Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took a verbal potshot at the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday after being booted out of the group in July.
“I’m not a member of the burn-it-all-down caucus anymore,” Greene told reporters, according to The Hill, following a feisty meeting between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) with GOP members Thursday morning.
“I’m a greatly, very happily a free agent, and I want to do my job here,” she added.
Members of the caucus voted to expel Greene from their group during the summer when the Georgia Republican backed the debt limit legislation, a bill supported by McCarthy and President Joe Biden to avert a government default. a move that stirred discontent among several members of the conservative caucus.
Her removal also followed a heated exchange with Representative Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), a fellow caucus member. Greene referred to Boebert as a “little b—-” after the Colorado Republican unexpectedly initiated a vote on her articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Greene criticized Boebert for failing to provide an explanation to the House GOP conference regarding her actions and accused her Colorado colleague of copying her articles of impeachment targeting Mayorkas, The Hill noted, adding:
Greene’s removal from the conservative group marked a significant moment in her evolution on Capitol Hill. The Georgia Republican came to Congress in 2021 as a rabble-rouser, quickly becoming a conservative thorn in the side of GOP leadership.
But last year she emerged as a close ally of McCarthy, supporting his bid for the Speakership and urging against any internal challenge — a stark difference from many of her colleagues in the Freedom Caucus, whose demands of McCarthy and support for other members led to the historic 15-ballot election.
Greene’s remarks came amid turmoil within GOP ranks over threats to remove McCarthy as speaker.
During the meeting, McCarthy addressed threats by some House conservatives, including Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), to ‘vacate the chair’ — force a vote to remove him from his Speakership, The Hill reported separately.
“If you want to file a motion to vacate, then file the f‑‑‑ing motion,” McCarthy said, according to an account relayed by Rep. Brian Mast (R-Fla.).
The Hill added:
McCarthy’s comments follow Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) earlier this week explicitly threatening to call a motion to vacate if McCarthy does not follow through with a number of spending priorities and votes on bills that his detractors were promised in January.
And it also comes after hard-line conservatives, who have been battling with GOP leadership for months over topline numbers in spending bills, forced GOP leaders to punt consideration of a Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill Wednesday.
“I showed frustration in here because I am frustrated,” McCarthy told reporters following the meeting. “Frustrated with some people in the conference.”
“We had the [Defense Dept.] appropriations bill yesterday, couldn’t put it on the floor,” McCarthy continued. “I don’t have one complaint by any member of what’s wrong with this bill.”
Also, there is a government shutdown looming as well as federal funding runs out on Sept. 30 unless Congress can pass a stopgap funding measure that will extend the deadline until later this year.
But the House Freedom Caucus has also threatened to upend any deal and prevent a full government funding bill from passing unless certain demands are met.
The House adjourned after Thursday for the weekend in observance of Rosh Hashanah. “But when we come back, we’re not going to leave,” McCarthy said.
Following McCarthy’s comments, Gaetz responded.
“Instead of emotionally cursing, maybe the Speaker should just keep his word from January on balanced budgets, term limits and single-subject spending bills,” Gaetz told The Hill.
Greene clapped back at some Freedom Caucus members as well.
“A lot of my colleagues that are saying those things weren’t even in that room, so they weren’t there to hear any of the conversations nor raise their concerns,” Greene said after emerging from the meeting. “They can’t stand out and hold press conferences but not attend our conference meetings and expect to work things out.”