The latest on . . .

Is the Republican Party beginning a Donald Trump detox?

US Congress votes to strip pro-Trump conspiracy theorist lawmaker of committee roles

A Republican ally of Donald Trump has been booted off two congressional committees by the US House of Representatives amid a backlash over her past promotion of conspiracy theories that has divided her party.  

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene was elected to her north Georgia district in last November’s elections despite having previously promoted the pro-Trump QAnon conspiracy theory and suggesting that the 9/11 attacks and various schools shooting were staged.

However, Democrats pushed to stop Greene from holding influence in Congress over the “dangerous and bigoted misinformation, even as fellow Republicans rallied around her”, reports The New York Times (NYT). The debate over the conspiracy theorist congresswoman marks a “political crossroads” for her party, says the paper.

Greene survived a vote of her party colleagues earlier this week. But after the Democrats forced a vote of the whole chamber, her fortunes turned on Thursday, when 11 Republicans broke ranks to help vote her off the education and labour and budget committees, by 230 to 199.  

Since Joe Biden’s election victory last year, the Republicans have “been consumed by infighting over the party’s future, with opposing factions in open disagreement about how to deal with the rising tide of extremism on the right that grew out of Trump’s presidency”, says PBS senior political reporter Daniel Bush.

On the one side are those who believe Trump’s presidency transformed the GOP “into a cult of personality, destined to fall apart the moment he lost power”, Bush writes. But they are facing fierce resistance from fellow Republican lawmakers who see Trumpism as being not “an aberration” but rather “part of a broader sea change in conservative politics”.

The division among Republicans over what to do about Greene’s past statements “became a proxy battle over the party’s identity and whether it would continue to embrace the former president or reject his brand of politics”, the NYT adds.

In an indication of which way the wind may be blowing, GOP Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell - the most powerful Republican on Capitol Hill - has denounced the “loony lies and conspiracy theories” that are a “cancer for the Republican Party”.

Although McConnell did not personally name Greene in his scathing statement to the Hill on Monday, few doubt that she was his target.

And with a vote pending on the historic second impeachment of her former boss, the Republicans face increasing pressure to decide on “the future of the party, and the role the former president may or may not have in it”, says The Independent’s US correspondent Andrew Buncombe.

Recommended

The 23 strangest conspiracy theories
Meghan Markle
In Depth

The 23 strangest conspiracy theories

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?
Donald Trump wraps himself in the American flag during CPAC 2020
The latest on . . .

Are Republicans too late to derail Trump for 2024?

Top No. 10 aide slams ‘risk averse’ civil service
The street sign for Whitehall
Behind the scenes

Top No. 10 aide slams ‘risk averse’ civil service

How vaccine diplomacy is winning Israel new allies
Benjamin Netanyahu receives a coronavirus vaccine at the Sheba Medical Center, the country's largest hospital.
The latest on . . .

How vaccine diplomacy is winning Israel new allies

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 Feb 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 26 Feb 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
Line of Duty series six returns to BBC One in 2021
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Budget predictions: what will Rishi Sunak announce?
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak poses with the Budget Box outside 11 Downing Street
Why we’re talking about . . .

Budget predictions: what will Rishi Sunak announce?