Donalds sides with Marjorie Taylor Greene while Diaz-Balart votes against her, bucking Republicans

In first floor speech, Donalds attacks $15 minimum wage, Biden plan to aid the needy

Forced to wear a mask under House rules, anti-masker Rep. Byron Donalds delivers his first speech on the floor of the US House yesterday. (Image: C-SPAN)

Feb. 4, 2021 by David Silverberg

Tonight, Rep. Byron Donalds (R-19-Fla.) voted to allow Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14-Ga.) (also referred to by her initials, MTG) to retain her committee assignments in the House of Representatives—in contrast to fellow Southwest Florida congressman, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-25-Fla.), who voted to strip them away.

Donalds, along with fellow Southwest Floridian Rep. Greg Steube (R-17-Fla.), was in the minority and House Resolution 72 passed by a vote of 230 to 199.

Committee assignments are critical for members of Congress to have input into legislation, represent their districts and contribute to governing the United States.

Greene had propagated baseless conspiracy theories like QAnon, called for the assassination of fellow members of Congress, including House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-12-Calif.), denied the reality of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, said the Sandy Hook and Las Vegas shootings were fake and staged by anti-gun activists, made anti-Islamic and anti-Semitic accusations including that lasers in outer space run by the Rothschild family created California wildfires, and supported former President Donald Trump’s contention that he won the election, which he has conclusively been shown to have lost.

The resolution was extremely short and simple:

“Whereas clause 1 of rule XXIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives provides, ‘A Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.’; and

“Whereas Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene should be removed from her committee assignments in light of conduct she has exhibited: Now, therefore, be it

“Resolved, That the following named Member be, and is hereby, removed from the following standing committees of the House of Representatives: Committee On The Budget: Mrs. Greene of Georgia. Committee On Education And Labor: Mrs. Greene of Georgia.”

House Resolution 72

As of this writing, Donalds had not issued a statement on his vote.

In contrast, Diaz-Balart tweeted: “I’ve previously stated that MTG’s comments are unacceptable, & today I voted to remove her from her committee assignments.” Diaz-Balart went on to list Democratic members whom he thought should also be punished for their remarks including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-5-Minn.), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-43-Calif.) and former representative Cynthia McKinney. “If MTG is being removed from her committee positions for her past inappropriate comments, then these members should’ve received the same treatment. I’ll continue to demand that Democratic leadership & the press stop the double standard & hold these members equally accountable.”

As of this writing Steube had not issued a statement on his vote but had tweeted criticism of Democrats for not wishing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before House Judiciary Committee hearings.

Donalds denounces Biden

In addition to his vote to protect Greene, Donalds delivered his first floor speech on Wednesday, Feb. 3, denouncing President Joe Biden’s plan to stimulate the economy and assist Americans in need due to the pandemic.

Donalds participated in the debate over House Concurrent Resolution 11, establishing the US budget for fiscal year 2021 and setting future budget levels for the decade ahead.

The bill passed by a party-line vote of 218 to 212, with Donalds voting against it.

“This budget resolution is not about economics, it is not about COVID-19, it is not about helping our schools reopen,” Donalds said in his 4-minute speech. “This budget resolution is purely politics. It is an opportunity to push through an agenda through budget reconciliation where, if you actually studied our economy, and studied the fact that now close to 40 million Americans have been vaccinated by the vaccine from the tracks that are getting reopened. We should study this. We should be more targeted and we should not be putting forward a massive spending bill where no study has ever been given.”

In the speech he argued that $1 trillion from the previous year had already been appropriated and not yet spent. He argued that opening up economies—despite the pandemic—was the best way to fight unemployment. He also opposed raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, which is in the Biden plan, arguing that it would actually decrease employment.

He opposed a $170 billion provision to help local school districts reopen, pointing out that teachers picketing for safe schools, particularly in Chicago, would not help schools reopen, unlike Florida, where schools are opening despite the pandemic. “All they need is leadership,” he said of schools. “They don’t need more money.”

He also opposed any aid to state and local governments. “If you want to help state and local governments take care of their revenue problem, you should open up. They should not come back to this Capitol and get money. Because why should Florida pay for New York?”

He also sent a letter with his objections to Pelosi.

Donalds now on committees

Donalds has now received his committee assignments and sits on the Committee on Oversight and Reform, House Budget Committee, and House Committee on Small Business.

On the Oversight and Reform Committee, Donalds will sit on the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee and the Economic and Consumer Policy Subcommittee.

Other well-known members of the full Oversight and Reform Committee include three Democratic members of the progressive “squad:” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-14-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-13-Mich.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-7-Mass.). Rep. Jim Jordan (R-4-Ohio), a vocal defender of Donald Trump, sits on the Republican side.

On the House Budget Committee, Donalds will be serving with Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-3-Colo.) an extreme right-wing member. This was the committee on which he would have served with Greene had she kept her assignment.

Liberty lives in light

© 2021 by David Silverberg

One thought on “Donalds sides with Marjorie Taylor Greene while Diaz-Balart votes against her, bucking Republicans

  1. Diaz-Balart, Salazar, and Gimenez all voted for removal of MTG from committee. Theories on what happens when an immovable object faces irresistible forces may need revisiting. Thanks to all three.

    Like

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