House Republicans are getting tired of Marjorie Taylor Greene's pointless delay tactics

Republicans didn't mind Greene "stoking domestic terror," but they're losing patience with her floor antics

By Ramsey Touchberry
March 4, 2021 5:58PM (UTC)
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US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, holds up a "Stop the Steal" mask while speaking with fellow first-term Republican members of Congress on the steps of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, January 4, 2021. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After being booted from her committee assignments last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene admittedly has more free time on her hands. But the Georgia Republican's colleagues are becoming increasingly irritated with how she's chosen to use her newfound spare time.

At least three times since last week, Greene has motioned to adjourn the House, forcing lengthy — and pointless — delays. With coronavirus restrictions and increased security measures in place, including the requirement that all members must walk through a metal detector before entering the floor, each vote can take upwards of an hour to complete.

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Not surprisingly, each of Greene's attempts to end business for the day has failed. At first, her GOP colleagues went along with it. Zero Republicans voted against her first motion to adjourn on Feb. 24. A day later, Feb. 25, two Republicans bucked Greene's second motion. And with her third attempt on Wednesday, the number of Republicans who had apparently decided they'd had enough grew to 18.

Greene's tactic, even if it's widely seen as a stunt and has begun to annoy some of her Republican peers, is clear enough as political messaging: She's trying to draw attention to Democratic legislation she opposes.

"I called for a motion to adjourn to give Democrats time to think before they pass horrible HR1 & the Hate Police Act," Greene tweeted on Wednesday, referencing two landmark Democratic reform bills that tackle policing and voting rights. (There is not in fact a bill called the Hate Police Act.) "Some GOP members complained to me that I messed up their schedule. I'm not sorry for interrupting fundraising calls & breakfast. GOP voters are tired weak Rs."

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A spokesperson for Greene did not respond to Salon's request for comment.

Rick Tyler, a conservative political consultant and veteran of Republican politics, described Greene's actions as "sophomoric and childish." It's nothing new for politicians to deploy all sorts of delay tactics to gum up the works for their opponents, Tyler said, but he sees no long-term end or policy goal that Greene is working toward.

"It doesn't gain you anything," Tyler said of her repeated motions to adjourn. "One word on how our government functions, meaning how ideas go through a whole process and become a law, would be 'compromise.'" He cited the welfare reform bill passed in 1996 under President Bill Clinton and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia as an example.

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The Daily Beast's Sam Brodey offered an accurate perspective of what Greene's antics would equate to in other office settings: "This is the congressional equivalent of microwaving fish every day for lunch," he tweeted last week.

The Republicans whose patience has clearly diminished with Greene's time-consuming escapades vary in terms of their political ideology and their standing in the party. They range from people like No. 3 House Republican Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois — both of whom voted in favor of former President Trump's second impeachment — to staunch conservatives Darrell Issa of California and John Rutherford of Florida.

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"Republicans were fine with Greene as long as she stuck to spreading anti-Semitism and stoking a domestic terror movement," a Democratic leadership aide told Salon. "But apparently, wasting their time is a bridge too far."

Greene was stripped of her seats on the Education and Budget Committees last month over her previous support for QAnon and after past social media posts suggesting that she had endorsed the executions of prominent Democrats before becoming a member of Congress were brought to light. Greene tried to distance herself from her past views and actions, but it was too little, too late for Democrats and the 11 Republicans who voted her off the panels.

Democrats have been more vocal in their criticism of Greene beyond simply voting down her motions.

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"Most of us are able to think about things like legislation without having to stop doing our jobs for the day," Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., wrote in a series of tweets Wednesday that bashed the Republicans wanting to adjourn. "182 House Republicans voted to end business for the day at 10:30 a.m. rather than vote on a bill that would help get big money out of politics."

Greene is no stranger to controversy or drawing attention to herself, even if it means angering those around her. But members in such a scenario would typically look to make amends with their colleagues in hopes to work more closely with them in the future. 

Given the role that intense partisanship now plays in congressional politics, and the fact that Greene's bombastic style appears to play well with her supporters, it seems entirely likely that the freshman lawmaker will continue to spend much of her time in office as a thorn in the side of leadership.


Ramsey Touchberry

Ramsey Touchberry is a national political reporter based in Washington. He formerly covered Congress for Newsweek.

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