Michael Steele, a former chair of the Republican National Committee, warned Friday that extremist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) will essentially be the next speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives in all but name.
The conspiracy theory-peddling Greene and other far-right GOP lawmakers will hold enormous sway over House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should he be elected the chamber’s next speaker in January, Steele said on a broadcast of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
Greene “will be the most powerful speaker of the House because she will have the opportunity to control what comes out of Kevin’s mouth around the things that matter to that small cadre,” he predicted.
“I just call the thing what it is,” Steele added, after others on the program referred to such a position as the “de facto” or “shadow” speaker.
“You call it ‘shadow’; I call it ‘the thing.’ It’s the job, because when you can’t make that separation, when … you’re dragging her to your events and you’re propping her up, and you’re telling her now that: ‘We’re going to put you back in committee. We’re going to give you a powerful leadership role.’”
Last year, the Democratic-led House voted to strip Greene of her committee assignments over her embrace of racist conspiracy theories and for “liking” Facebook posts demanding the execution of prominent Democrats.
With the GOP flipping the chamber in the 2022 midterm elections —albeit by a razor-thin margin — Greene is widely expected to be reinstated on committees, as McCarthy vowed in 2021.