House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered the following remarks today on H. Res. 72, the resolution put forward by House Democrats to remove Representative Greene’s committee assignments:
“Mr. Speaker — I rise in opposition to House Resolution 72.
“This resolution sets a dangerous new standard that will only deepen divisions within the House.
“For all their talk about norms and institutions, it’s the Democrats who have acted to undermine the People’s House at every turn.
“Check the record.
“Afraid for their political careers, they have moved to shut down debate and silence dissent in committee and on this floor.
“They went so far as to eliminate the Motion to Recommit — the minority party’s only chance to offer an amendment — which stood for over a century until just this year.
“They have rushed impeachments through without a shred of due process — reducing this tool from the highest constitutional remedy to just another opportunity to fundraise and go on TV.
“And now, they are declaring the majority has veto power over the minority’s member selections for committee.
“We have reviewed this with the Historians — never before in the history of the House has the majority abused its power in this way.
“But it’s clear Speaker Pelosi’s caucus thinks differently. They’re blinded by partisanship and politics. And it’s the American people who will suffer the most because of it.
“As for the Member in question, let me be clear: Representative Greene’s past comments and posts as a private citizen do not represent the values of my party.
“As a Republican, as a conservative, as an American — I condemn those views unequivocally.
“I condemned them when they first surfaced — and I condemn them today.
“This House overwhelmingly voted to condemn the dangerous lies of Q-Anon last Congress and continues to do so.
“I made this clear when I met with Representative Greene.
“I also made clear that we as Members have a responsibility to hold ourselves to a higher standard.
“She acknowledged this during our conversation — and apologized for her past comments.
“I will hold her to her words and her actions moving forward.
“Because these comments caused such deep wounds, I offered Leader Hoyer a path to lower the temperature and address these concerns in a productive way.
“He rejected it.
“Privately, many Democrats acknowledge what they are doing is wrong.
“They understand that this partisan power grab is not only cynical — it’s hypocritical.
“When a Democrat freshman said ‘Israel has hypnotized the world,’ that supporting Israel is ‘all about the Benjamins,’ and that 9/11 was ‘some people did something,’ did Speaker Pelosi kick her off the Foreign Affairs Committee?
“Or did she keep her on the Committee — and even pose with her on the cover of a magazine?
“When another Democrat was compromised by a Chinese spy — and it was so serious that the FBI had to brief congressional leaders — did Speaker Pelosi remove him from the House Intelligence and Homeland Security Committees, after the briefing?
“Or did she reward him by making him the head of the subcommittee overseeing the CIA?
“When the Chairman of the Rules Committee objected to certifying the 2016 election — citing ‘Russian interference’ — did Speaker Pelosi censure him?
“Or did she build the first impeachment around that unproven theory?
“And when the Chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee told supporters at a rally in 2017, ‘if you see anyone from [the Trump] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere’— after she called for violence against public servants, did Speaker Pelosi condemn it?
“Or did she look the other way and make her Chairwoman again?
“The answer is obvious.
“While Democrats attack Congresswoman Greene, they not only ignore the infractions within their own party — they reward these members with prestige and influence.
“When it comes time for the vote, I expect Democrats will codify this partisan power grab.
“I would advise them to think twice — and pull this resolution from the floor while they still can.
“I’ve heard Democrats quote the Senate Minority Leader to defend this resolution.
“I would just remind them what Leader McConnell said when Democrats voted to nuke the judicial filibuster: ‘You’ll regret this, and you may regret this a lot sooner than you think.’
“In the end, this resolution is merely a distraction from the real issues.
“In the last two weeks, Democrats have taken just two votes: the one today and the one last month on a waiver for a cabinet member. This is the least productive Congress since last year.
“Nothing for workers who have lost their jobs — including the thousands of blue collar jobs that were eliminated because of President Biden’s anti-energy executive orders.
“Nothing for students who have been stuck learning from behind screens for nearly a year — even though the administration’s CDC Director says in person learning is safe.
“Nothing to increase the pace of vaccine distributions so we can get them to people who want them and get one step closer to fully reopening the economy.
“At a time when households are already struggling, Congress should use its window of opportunity to get Americans back to work, get kids back to school, and vaccinate every American who wants it.
“Those are the immediate priorities that deserve our energy and attention.
“Mr. Speaker — As I’ve said before, a House distracted cannot govern. No more misplaced priorities.
“Let’s stop trying to invent dangerous and divisive ways to abuse the power of the majority and start working on what really matters.
“I yield back.”