Speech ● Congress
For Immediate Release: 
February 4, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in support of a resolution to remove Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from her committee assignments. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery and a link to the video.

Click here to watch the video. 

“Madam Speaker, this is a sad and difficult day for the House of Representatives. In my forty years in this House, I have never encountered a situation like the one before us now, where a Member has made such vile and hurtful statements, engaged in the harassment of colleagues, and expressed support for political violence. None of us should take any pleasure in what we must do today. But, to do nothing would be an abdication of our moral responsibility to our colleagues, to the House, to our values, to the truth, and to our country.

“A great forebear of legislators, Edmund Burke, famously declared that ‘the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ Yesterday, the Republican Conference chose to do nothing. So, today the House must do something. I have heard some condemnation from across the aisle of the content of Rep. Greene’s statements. Some have condemned the white-supremacist and anti-Semitic things she said and posted about online. Some have condemned the falsehoods she shared about 9/11 and horrific school shootings. But I have heard little from Republicans about the horrific statements made by their colleague making threats of violence against democratic elected officials and her threatening conduct toward Rep. Bush and others. Indeed, there seems to be much silence when it comes to her incitement of political violence.

“In the Washington Post yesterday, columnist Greg Sargent wrote: ‘whatever happens to [Rep.] Greene, the truth is unavoidable: Republicans have yet to offer a clear and unambiguous declaration that political violence is unacceptable and has no place in their ranks.’ And I have heard too much about process and not enough about accountability. No member ought to be permitted to engage in the kind of behavior that Rep. Greene has and face zero consequences. This vote can be a first step in correcting the error of those who, so far, have chosen to do nothing. A short while ago, Rep. Greene came to this Floor to defend her indefensible conduct.

“I did not hear an apology in her statement.

“She claimed that we are here today only because of some things she wrote online before she ever ran for Congress – as if one’s moral slate is wiped clean when one becomes a candidate for office. Regardless, the conduct we are judging today continued to occur even after Rep. Greene became a candidate – and even after she was elected.

“I urge my colleagues to look at this image that Rep. Greene posted on social media in September of 2020 when she was running for Congress. Here she is, armed with a deadly assault rifle, pointing it toward three Democratic members, three women of color, whom many refer to as ‘The Squad.’ And she captioned it with ‘the squad’s worst nightmare.’

“These three faces are real people who love their families and love their country – mothers, daughters, colleagues – who have been elected and re-elected to serve their constituents and communities in this House. In 2019, during the same election cycle in which she ran, Rep. Greene showed support for comments online that the quickest way to remove Speaker Pelosi from power would be ‘a bullet to the head.’ Indisputably, these are clear threats to commit or incite political violence. Not from years ago. From her time as a candidate. Imagine the pain that these Members’ families must be experiencing when they see pictures like this one and read tweets about their mother or grandmother being shot. Or when they know their loved-ones are walking the halls of Congress and may encounter harassment, as happened to Rep. Bush over the past few weeks.

“So, I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: when they take this vote, imagine your faces on this poster. Because it may be Ilhan, Alexandria, Rashida, Cori, and the Speaker, targeted today. But when acquiescence to the suggestion of violence of any kind is allowed to go unchecked, it is a cancer that can metastasize on the body politic of our nation, as we saw on January 6. A cancer: that’s how Senate Republican Leader McConnell described it. He said: ‘loony lies and conspiracy theories are a cancer for the Republican Party and our country.’ He continued: ‘Somebody who’s suggested that perhaps no airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, that horrifying school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed J.F.K. Jr.’s airplane is not living in reality.  This has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the robust debates on substance that can strengthen our party.’

“My colleagues across the aisle have an opportunity today to reclaim their party from the dangerous cancer of QAnon and violent conspiracy theories that promote and have demonstrably resulted in sedition and insurrection. Senator Romney wants that to happen – the Republican Party’s nominee for President in 2012. He said of his party this week: ‘I think we should have nothing to do with Marjorie Taylor Greene and think we should repudiate the things she said and move away from her.  Our big tent is not large enough to both accommodate conservatives and kooks.’ And Senator Ernst, another very conservative Republican, said: ‘She doesn’t represent the party.  I don’t want her to be the face of our party.  I think this is a great time for us to really talk about what we want to see in the upcoming years and continue to build.  We don’t need people that are promoting violence or anything like that.’ Republican Senator and former governor of Florida Rick Scott said: ‘That’s not what the Republican party stands for.  What she said about Parkland is wrong, disgusting.… She’s not going to be the face of the party, and it’s wrong what she said.’

“Rep. Cole called her statements ‘extraordinarily disturbing.’ And Senator Thune asked his fellow Republicans in this House: ‘Do they want to be the party of limited government… or do they want to be the party of conspiracy theories and QAnon?’ Furthermore, Senator Young of Indiana said that: ‘There ought to be no place in the Republican Party’ for the kind of views espoused by Rep. Greene.

“This House has an opportunity today to take a stand for truth and decency. I hope we can do it together, all of us, embracing our humanity and our basic adherence to the constitution.

“‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.’ Let us not do nothing.

“I often share another passage spoken so long ago by Edmund Burke when new Members arrive to serve in the House. It concerns the duty a representative has to his or her constituents. His conclusion on that matter is that we owe them our ‘unbiased opinion, …mature judgment, [and our] enlightened sense of conscience.’ Burke told his own constituents that these virtues a representative ‘does not derive from your pleasure, no, nor from the law and the constitution.  They are a trust from providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable.  Your Representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment, and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion.’ In other words, each of us ought to look inside our hearts to the answer we know is right and is best for this House and for our country.

“If the Republican Party – for less toxic language – took committee assignments away from Steve King, should they do less now for worse? Should we do less?

“Let us not do nothing. Let us do the right thing.”