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House Freedom Caucus votes to oust conservative Marjorie Taylor Greene

The hard-right House Freedom Caucus voted to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), a conservative rabble-rouser who in recent months allied herself with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), following a spat with another member of the group, according to a person familiar with the meeting.

The vote took place June 23, shortly before Congress went on recess late last month, but the Freedom Caucus has not publicly disclosed the outcome, citing a policy of not commenting on membership. It remains unclear whether Greene has been formally removed from the caucus, but clarity on the matter is expected upon the House’s return to Washington next week, according to the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

In a statement, Greene did not explicitly address her status with the group but said that “in Congress, I serve Northwest Georgia first, and serve no group in Washington.”

“My America First credentials, guided by my Christian faith, are forged in steel, seared in my character, and will never change,” Greene said, adding that she will work with “anyone” who shares her priorities. Greene’s office did not immediately respond to a question about her status with the Freedom Caucus.

Greene told Breitbart News: “That meeting was an impromptu meeting. Most of the Freedom Caucus was not there to my understanding.” She went on to tell Breitbart that she has not spoken with the caucus’s chairman, Scott Perry (R-Pa.), but she planned to discuss things with him in person when Congress returns from recess.

Many in the far-right group had begun to grow uncomfortable with Greene’s participation after she threw her full support behind McCarthy this year. Greene had made the decision, The Washington Post previously reported, to position herself as a conduit of demands from the hard-right to Republican leadership, in hopes of advocating for conservative priorities while maintaining good relationships with both sides.

It was a mutually beneficial development for Greene and McCarthy, who has long faced deep skepticism from the far-right flank of the conference. After the Freedom Caucus helped push Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) out of power in 2015, then-Majority Leader McCarthy was next in line to fill his shoes. But tensions between founding Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and McCarthy, who was then considered an extension of Boehner, contributed to McCarthy pulling his nomination for speaker. Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) ultimately threw his hat in the ring to take the speaker’s gavel, but he, too, vacated the position before the Freedom Caucus moved to recall him as speaker several years later. Jordan has since become an ally to McCarthy, who in turn worked to develop relationships in the far-right flank to ensure their support should he face another opportunity to become speaker.

When that opportunity came in January, Greene played a pivotal role in whipping support for McCarthy, calling out Freedom Caucus holdouts for their opposition to his leadership. Her efforts included passing around her phone so that former president Donald Trump, who was on the line, could try to convince holdouts to back McCarthy.

Greene has since remained a staunch ally of McCarthy’s, most notably supporting his decision to cut a deal with President Biden and pass the legislation raising the debt ceiling with the help of Democrats. The episode infuriated many in the Freedom Caucus, who in retaliation froze the House floor for one week until McCarthy showed willingness to address their spending concerns, among other provisions.

Members of the Freedom Caucus also were irked when Greene confronted Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) on the House floor and reportedly called her a “little b—-” after Boebert introduced a privileged resolution to impeach Biden, forcing the House to consider the motion within two days. Greene confirmed to Semafor that she indeed called Boebert the derogatory name, repeating the phrase again during an interview.

Greene did not hide her annoyance with Boebert earlier that week, telling reporters that the Colorado congresswoman had copied her impeachment articles against Biden and just attached it to a provision that would fast-track its consideration. Both women were elected in 2020 to the House and have not gotten along since then, according to multiple Republican lawmakers.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a Freedom Caucus member, confirmed to Politico that a vote occurred last month to remove Greene “for some of the things she’s done” and said she’s been formally removed “as far as I know.”

“I think the straw that broke the camel’s back was publicly saying things about another member in terms that no one should,” Harris said.

Greene has been no stranger to controversy even before her first election to Congress in 2020.

In February 2021, Democrats and 11 Republicans voted to strip Greene from two committees for her social media posts, including falsely claiming that some mass shootings were “false flag” attacks meant to curb Second Amendment rights; that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were a government conspiracy; and that a Jewish cabal had used space lasers to ignite a deadly California wildfire. She also came under scrutiny for a slew of antisemitic, Islamophobic and racist views she expressed before joining Congress.

The following February, Greene prompted renewed criticism when she appeared at a conference in Orlando organized by Nick Fuentes, a white supremacist and antisemite.

Ashley Parker and Michael Scherer contributed to this report.

This post appeared first on The Washington Post

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