WASHINGTON — A day after being removed from congressional committees, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she now feels empowered and freed up to push a conservative agenda.
Serving on committees would have forced the Rome Republican to spend time weighing proposals backed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden, she said. Now, she plans to cross the country speaking to voters on topics such as limiting immigration, allowing guns on school campuses and ending abortion.
“If I was on a committee, I’d be wasting my time because my conservative values wouldn’t be heard, neither would my district’s,” she said.
When members of the media asked whether she wanted to apologize for anything she had said in the past, such as suggesting Pelosi could be executed for treason, Greene issued a blanket statement.
“I’m sorry for saying all those things that are wrong and offensive,” she said. “And I sincerely mean that.”
Immediately after, in response to a question about her confrontation with school shooting survivor David Hogg, Greene said she had no regrets about that. She described Hogg, who was 19 years old at the time, as an adult who backed keeping campuses gun-free.
“I’m not sorry for telling him he shouldn’t push for gun control,” she said.
“What we need to do is we need to protect our children,” she said, by allowing “good guys with guns” on campus.
Dozens of journalists attended Greene’s news conference Friday morning, her first on Capitol Hill. Her opening speech meandered through many topics, including criticizing media coverage, praising former President Donald Trump and describing Thursday’s vote to strip her of committees as silencing her northwest Georgia constituents.
She mischaracterized last summer’s racial justice protests as being universally violent and said, without any evidence, that she and other white members of Congress are being unfairly targeted.
The vast majority of House Republicans voted against the Democratic-led measure to remove Greene from the two committees she was assigned. Many of them said they disagreed with her past incendiary comments but did not think Democrats should force their hands on disciplining her.
U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-West Point, said he found Greene’s previous statements “indefensible and deeply troubling,” but he voted against the resolution because he considered it an abuse of power.
“Congress has not — and should not — remove the responsibility of holding Members accountable from the people of their Congressional districts,” Ferguson said in a statement Thursday evening. “This is a slippery slope to a new standard by which Members will be judged: not by their constituents, not by the Ethics Committee, but by the political games and power dynamics of the majority party.”
U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk took a similar position, saying it was another example of political games by Democrats.
“Just as Nancy Pelosi has twice used impeachment as a tool against a political rival, she is further abusing her power as speaker to remove a Republican from committees because she does not like some of the things Rep. Greene has said,” the Cassville Republican said.