SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday issued a press release denouncing Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, referring to him as “McCarthy (Q-CA)” in a nod to the QAnon conspiracy theory fellow Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene has openly supported in the past.
“After several conversations and literally running away from reporters, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) made clear that he is refusing to take action against conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene,” the release stated.
“As a result, the House will continue with a vote to strip Greene of her seat on the esteemed House Committee on Education & Labor and House Committee on Budget. McCarthy’s failure to lead his party effectively hands the keys over to Greene – an anti-Semite, QAnon adherent and 9/11 Truther.”
The release further added that McCarthy’s “cowardly refusal to deal with Greene breaks with calls from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the Republican Jewish Coalition and several prominent members of the party to take action against Greene.”
Democrats have arranged for a House vote Thursday to remove GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. They say the Georgia Republican incited the violence on the U.S. Capitol by propelling conspiracy theories and falsehoods.
Greene burst onto the national political scene after just a month in office and with enthusiastic support from Trump. Even during the effort to punish her, she has lashed out at Democrats and raised money on the controversy.
Republicans appointed Greene to the Education and Labor Committee, a decision that drew especially harsh criticism because of her suggestions that mass school shootings in Connecticut and Florida could be hoaxes. Greene is also on the Budget Committee.
McCarthy said Democrats turned down his offer to move Greene onto the House Small Business Committee instead.
McCarty issued a statement Wednesday condemning “past comments from and endorsed by Marjorie Taylor Greene on school shootings, political violence, and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories” but called the Democratic resolution to strip Greene of her seats a “distraction.”
It’s unusual for party leaders to strip lawmakers of committee assignments, which can help them address their districts’ needs and raise campaign contributions.
In 2019, House GOP leaders removed Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who had a history of racist comments, from the Agriculture and Judiciary panels after wondering aloud in a New York Times story about when the term “white supremacist” became offensive. He lost the Republican primary for his seat in 2020 and is out of Congress after serving nine terms.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.