United States House Committee Chair Marjorie Taylor Greene has been removed from her seat due to her social media posts dismissing conspiracy theories regarding sensitive content. Greene was removed from her position on the Education in the Workforce and Budget Committee by a 230-199 vote majority in the house on Feb. 4, 2021.
“Greene will no longer be allowed to participate in this committee work,” said political science professor Karen Owen. “However, she can be involved with the overall legislative processes. She can introduce legislation, co-sign on bills, she can vote on legislation in the school chamber. She won’t be able to specialize in a committee.”
Greene’s posts spread conspiracy theory ideas such as 9/11 and school shootings from previous years. She originated her claims from the conspiracy theorist group QAnon, a group known for creating and spreading conspiracy theories regarding the government. She dismissed and apologized for her claims on the House floor.
“School shootings are absolutely real,” said Greene during the vote. “I want to tell you 9/11 absolutely happened. I do not believe that it’s fake.”
Her actions upset many Americans and both parties within the House, exemplifying the effect that social media plays in politics today. Greene’s posts are an example of the scrutiny and repercussions one can face when expressing their opinions publicly through social media platforms.
“I think social media is playing a role in everyone’s life if you’re on it,” said Owen. “It’s very easy for individuals to access it and post things and not be scrutinized when they originally post. For many politicians, it’s a really simple way to communicate and help people understand what they’re doing in politics.”
The Democratic party pushed for Green’s removal from the committee. Many assume that this decision will increase division among the Republican and Democratic representatives in the House.
“I believe she needs to be held accountable for what she said,” said Owen. “We all have to be held accountable for what we say that can be harmful to someone. However, I don’t think the Democratic party should have been the one who held her accountable. Historically, the party you are in is the one that reprimands you or does something to make you aware that you can’t say things like she said.
“Once the House majority turns to the Republicans, they will be in many ways wanting to affect any Democrat who says something that is inappropriate and they will act to strip them from their committee,” continued Owen. “This is going to set a precedence that the other party can censor or affect members of the other party.”
Greene has expressed her condolences and apologized for her posts although she wore a mask showcasing the words “free speech” to her vote in the House. Greene addressed social media posts such as claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was staged and many other conspiracies stemming from the organization QAnon. She claims she has since stopped reading and supporting QAnon’s content.