Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes is calling on Republican leadership not to seat Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on the House Committee on Education and Labor. On Monday, two Democratic U.S. representatives from Florida, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Ted Deutch, joined the call.
Before she took office in January, Greene questioned on social media whether the Sandy Hook mass shooting had taken place. The 2012 Newtown massacre left 20 children and six educators dead.
Hayes, who represents Newtown, wrote a letter last week to House Republican leaders asking that Greene not be seated on the Education Committee. Hayes, who is a member of the committee, says 120 representatives co-signed the letter.
“On this committee we discuss things like trauma-informed responses for kids, making school climate safe,” Hayes said at a virtual news conference Monday. “The fact that she won’t even just acknowledge the fact that [school shootings] happened is a nonstarter.”
Deutch represents Parkland, where a gunman killed 17 high school students and educators in February 2018. Wasserman-Schultz filed a resolution to remove Greene from the other committee she is assigned to, the House Budget Committee. Deutch, Wasserman-Schultz and Hayes said they support removing Greene from both committees and censuring her, or going as far as removing her from office.
Hayes said she struggled with wanting to respect the will of Georgia voters, and knowing that she was sent to Congress to represent her district.
“And my district, representing Newtown, Sandy Hook, were just mortified when these comments surfaced,” Hayes said. “They were devastated and retraumatized. And I thought, ‘What is the swiftest action that I could get to to at least render her powerless on this committee or at least not weighing in on these very critical conversations?’”
Greene has reportedly admitted that she does in fact believe the school shootings occurred, but she has yet to publicly disavow her previous comments.
Ali Oshinskie is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Ali covers the Naugatuck River Valley for Connecticut Public Radio. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at @ahleeoh.