The House of Representatives voted to kill a resolution to censure progressive Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Wednesday night.
Nearly two dozen Republicans voted along with all House Democrats to table the resolution in a final vote of 222-186 in favor of killing the motion without debate.
Democrats briefly broke out into applause when the resolution failed.
Tlaib had been the target of a censure, a form a formal punishment in the House, introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., over Tlaib’s comments and actions related to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
A retaliatory resolution aimed at censuring Greene, introduced by Rep. Becca Balint, D-Vt., was pulled from the schedule shortly before voting began.
Balint released a statement celebrating the Tlaib resolution’s failure, saying she was withdrawing her resolution “for now.”
“Given the fact that this conference voted unanimously for an election denier, there was a question of whether my resolution to censure Rep. Greene could pass with the votes it needed from ‘moderate’ Republicans. They have shown they are unable to stand up in moments that require courage,” Balint said, referring to the election of Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.
“But tonight, when 23 Republicans said ‘no’ to Rep. Greene’s bigotry, I saw this situation a little differently. I want to thank them for doing the right thing. And I’m going to hold back on the vote for now. Vermonters and people across the country need us to get to work and focus on the urgent needs facing working people here at home and around the world.”
Greene had blamed Tlaib for a protest last month that saw hundreds of Gaza cease-fire demonstrators arrested after they took over the Cannon House Office building. Greene repeatedly referred to the protest as an “insurrection” in the text of her resolution.
After the vote, Greene railed against the 23 Republicans who opted to table her resolution, calling them “feckless.”
“This is why Republicans NEVER do anything to stop the communists Democrats or ever hold anyone accountable!!” Greene wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
A wide array of members from the GOP Conference voted to table the resolution, from House Freedom Caucus Policy Chairman Chip Roy, R-Texas, and conservatives like Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-W.Va., to moderate Rep. John Duarte, R-Calif.
Roy indirectly hit back at Greene in his statement explaining his vote, calling her resolution “feckless.”
“Rep. Rashida Tlaib has repeatedly made outrageous remarks toward Israel and the Jewish people. Her conduct is unbecoming of a member of Congress and certainly worthy of condemnation – if not censure,” Roy said.
“However, tonight’s feckless resolution to censure Tlaib was deeply flawed and made legally and factually unverified claims, including the claim of leading an ‘insurrection’…I voted to table the resolution. In January 2021, the legal term insurrection was stretched and abused by many following the events at the Capitol. We should not continue to perpetuate claims of ‘insurrection’ at the Capitol and we should not abuse the term now.”
Another of the 23, Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., said he was taking a stand for free speech in voting to halt the Tlaib censure but condemned her rhetoric about Israel.
“As much as I disagree with previous comments made by Rep. Tlaib, First Amendment liberties are for every American, and I will support this constitutional right, whether the speaker is on the political left or right and whether they are speaking heinous lies or harsh truths,” Walberg said.
“When we hear evil speech, we should not look to the government for the answer but rather speak up as individuals to denounce it.”
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