Will she bring an impartial perspective to the investigation?
On Sunday January 29, Republican Kevin McCarthy appeared on 'Face the Nation' on CBS, where he defended the recent appointment of Georgia's Marjorie Taylor-Greene to an oversight committee that will investigate the origins of the global pandemic.
The newly-appointed Speaker of the House was keen to stand by MTG, defending against accusations that her past comments regarding the pandemic and preventative measures made her an unlikely candidate for the committee.
MTG compared mask mandates with the holocaust
Comments made by Taylor-Greene in regard to pandemic containment measures included a particularly unpleasant outburst in 2021, in which she compared mask-mandates to the actions taken against Jews in the Holocaust of World War 2:
“Any rational Jewish person didn’t like what happened in Nazi Germany, and any rational Jewish person doesn’t like what’s happening with overbearing mask mandates and overbearing vaccine policies.”
Responding to Taylor-Greene's comments on January 29, McCarthy avoided the specifics of what she had previously said, and instead focused upon the purpose of the oversight committee, stating:
“I think what the American public wants to see is an open dialogue in the process... people can have all the questions they want (about the pandemic) and you’ll see the outcome.”
The alliance between MTG and McCarthy continues
The appointment of Marjorie Taylor-Greene to the oversight committee investigating the origins of the global pandemic of 2020, is the third-such appointment that the outspoken Georgia Republican has been given since McCarthy was appointed House Speaker in January 2023. There were rumors that Taylor-Greene would be granted committee assignments by McCarthy as payback for her support, and these now appear to have come to fruition.
MTG was removed from all committees in 2021 after various inflammatory comments towards her peers in Congress. Since McCarthy was appointed (following a lengthy process of votes, televised for the benefit of the American people), she has been appointed to oversight committees including that for national security.
Many of her political opponents (as well as more moderate Republicans) appear concerned by the increased visibility that MTG is gaining within the United States.
In the last week she's introduced a number of amendments - one of which received a humiliating bipartisan defeat, mustering just 14 votes for (and 418 against). The defeat was widely mocked, particularly by New York Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who shared her derision on Twitter.
MTG was quick to respond of course, but the point was made. If MTG were to continue to suffer such humiliating defeats, it could weaken her credibility when overseeing such important matters as the origins of global pandemics and national security.
Focused on gaining publicity
The other clear reason why Taylor-Greene is happy to take such positions of power is that it gives her the much-desired publicity that she clearly craves. Whether good or bad, the publicity seems certain to grow her profile - something that would support her in her apparent long-term aim of running alongside Donald Trump in his presidential campaign.
It remains to be seen whether MTG will bring common sense, diligence and rigor to her committee assignments. Citizens of Georgia who voted for her will certainly be hoping for actions and conduct befitting their representative. Time will tell if these emerge.
Do you think Marjorie Taylor-Greene should have been granted such responsibility and power in relation to the oversight committees she's been appointed to? Do you think she's interested in serving the people of Georgia, or in building her personal profile? Let me know in the comments section below.
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