The Jolt: Dems just getting started with Marjorie Taylor Greene

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., yells at journalists as she passes through a newly installed metal detector outside the House Chamber on Jan 12, 2021. (Chris Kleponis/Sipa USA/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., yells at journalists as she passes through a newly installed metal detector outside the House Chamber on Jan 12, 2021. (Chris Kleponis/Sipa USA/TNS)

Credit: TNS

J.P. out, Abrams up, GOP sideways

We’ve consistently heard worries inside U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s 14th Congressional District that her slash-and-burn approach to her colleagues in Congress will only hurt her constituents at the end of the day.

That could become a reality later this week if Democrats move to strip Greene of her committee assignments, a move Majority Leader Steny Hoyer threatened he’ll take if Republicans don’t discipline Greene on their own for her past support of dangerous conspiracy theories and ongoing outbursts against Democrats in the House.

Without her slots on the education and budget committees, Greene would have little real influence for the 14th other than voting en masse with other Republicans on legislation once it reaches the full House for a vote.

We’re told by a top Democrat that a floor vote stripping Greene’s committees is only the first step being considered by House leaders, “with more discussions to follow.”

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy has promised to give Greene a talking-to this week, but her spokesman declined to share specifics about “private member-to-member communications.”

If Republicans do nothing to pull Greene from her committees, the House Rules Committee will take up the Democratic resolution Wednesday, meaning it could come to the floor soon after.

Hoyer said he hopes it doesn’t come to that.

“It is my hope and expectation that Republicans will do the right thing and hold Rep. Greene accountable, and we will not need to consider this resolution,” Hoyer said. “But we are prepared to do so if necessary.”

Other possible sanctions of Greene include a long-shot attempt to expel her from the House and a separate proposal to censure her.

While House Republicans have been mostly silent on the matter, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell released an extraordinary statement late Monday slamming Greene’s brand of “loony lies” and calling it a “cancer for the Republican Party and our country.”

“Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality,” McConnell said.

Greene’s swift response on Twitter: “The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”

Closer to home, Greene is putting her fellow Republicans in the no-win position of defending her and her dangerous conspiracies or taking on the Trump-loving Republicans who can’t seem to get enough of her.

Asked Monday about Greene booting a Chattanooga reporter from her town hall last week and her past endorsement of killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Brian Kemp said only that Greene’s fate isn’t up to him.

“I’ve always had great respect for the will of the voters in the state,” Kemp told WRCB-TV. “If the voters don’t like what she is doing or how she is representing them, as you all know we will have an election cycle that is quickly coming upon us again and the voters can weigh in on that.”

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Under the Gold Dome today:

  • The House gavels in at 10 am;
  • The Senate gavels in at 10 am;
  • Gov. Brian Kemp will announce at 1 p.m. a “teacher pipeline” legislative package. It’s expected to clear the way for retired teachers to return to the workforce and teach full-time in high-need areas.
  • Various House and Senate committees meet throughout the day.

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By now, you’ve likely seen the AJC poll that shows Gov. Brian Kemp’s approval ratings underwater. One of the next big tests of the push-and-pull between the grassroots base and the GOP leadership is already playing out.

Over the next few weeks, GOP activists will be drafting resolutions to be considered by hundreds of Republican delegates at this summer’s annual party convention.

Some could seek to diss Kemp and other state leaders for not echoing former President Donald Trump’s false claims of widespread voter fraud. Others could go a step further.

One draft we’ve seen calls for the censure of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for “his mismanagement of the 2020 elections and 2021 runoffs” as it repeats a host of debunked conspiracy theories.

“The consequences of Mr. Raffensperger’s actions has (sic.) caused irreparable harm and loss of confidence in our election processes in the state of Georgia,” it reads. “He has disenfranchised generations of Georgia voters from all demographics.”

This wouldn’t exactly be new territory for the state party. Resolutions floated around calling for the censure of then-Gov. Nathan Deal for vetoing controversial “religious liberty” legislation in 2016 before they were watered down.

Still, even a less-stinging rebuke would signal an ongoing family feud ahead of the crucial 2022 elections against Democrats, who are currently riding a wave of momentum.

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Bobby Christine stepped down on Monday as Atlanta’s top federal prosecutor to make way for President Joe Biden’s next appointment.

The Trump appointee had a short-lived tenure as U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s northern district, although he’ll stay on in the same role in the southern district.

He replaced BJay Pak last month after Pak suddenly resigned rather than risk pressure from former President Donald Trump to investigate false claims of voter fraud. Once installed, Christine quickly made clear he also wouldn’t take up those bogus cases either.

The timing of Christine’s replacement is uncertain, but top Democrats expect DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston to be the frontrunner for the coveted position.

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State Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, speaks Monday, the first day back at the Capitol for the Georgia General Assembly to restart the session it suspended in mid-March to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Among the Legislature’s tasks is passage of a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, speaks Monday, the first day back at the Capitol for the Georgia General Assembly to restart the session it suspended in mid-March to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Among the Legislature’s tasks is passage of a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

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State Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan, R-Carrollton, speaks Monday, the first day back at the Capitol for the Georgia General Assembly to restart the session it suspended in mid-March to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Among the Legislature’s tasks is passage of a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1. (ALYSSA POINTER / ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)

Our AJC colleague Mark Niesse broke the news last night of a package of measures introduced by Senate President Pro Tem Butch Miller and other Republicans that would ban automatic voter registration, ballot drop boxes and no-excuse absentee voting in Georgia.

But there’s a separate, dueling proposal being drafted now by Senate Majority Leader Mike Dugan that would also seek to overhaul Georgia’s election laws after record turnout resulted in wins for Democrats.

Dugan wouldn’t comment on the legislation, saying it’s still a few days out. We’re told he’s drafting it without consulting Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan or his team. Duncan has said he would not support any effort to end no-excuse absentee voting.

Look for major pushback from Democrats on all of these measures. In just a hint of what’s to come, Fair Fight, the voting rights group founded by Stacey Abrams, released a statement Monday calling the Miller package an “unhinged set of voter suppression bills...intended to appease conspiracy theorists like those who stormed the Capitol last month.”

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Another bill that caught our eyes: HB 220, dropped in the hopper Monday from state Rep. Tommy Benton (R-Jefferson), would require two representatives from the Sons of Confederate Veterans and two representatives from the Georgia Civil War Commission to be included in the 13-member Stone Mountain Memorial Association.

The association is charged by Georgia law with managing the State-owned Stone Mountain Park and has been at the center of recent decisions to keep the Confederate flags and imagery at the park as they are.

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It’s an honor just to be nominated, right? Stacey Abrams is likely among dozens, if not hundreds, of people in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize this year.

The list of nominees is kept secret for 50 years after it’s created, so we have no idea if Abrams could really win the prestigious award this year or not. But she has such a high profile these days that the sheer leak of her name as a candidate Monday was enough to generate national headlines.

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He’s out. District 8 Atlanta City Council member J.P. Matzigkeit announced Monday night he won’t seek re-election when his term is up this year.

In a newsletter to his constituents, Matzigkeit said he has “loved every minute of his role on the City Council, but that it had also become “the equivalent of another full-time job.”

“Two demanding full-time jobs for four years required more sacrifices than I anticipated,” he wrote.

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Hank Aaron fans pay their respects to the baseball player and community member on Jan. 23, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hank Played for the Atlanta Braves and was known as the Home-Run King. (Megan Varner/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Hank Aaron fans pay their respects to the baseball player and community member on Jan. 23, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hank Played for the Atlanta Braves and was known as the Home-Run King. (Megan Varner/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

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Hank Aaron fans pay their respects to the baseball player and community member on Jan. 23, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Hank Played for the Atlanta Braves and was known as the Home-Run King. (Megan Varner/Getty Images/TNS)

Credit: TNS

Credit: TNS

Honoring the “Hammer.” Nearly every member of Georgia’s congressional delegation has signed onto resolutions in both the U.S. Senate and House to recognize the legacy of baseball hero Hank Aaron, who died last month.

It’s one effort in Washington sure to get bipartisan support and easy passage.

Freshman Republicans Andrew Clyde and Marjorie Taylor Greene are the only Georgia members whose names aren’t listed as cosponsors on the House measure.

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In personnel news, Georgia GOP operative Brandon Howell has signed on to help handle social media and digital strategy for U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican and potential presidential hopeful. Howell is a veteran of former Sen. David Perdue’s staff.