Marjorie Taylor Greene's Big Committee Return Went Exactly as You'd Expect

Marjorie Taylor Greene returned to committee work in the now GOP-controlled House in typical fashion for the Georgia congresswoman, by spreading incorrect information and stoking the culture war involving hot Republican topics.

Two years after being removed from her previous committees in the Democrat-controlled House because of her extremist social media activity, Greene now finds herself with seats on two of the most powerful departments in the House: The Committee on Oversight and Accountability, and the Committee on Homeland Security.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability had its first hearing in the new congressional term to investigate what it called the "waste, fraud, and abuse" of billions of dollars of federal spending amid the COVID pandemic.

greene  Oversight and Reform
U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) participates in a meeting of the House Oversight and Reform Committee in the Rayburn House Office Building on January 31, 2023 in Washington, DC. She returned in typical fashion. Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

While questioning Gene Dodaro, the U.S. Government Accountability Office's (GAO) comptroller general, Greene asked how much "COVID cash" was given to abortion.

A visibly confused Dodaro said he didn't know the answer to that. Greene then made reference to how Planned Parenthood received more than $80 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020 as the pandemic broke out.

Later on, Greene asked Dodaro how much COVID relief was spent on critical race theory—an academic study looking at systemic racism in American laws and institutions that is largely not taught below college level anywhere in the U.S.

"It's a racist curriculum used to teach children that somehow their white skin is not equal to black skin and other things in education," Greene told Dodaro.

Dodaro, who again appeared perplexed by the question, replied: "I do know that. But there's provisions that the federal funds generally are not used—they're supposed to be used for curriculum."

In response, Greene pushed an unsubstantiated claim that one elementary school in Illinois received $5.1 billion in funding, which it used for "equity and diversity."

Greene's spokesman, Nick Dyer, told Newsweek that the congresswoman had misspoken when making reference to one school receiving $5.1 billion, and that she was referring to "the entire Illinois elementary and secondary school system."

Specifically, Greene was meant to refer to how Illinois received more than $5 billion for schools in the third round of emergency federal funding in 2021 as part of its reopening plan, which would include "an emphasis on equity and diversity."

Finally, Greene wanted Dodaro to answer how much COVID federal funding went into "drag queen story time," which the congresswoman described as where "men dress up as women and read books to children."

When Dodaro again says he didn't know, Greene noted that the Pennsylvania Humanities Council awarded $16,000 of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan funds to the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center in Allentown, which does hold events in which drag queens read for children on weekends.

Greene's questioning about "drag queen story time" arrives as the GOP attempts to vilify the LGBTQ act, with several states introducing laws to ban performances of the shows.

Democrats and others had raised concerns about Greene returning to committee work in the new GOP-controlled lower chamber after she was previously removed from her assignments to the House Committee on Education and Labor, and the House Budget Committee.

Inflammatory Comments

In February 2021, the House of Representatives voted 230-199 in favor of stripping Greene of committee assignments due to her inflammatory and violent online comments and the spreading of dangerous conspiracy theories.

These include her support of the extremist QAnon movement, promoting false claims that the school shootings in Parkland and Newtown were fake, and an antisemitic theory that California wildfires were started by a "Jewish space laser."

Greene was also found to have liked a Facebook post calling for then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to get "a bullet to the head" before she was elected to office.

However, despite continuing to face controversy as a congresswoman, Greene has formed a key alliance with newly elected House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

Greene wasn't one of the far-right and hardline GOP lawmakers who refused to support McCarthy as House Speaker, dragging the party through 15 rounds of voting in the process.