In a significant move within the House of Representatives, Vermont’s openly lesbian Democrat, Becca Balint, has set the stage for a censure vote against her controversial colleague, Marjorie Taylor Greene. Balint submitted a resolution for censure against Greene, citing a litany of offensive remarks and actions, including anti-LGBTQ, anti-Semitic, Islamophobic, and racist comments, as well as the promotion of baseless conspiracy theories related to mass shootings and terrorist attacks.
This motion compels the House to vote on the censure within the next two business days, with the chamber set to convene on Wednesday. Balint’s decision came in response to a similar move by Greene, who sought to force a vote on her own censure resolution against Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. Greene’s resolution accused Tlaib, a Muslim and Palestinian American, of various allegations, including “anti-Semitic activity” and “sympathizing with terrorist organizations.”
The controversy surrounding these censure resolutions escalated after recent events when protesters calling for a cease-fire in Israel’s conflict with Hamas rallied outside the Capitol on October 18. Tlaib addressed the rally but did not engage in any indoor activities. While Greene described the protest as an “insurrection,” it was clarified that it did not reach the level of the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot, as reported by NBC.
Balint’s censure resolution emphasizes Greene’s history of making derogatory remarks about the LGBTQ+ community, referring to them as “groomers” and making other offensive comments. Additionally, the resolution highlights Greene’s assertions that Muslim members of Congress are not “official” if they don’t take their oath on a Bible, along with derogatory references to them as the “jihad squad.” It also mentions Greene’s divisive comments on Black Americans and her promotion of conspiracy theories about mass shootings.
Balint underscored the seriousness of the situation, saying, “If you want to talk antisemitism, look no further than Rep. Taylor Greene. Today, I moved to censure Rep. Taylor Greene to finally get accountability for years of lies and hate.” She condemned Greene’s resolution against Tlaib as an “overt Islamophobic attack” and criticized the propagation of conspiracy theories that fuel hate and fear, especially against Muslim Americans.
Balint’s personal background, with a Jewish father who survived the Holocaust, adds depth to her commitment to combating hate and bigotry. A censure, while a formal expression of disapproval, does not remove a legislator from office but can lead to additional punitive measures, such as removal from committee chair positions.
This development shines a spotlight on the ongoing challenges of addressing hate speech and intolerance within the U.S. Congress, particularly concerning LGBTQ+ and minority communities. Balint’s actions reflect her commitment to holding her colleagues accountable for their actions and words.