WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. House Republicans opted on Wednesday not to punish newcomer Marjorie Taylor Greene for incendiary comments, including support for violence against Democrats, and turned back an attempt to oust a leader who had voted to impeach President Donald Trump.
The twin actions, taken in a closed-door meeting, amounted to an uneasy truce for a party that has faced internal strife following Trump’s tumultuous presidency.
By a vote of 145-61, Republicans chose not to strip Representative Liz Cheney of her position as the No. 3 Republican in the House of Representatives.
Cheney, like nine other House Republicans, had voted to impeach Trump on Jan. 13 on a charge of insurrection after the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol a week earlier. The other 197 had voted against impeachment.
“We’re not going to be in a situation where people can pick off any member of leadership,” Cheney said after the vote.
She told CNN on Wednesday night she did not regret her vote to impeach Trump. “Absolutely not,” she said.
Republicans also decided not to take action against Greene, who has propagated a series of unfounded conspiracy theories and, according to CNN, voiced support for violence against Democratic lawmakers.
Republicans in the room said Greene apologized for those comments. She received a standing ovation from some members, according to media reports.
Greene still faces an effort by Democrats who control the House to strip her of two high-profile committee assignments, with a vote likely on Thursday.
“Anybody who advocates assassinations of members of Congress or anybody, I don’t believe should enjoy the privilege of serving on a committee,” Democratic Representative Jim McGovern said after the House Rules Committee voted to advance the motion. He said she should resign or be expelled from Congress.
Republicans said voters, not lawmakers, should decide whether to punish her for those remarks.
“They’re going to judge her on things that were said that she has now denounced, before she was ever a member of Congress,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said.
Greene, 46, who represents a Georgia district, took office just last month.
Cheney, 54, the daughter of former Republican Vice President Dick Cheney, served in Republican administrations before first winning election to Congress in 2016.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan, Makini Brice and Andy Sullivan; Additional reporting by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Heather Timmons and Peter Cooney)