The House on Wednesday voted to table an effort to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) over her comments and actions related to the Israel-Gaza war.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) introduced the resolution against Tlaib “for antisemitic activity, sympathizing with terrorist organizations, and leading an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol complex,” in reference to Tlaib’s participation in a protest organized by Jewish advocacy groups demanding an immediate cease-fire in Gaza. Tlaib, the only Palestinian American member of the House, was one of 10 lawmakers to oppose a resolution last week condemning Hamas and voicing support for Israel. She called Greene’s resolution “unhinged” and “deeply Islamophobic.”
Hours later after Greene introduced the resolution last week, Rep. Becca Balint (D-Vt.) moved her own resolution against Greene, saying she should be censured for fanning “the flames of racism, antisemitism, hate speech against the LGBTQ community, Islamophobia, Asian hate, xenophobia, and other forms of hatred.” The House was expected to also vote on that resolution Wednesday, but Balint pulled the resolution from consideration.
After the Tlaib censure vote on Wednesday evening, Balint said in a statement that she is going to “hold back” on a vote to censure Greene “for now.” Balint also thanked Republicans who voted against censuring Tlaib “for doing the right thing.”
Both resolutions were introduced last week, just after new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) was elected. The censure is a formal vote by the House to disapprove of a fellow member’s conduct, with that member often standing in the well of the chamber and listening to the House speaker read aloud the censure resolution.
The Republicans who opposed censuring Tlaib came from a broad cross-spectrum of the caucus, from staunch conservatives such as Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Richard McCormick (R-Ga.) to swing-district lawmakers such as Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa).
McCormick said Wednesday night that while he agreed with Greene that Tlaib’s words and actions were “egregious,” he didn’t think the language in the censure resolution — accusing her of leading an insurrection — was accurate.
“I don’t think that Congresswoman Tlaib was violent. I don’t think that she was trying to overthrow a government,” McCormick said in a video posted to X, formerly known as Twitter.
After Wednesday’s vote, Greene posted on X lists of Republicans who voted against censuring Tlaib, calling them “feckless” and “PATHETIC.” She also listed the Republicans who did not vote at all.
Censure is often reserved for serious violations of House behavioral codes in situations when a member’s actions aren’t severe enough to merit expulsion. Stripping committee assignments is sometimes attached to the punishment.
This is not the first time Greene, who was first elected to Congress in 2020, has faced possible censure and other reprimands over her comments and actions. Shortly after she was sworn in, Greene was stripped of her congressional committee assignments for her past support of political violence and a history of antisemitic and racist remarks. She was given her committee assignments again after Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) became House speaker.
Republicans have also hit back with efforts to censure Democrats with whom they have sharply disagreed. In June, the House passed a measure to censure Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) for pressing allegations that Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia, a week after a first attempt to censure Schiff was blocked. That vote fell largely along party lines, with six Republicans voting “present” — including all GOP members of the Ethics Committee.
Paul Kane, Marianna Sotomayor and Mariana Alfaro contributed to this report.