House committee meeting devolves into chaos as Greene and Ocasio-Cortez trade barbs

Annie Grayer Grayer, CNN | 5/17/2024, 11:55 a.m.
Proceedings quickly devolved Thursday night during a House Oversight Committee markup on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt, with …
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., joined by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., speaks to reporters after she tried and failed to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson at the Capitol in Washington, on May 8. Mandatory Credit: J. Scott Applewhite/AP via CNN Newsource


Proceedings quickly devolved Thursday night during a House Oversight Committee markup on holding Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt, with GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez getting briefly locked in a heated back and forth.

As the panel met to consider the issue of contempt for Garland over his refusal to turn over audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur, Greene sparked outrage when she commented on Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett’s appearance.

The Georgia Republican started by asking Democrats on the committee if any of them employ the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing the criminal trial in New York of former President Donald Trump. As Republicans have sought to curry favor with Trump, they have gone after Merchan’s daughter, who has ties to Democrats, as they seek to undermine the case.

Crockett, a freshman lawmaker from Texas, asked Greene, “Do you know what we’re here for?”

Greene shot back: “I don’t think you know what you’re here for … I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Ocasio-Cortez immediately jumped in to get Greene’s words taken down.

“That is absolutely unacceptable. How dare you attack the physical appearance of another person,” the New York Democrat said.

Greene said to Ocasio-Cortez: “Are your feelings hurt?”

Ocasio-Cortez responded, “Oh, girl. Baby girl. Don’t even play.”

“Baby girl? I don’t think so,” Greene retorted.

With her microphone still on, Ocasio-Cortez told her Democratic colleagues during a break that Greene’s “ego is bruised,” adding, “she doesn’t want to say sorry to nobody for nothing. She is going to learn.”

When House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer finally asked Greene if she would strike her words, Greene agreed that she would take her words down but would not apologize.

Greene said, “I’m not apologizing.”

When Greene refused to apologize, Ocasio-Cortez made another motion to strike the Georgia Republican’s words.

Greene shot back, “Why don’t you debate me?”

“I think it’s pretty self-evident,” Ocasio-Cortez said.

Greene then said: “Yeah, you don’t have enough intelligence.”

Greene continued to maintain that she would strike her words so the proceedings could continue “but I’m not apologizing.”

The majority of Republicans eventually voted to allow Greene to continue speaking, though GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado joined Democrats in voting to have Greene silenced for the remainder of the markup. The panel ultimately voted to advance contempt proceedings against the attorney general.

Crockett, however, did not take Greene’s remarks lying down. After a series of confusing votes in response to Greene’s explosive rhetoric, Crockett made a dig that appeared to be directed at the Republican.

“I’m just curious. Just to better understand your ruling. If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blonde bad built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?” Crockett said.

Comer responded, “Uh, what now?”