Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) referred to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) as a member of the “Q” political party after House Republicans failed to take any action against Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia).
Pelosi released the statement following news that the Republican caucus would not remove Greene, a supporter of QAnon, from the House Budget and Education panels. Greene has been criticized for espousing anti-Semitism and conspiracies, including claims that several school shootings were staged, a prominent Jewish family was responsible for a laser in space starting wildfires, and prominent Democrats had engaged in Satanic rituals involving children.
Greene has also suggested that some members of Congress, including Pelosi herself, deserved to be killed. One week prior to Election Day 2020, she also appeared in a video where she said that “freedoms” were going to be taken away from Americans if President Joe Biden won the presidential race against Donald Trump, and that the only way to regain those freedoms was through violence.
Republicans met on Wednesday night to discuss whether any actions should be taken against Greene. After deciding not to take action — and after many members of the GOP caucus actually gave Greene a standing ovation — Pelosi responded in a statement on her official website, referring to McCarthy by removing the “R” next to his name and replacing it with a “Q.”
“After several conversations and literally running away from reporters, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Q-CA) made clear that he is refusing to take action against conspiracy theorist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene,” Pelosi wrote.
Democrats previously gave McCarthy an ultimatum, telling him to take action on Greene and remove her from her House committee assignments by Thursday, or they would move ahead with their own vote. Pelosi announced in her statement that, because of the non-action on McCarthy’s part, “the House will continue with a vote to strip Greene of her seat on the esteemed House Committee on Education & Labor and House Committee on Budget.”
McCarthy, for his own part, made disingenuous remarks following his party’s vote on Greene. In speaking to the press afterward, the Minority Leader claimed that Greene purportedly denounced “Q-on” during the caucus meeting on Wednesday, flubbing the name of the movement and then saying, “I don’t know if I say it right, I don’t even know what it is.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defends Marjorie Taylor Greene:
"Denouncing Q-on, I don't know if I say it right, I don't even know what it is– any from the shootings, she said she knew nothing about lasers" pic.twitter.com/R49WoE9TvL
— The Recount (@therecount) February 4, 2021
In fact, McCarthy does know about QAnon, as he has made numerous statements about it in the past. Last August, for instance, he denounced the movement outright, saying in a Fox News interview that “there is no place for QAnon in the Republican Party.”
Beyond the vote on Greene scheduled for Thursday, Democrats have signaled that they intend to make QAnon and the GOP’s reluctance to denounce the movement a central political issue in the future. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-New York), who currently chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), explained in an interview with Politico that he views the Democratic Party as the “responsible adult” in Congress, aiming to highlight how the GOP is failing to take reasonable actions regarding the conspiracy theories being spread from within itself.
His comments came after the DCCC this week launched a TV ad campaign showing QAnon-aligned individuals participating in the mob of Trump loyalists who stormed the Capitol building last month.
Republicans also voted on Wednesday over whether to remove Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) from her post in GOP leadership in the House, following her vote in favor of impeaching former President Trump. By a secret-ballot vote of 145-61, members of the House Republican caucus voted to let her keep her role.