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House GOP Superstars at Work

Key members of the 118th Congress are looking to shake things up—like a crossfire hurricane.
February 1, 2023
House GOP Superstars at Work
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn. Republicans control the House of Representatives. Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his gang of 222 are champing at the bit and rarin’ to go. Here’s a rundown on what some of the party’s superstars are up to.

Marjorie Taylor Greene

The newly re-elected representative from Georgia is riding high and aiming low after having forged what the New York Times called “an ironclad bond” with Speaker McCarthy. (“I will never leave that woman,” he gushed to a friend. “I will always take care of her.”) She has pledged to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing issues, including the many people suddenly dropping dead due to the government’s twisted plot to vaccinate everyone against COVID-19.

“I demand an IMMEDIATE investigation into Covid vaccines and the dramatic increase of people dying suddenly!,” Greene declared on Twitter on January 21. “This can no longer be ignored and is NOT political.”

Greene was quote-tweeting a post that contained a video of remarks made that day by Rochelle “Silk” Richardson at a memorial service for her late sister, Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway, the other half of the MAGA commentator tag team of “Diamond and Silk.” Silk, in reference to the COVID-19 vaccines, posed the question, “Are Americans being poisoned?” She described how Diamond on January 9 “suddenly . . . and [with] no warning” was unable to breathe. Silk and her husband performed CPR until EMS arrived and “did everything that they could.” It was later determined that Diamond died from heart disease caused by high blood pressure.

Here’s what Silk said at the service, which was attended by Donald Trump:

What I want to say to everybody is don’t you dare call me a conspiracy theorist, because I saw it happen. I saw how it happened. I was there when it happened, and it happened suddenly. I want America to wake up and pay attention. Something ain’t right. It’s time to investigate what’s really going on here, and get some answers to why are people falling dead suddenly?

Greene, seeing this video, got right on it, tweeting out her pledge (which fellow GOP superstar and sometimes-ally Matt Gaetz retweeted) to probe “the dramatic increase of people dying suddenly” that isn’t actually happening. The Times says McCarthy “has adopted her stances on opposing vaccine mandates and questioning funding for the war in Ukraine, and even her call to reinvestigate the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol to show what she has called ‘the other side of the story.’”

Greene’s ability to tweet her thoughts on these issues was made possible in part by McCarthy, who, the Times reported, “dispatch[ed] his general counsel to spend hours on the phone trying to cajole senior executives at Twitter to reactivate her personal account after she was banned last year for violating the platform’s coronavirus misinformation policy.”

Last week, just before she was appointed to a select subcommittee charged with looking into the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greene tweeted “We have no idea what is in Covid vaccines.” In response, a Twitter user added a “community note,” which is a feature on the platform meant to enable crowdsourced fact-checking in real time, pointing out that a complete list of ingredients for the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines can be found at

Greene has also vowed to introduce legislation to “declare Antifa a domestic terrorist organization,” appearing on Tucker Carlson’s prime-time Fox News show to talk about it. “Antifa is the ground troops of the Democrat party,” she announced. “They breed them, they raise them, and then they bail them out of jail when they get arrested. But they never get prosecuted. And that’s because . . . it’s the Democrats in control.”

The theory advanced by Greene and Carlson is that Democrats keep Antifa at the ready to burn cities to the ground at the slightest hint of police misconduct. Carlson called it “this militia that kind of floats around America, and when needed, they show up and start burning buildings and flipping over police cars.” This theory does not account for why protests over the Memphis police murder of Tyre Nichols have been overwhelmingly peaceful.

In her freshman session, Greene was stripped of committee appointments over comments she made before being elected suggesting that Nancy Pelosi be put to death, and stuff like that. McCarthy has now given her a plum assignment to the House Homeland Security Committee, where she’s sure to play a leading role in the probable impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and other urgent matters.

“As the leading MAGA voice in Congress, I look forward to committees,” Greene said.

Matt Gaetz

This Congressman from Florida has big ambitions, including the demolition of two major law enforcement agencies. Here’s a tweet from last week about one of them:

Gaetz also recently introduced legislation to abolish the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) after the agency issued a ruling to require a federal license for handguns that have been modified with stabilizing braces to convert them into de-facto short-barreled rifles; licenses have long been required for the latter class of weapons owing to their combination of concealability and destructive power. For Gaetz, this was tyranny.

“The continued existence of the ATF is increasingly unwarranted based on their repeated actions to convert law-abiding citizens into felons,” Gaetz explained. “They must be stopped. My bill today would abolish the ATF once and for all.”

After humiliating McCarthy with 15 rounds of opposition before agreeing to vote “Present,” Gaetz was reappointed to the high-profile Judiciary Committee. He’s introduced a resolution—the “PENCIL resolution,” a trolling reference to Trump’s insulting nickname for its target—that attacks Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California for alleged untrustworthiness and urges that he be denied access to classified materials, a determination that lies outside the House’s purview. It also recommends that the House Committee on Ethics investigate Schiff “for potential collusion with rogue elements of the Department of Defense in an attempt to tarnish the reputation of former President Donald J. Trump” and that “any comments made by Representative Adam Schiff during any proceeding of Congress regarding Russian collusion and the Trump campaign be officially struck from the record.”

And Gaetz gets bonus points for concocting a novel theory about Biden’s classified documents scandal—that it was an inside job, orchestrated by Democrats to keep Biden from running for re-election. “There’s an element to this that feels like the Democrats are taking out Joe Biden,” Gaetz said. “I don’t know that that’s the case, but I don’t know that it’s not.”

As don’t we all.

James Comer

The incoming chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability is off to a roaring start. “Very Excited about the new Oversight ‘Dream Team,’” he recently tweeted. He is the lead sponsor of a bill called the “Protecting Speech from Government Interference Act” (to “prohibit Federal employees from advocating for censorship of viewpoints in their official capacity”) and a joint resolution “Disapproving the action of the District of Columbia Council in approving the Local Resident Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2022,” which granted noncitizen residents the right to vote in local but not federal elections.

Comey also just issued a press release calling on the owner of an art gallery that has sold work by presidential son Hunter Biden to “provide information related to the anonymous art purchasers of Hunter Biden’s art and all communications between his New York gallery and the White House about their deal to hide these purchasers’ identities.”

Paul Gosar

In 2021, this congressman from Arizona became the first House member in more than a decade to be censured, for posting a photoshopped anime video in which his cartoon avatar attacks a figure representing Biden and appears to kill Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, portrayed in the video as a hulking giant. He’s now been restored to two committees: Oversight and Accountability, and Natural Resources. Gosar closed out 2022 by promoting baseless claims that Kari Lake may have won the 2022 governor’s race in Arizona. So far this year, he has introduced legislation to “restore the separation of powers between the Congress and the President” and require that voting systems have paper ballots; the two bills together have a total of two cosponsors.

Lauren Boebert

This gun-toting congresswoman from Colorado was reappointed to Natural Resources and newly appointed to Oversight, where she can pal around with Gosar and follow Comer’s lead. Her first bill of the season is the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2023, which would impose a moratorium on federal funding for the group unless they attest that they will not perform any abortions apart from those covered under the bill’s rape, incest, and life-of-the-mother exceptions. (These exceptions are uncharacteristically generous for Boebert, who once opined that rape victims “needed a Glock 19 when it happened” instead of an abortion after the fact.)

Boebert, in a recent tweet, waxed enthusiastic at the prospect of getting to the bottom of what really happened on January 6th: “Speaker McCarthy says he’ll be releasing ALL the footage from January 6th. Considering all the public has seen are edited clips from a bunch of Democrats with an ax to grind, it sure will be nice to get some unbiased footage.” Maybe some clips of rioters playing pickleball.

Jim Jordan

One of the loudest mouths in Congress, this representative from Ohio is focused on ending the horrendous abuses of the Biden Administration. (He is, it bears remembering, an expert on horrendous abuses.) Jordan is the sponsor of a House resolution to set up a select subcommittee to investigate “the Weaponization of the Federal Government,” which he now chairs following the resolution’s approval. In his remarks on the House floor arguing for the necessity of the weaponization subcommittee, Jordan alleged that “the Department of Justice treats parents as terrorists, moms and dads who are simply showing up at a school board meeting to advocate for their son or daughter,” and that “if you’re a pro-life activist, you’re gonna get your door kicked in, you’re gonna get arrested and handcuffed in front of your seven kids and your spouse for simply praying in front of an abortion clinic and telling the guy who was harassing your son to knock it off,” among other things.

In contrast to his can-do attitude toward these imaginary problems, Jordan, when asked Sunday on “Meet the Press” if he supports legislation to address police brutality in the wake of Nichols’s killing, opted to practice resignation: “I don’t know if there is anything you can do to stop the kind of evil that we saw in that video.”

George Santos

The truth-challenged congressman from New York, who enjoys greater name recognition than any of his House colleagues save Kevin McCarthy, was tapped to serve on the House committees for Small Business and for Science, Space, and Technology, but on Tuesday announced that he was stepping back from those appointments until, as McCarthy put it, “he can clear everything up” regarding his prior false claims. The move is in keeping with the extreme low profile Santos has tried to maintain since taking office.

He has not yet sponsored any bills. His official Congressional website hasn’t posted a press release since the one on January 7 about his being sworn in. The site’s “In the News” page is also notably bare, with only one posting, on January 3, to a Wikipedia entry listing the members of the 118th Congress. His “Issues” page presents six issue categories that contain no positions on anything, each one instead directing the curious to “please contact our office.” His official bio states: “As a Member of the Congressional class whose victories will change the direction of the House of Representatives, George is determined to deliver real results for his constituents.”

Last week, Santos, or whatever his name is, tweeted that the impersonations of him that have appeared on TV “are all TERRIBLE so far. Jon Lovitz is supposed to be one of the greatest comedians of all time and that was embarrassing—for him not me! These comedians need to step their game up.” He also declared his “100%” support for “the freedom protesters in #Iran,” vowing, “I will do everything in my power to help end the reign of terror plaguing their lives.”

What a comfort that must be to them.

Bill Lueders

Bill Lueders, former editor and now editor-at-large of The Progressive, is a writer in Madison, Wisconsin.