House Republicans opt not to punish Greene, vote to keep Cheney

FILE PHOTO: Republican U.S. House candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks at a news conference in Dallas, Georgia, U.S. October 15, 2020.  REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage/File Photo

(Elijah Nouvelage, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) — Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday opted not to punish newcomer Marjorie Taylor Greene for incendiary comments including support for violence against Democrats, and turned back an attempt to oust a leader who had voted to impeach President Donald Trump.

The twin actions, taken in a closed-door meeting, amounted to an uneasy truce for a party that has faced internal strife following Trump's tumultuous presidency.

By a vote of 145-61, Republicans voted not to strip Rep. Liz Cheney from her position as the No. 3 House Republican. Cheney, like nine other House Republicans, had voted to impeach Trump on charges of insurrection after the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The other 197 had voted against impeachment.

Republicans also decided not to take action against Greene, who has propagated a series of unfounded conspiracy theories and has been a vocal supporter of Trump's false assertion that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.

McCarthy said Greene had renounced her contentious past comments, including her support for the QAnon conspiracy theory. Greene has also supported calls for violence against Democratic lawmakers, according to CNN.

Liz Cheney, R-Wy., departs after a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3, 2021.
Liz Cheney, R-Wy., departs after a House Republican Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 3, 2021. (Photo: Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

Greene still faces an effort by Democrats who control the House to strip her of two high-profile committee assignments, with a vote likely on Thursday.

"Anybody who advocates assassinations of members of Congress or anybody, I don't believe should enjoy the privilege of serving on a committee," Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern said after the House Rules Committee voted to advance the motion. He said she should resign or be expelled from Congress.

Rep. Tom Cole, the senior Republican on the rules panel, called Greene's remarks "extraordinarily disturbing." But he and other committee Republicans said Democrats should not be deciding the committee assignments of their party.

Greene, 46, who represents a Georgia district, took office just last month, while Cheney, 54, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, served in Republican administrations before first winning election to Congress in 2016.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Makini Brice and Andy Sullivan; Additional reporting by Susan Cornwell, David Morgan and Patricia Zengerle; Writing by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Howard Goller and Peter Cooney)

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