With Republicans in the majority, Greene is not only back on committees, but she’s on some important ones, including the House Oversight Committee, due in part to her new alliance with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Not only that, but several other Republican lawmakers who were previously known primarily for rhetorical bomb-throwing, like Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) now stand to hold actual political power, or at the very least the power to harangue witnesses in televised, high-profile hearings.
Marjorie Taylor Greene vs. AOC?
How do Democrats plan to deal with that? One of them discussed that in a recent interview.
Vox spoke to Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), a freshman Democrat who, in addition to Greene and others, has joined the Oversight Committee, the committee which handles investigations, primarily of the executive branch. Garcia discussed how he and the Democrats plan to take them on. Among other Democrats on the committee include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and another freshman, Rep. Maxwell Frost (D-FL).
“Clearly, Kevin McCarthy’s put the most extreme members of his caucus on Oversight. We have folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Paul Gosar,” Garcia said in the interview. “These are folks that take their cues from QAnon, that are attacking vaccines, that are obsessed with Hunter Biden’s laptop and the president. So it’s important that we are ready every single day to show up, to fight back with facts, to push back with as much energy as they are. And we are. I’m fired up to take folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene on, take on her bull—-, take on her lies, and ensure that there are strong voices on our side that are actually pushing facts.”
He specifically noted the things that Greene has been saying about the pandemic.
“Folks like Marjorie Taylor Greene have a huge megaphone that they’re using to hurt people. Take what they’re saying about vaccines, for example,” he said. “It’s shameful that they’re causing harm to Americans across this country and they’re going to use this committee to weaponize science and facts and truth and so it’s going to be our job to call that out. I think that we’re ready to do that.”
He also spoke from experience about what the pandemic was like for him.
“I was mayor of my community the entire time the pandemic was ravaging communities. Schools were closed and people were dying. In my city alone, we lost over 1,300 people. I lost two parents to the pandemic,” Garcia said. “And so I deeply understand how important vaccines are, how important pandemic prevention is, and what actually happened on the ground. Mayors were on the front lines responding to the pandemic. And if there was a failure in government, it was the Trump administration leaving cities and states to fend for themselves early on.”
In a different interview this week, with Axios, Rep. Raskin further discussed the Oversight Democrats’ plans. Democrats plan to “refute and debunk any nonsense that comes down the pipe,” adding of his fellow Democrats on the Oversight Committee, “I would gladly put them up against everyone who’s come from the other side.”
“I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. I think I’m going to have a lot of fun on this committee,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez told Axios.
Garcia agreed in the Vox interview.
“We’ve all already talked — all the freshmen that are on Oversight — we all know each other, we’re all friends, we all support each other. And the big thing that we’re all united on, is that we’re not going to allow for the extreme voices on the far right to go unchecked.”
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Expertise and Experience: Stephen Silver is a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive. He is an award-winning journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.