Is Marjorie Taylor Greene the real leader of the House Republican caucus? AOC says she is: Marjorie Taylor Greene has formed a high-profile alliance with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. And according to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, or AOC, in an interview this weekend, Greene is the unofficial leader of the House Republican caucus.
Marjorie Taylor Greene: The Real Leader of the GOP?
While Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is not officially part of the House Republican leadership, it’s possible that she gets more media attention than any other member of the House Republican Caucus.
Brought back onto committees this year after she left off of them during the current Congress, Greene makes news frequently for outbursts, most recently when she was admonished by her own committee chairman, last week, for calling the Secretary of Homeland Security a “liar.”
Greene has allied with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, unlike most of the conservative bomb-throwers in the House who were part of the “never Kevin” caucus. And according to one member of Congress in the opposite party, Greene has emerged as the senior partner in that alliance.
AOC Has Thoughts
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) appeared over the weekend on the MSNBC show of Jen Psaki, the former White House press secretary. In a wide-ranging interview, the New York Congresswoman touched on the dynamic in the opposite party’s House caucus.
“Speaker McCarthy, in order to become Speaker, had to cut some deals we still don’t know the details on. Do you think he’s actually running his caucus? Or do you think someone else is?,” Psaki asked. McCarthy had agreed to certain things, behind closed doors, with the “never Kevin” caucus that included the likes of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), in order to get them to vote “present” and allow McCarthy to be elected speaker.
“He’s not,” AOC said. “I think you’ve got Marjorie Taylor Greene running the caucus… Every time something irks her, she communicates that McCarthy is doing her bidding. And I think that this is something that is quite clear. I think that Speaker McCarthy is stuck between having to please the most racist and heinous elements of his party with having to maintain a majority. And he is choosing to side with the extremists.”
In January, the New York Times reported on how the McCarthy/Greene alliance came together, with McCarthy having concluded that past Republican speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan had done too much to alienate the right flank of the GOP caucus and that he didn’t want to make the same mistake.
“I will never leave that woman,” McCarthy reportedly told a colleague of Greene, per that Times report. “I will always take care of her.”
That resolve was tested last week when Greene’s remarks in a Homeland Security Committee hearing were struck from the record by committee Chairman Mark Green.
“In making a rule on this, it’s pretty clear the rules state you can’t impugn someone’s character,” Green said during the hearing. “Identifying or call someone a liar is unacceptable in this committee, and I make a ruling that we strike those words.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also touched on the recent settlement between Fox News and Dominion Voting Systems, noting that while she wished the network had been forced to apologize on air, she understands that Dominion’s attorneys were representing their client, and not “the American people,” and that it’s not right to ask the courts to do the job of politics.
She also accused Fox News, particularly Tucker Carlson of “incitement of violence.”
“We saw that with Jan. 6 and we saw that in the lead up to Jan. 6 and how we navigate questions — not just a freedom of speech but also accountability for incitement of violence — this is the line that we have to really explore through law as well,” she said.
Also in the interview, Ocasio-Cortez praised President Joe Biden on some issues, including infrastructure funding, while criticizing him for things he’s done on immigration and criminal justice, ahead of the expected announcement this week that the president is running for a second term.
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.