways, and it’s not like all these opinions are coming out of the blue since she’s been elected. If Democrats are successful in expelling Greene on the basis of pre-congress conduct, they must realize that once Republicans regain majority control they can and likely will expel members like Eric Swalwell, who allegedly had sex with a Chinese spy, and Ilhan Omar, who has expressed profound support for BDS which fights for the demonization and delegitimization of Israel.
Traditionally, situations like this have been handled within the party. For example, Kevin Mcarthy removed Steve King from his committee assignments after his disturbing answer to a question on white supremacy. Claims of the so-called “bipartisan” vote which removed Greene from her committees aren’t entirely true. Only 11 Republicans joined Democrats, and those were party-members like Liz Cheney, who have been recently regarded as renegades in the party for voting in favor of Trump’s impeachment after the Capitol riots on January 6th. Democrats’ decision to remove Greene from her committee assignments already presents an alarming precedent. Austin Scott, also from Georgia, asked whether Democrats would stop with Greene. If congressional Democrats begin taking action against Republican representatives without going through processes like investigations by the Ethics Committee, they are presenting a questionable new method of judging future members of Congress. And, when they eventually lose the majority, they will fall prey to the repercussions of the extreme action they are priming to take.
Marjorie Taylor Greene shouldn’t be expelled from Congress, and if it comes to a vote, Republicans should be unanimously opposed to expulsion. It’s undemocratic and unfair to disenfranchise her supporters, and it’s hypocritical to remove her solely because of her past rhetoric while sitting Democrats are not similarly punished for questionable actions and incendiary comments.