WASHINGTON, D.C. — Twenty-first Congressional District U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik was among the majority of Republicans who voted Thursday not to strip Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments because of her promotion of outlandish conspiracy theories.
The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives voted 230-199 to remove the freshman legislator from northern Georgia from her committee posts, with 11 Republicans joining a unanimous Democratic caucus in voting to punish Greene, who has promoted strange theories ranging from QAnon, to deadly school shootings being staged, to space lasers causing California wildfires.
While three of the Republicans in the New York congressional delegation voted with the Democrats, Stefanik, R-Saratoga, was not among them. Republicans John Katko of Syracuse, Nicole Malliotakis of Staten Island, and Chris Jacobs of Buffalo all voted to remove Greene from the Budget and Education committee seats assigned to her by GOP leaders.
Stefanik said after the vote that she condemns conspiracy theories like those Greene has espoused, but disagrees with the Democrats punishing her.
“I do not support the inexcusable statements made by Representative Greene prior to her taking office; however, it is the will of the people of Georgia’s 14th Congressional District to elect her,” Stefanik said in a statement. “It is not the right of House Democrats to unilaterally overturn the people of Georgia’s decision, as Speaker Pelosi has done by removing Representative Greene from any and all committee assignments, even after Representative Greene apologized.”
Greene did apologize in a House floor speech before the vote, but has been unrepentant on social media, posting on Twitter as recently as Friday about serving in a “House of Hypocrites” and referring to House Democrats as “a bunch of morons.”
Stefanik also charged Democrats with hypocrisy for not punishing their own members, such as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who has made anti-Semitic comments for which she later apologized.
“As leaders, we must unequivocally condemn dangerous rhetoric when we see it, no matter who or what political party it comes from,” Stefanik said.
Democrats, who have been angered by Stefanik’s defenses of former President Donald J. Trump and her Jan. 6 vote against accepting the presidential elections even after Trump supporters attacked and ransacked the U.S. Capitol, immediately attacked her support for Greene’s continuing on committees.
“Today Rep. Stefanik caved to the extremist and dangerous online conspiracy within her party that resulted in the storming of the Capitol, the murder of a police officer and the maiming of dozens of others,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Christine Bennett.
“Instead of standing with members of her own party and those across the aisle and holding Marjorie Taylor Greene accountable, Elise Stefanik chose to reward her and Stefanik owns whatever comes next,” Bennett said.
Stefanik, who has been a loyal supporter of Trump, has also received criticism from anti-Trump Republicans, and a coalition of Republicans has paid for a “Stefanik: Resign” billboard in Queensbury.
Stefanik, like Greene, represents a deeply politically conservative district. The district, which runs from Saratoga and Fulton counties to the Canadian border, went solidly for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, and Stefanik in November easily won re-election against Democratic challenger Tedra Cobb of St. Lawrence County.