House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Thursday called on the House Ethics Committee to investigate Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene over a hallway confrontation with Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Greene, a freshman from Georgia, chased down Ocasio-Cortez after a vote in the chamber Wednesday and began berating her for supporting antifa and Black Lives Matter, organizations Greene labeled “terrorist” groups.
Pelosi, a California Democrat who long ago served for seven years on the ethics panel, took the unusual step of publicly suggesting the 10-member, bipartisan committee should open an investigation into Greene’s actions.
Pelosi called Greene’s behavior, “a verbal assault and real abuse of our colleague, AOC.”
The ethics panel can initiate an investigation on its own, or if another elected House lawmaker requests it. An outside panel, the Office of Congressional Ethics, can also recommend the House Ethics Committee launch an investigation.
Pelosi told reporters she typically steers clear of involvement in the Ethics Committee, but that Greene’s action “is beneath the dignity of a person serving in the Congress of United States and is a cause for trauma and fear among members, especially on the heels of an insurrection.”
Earlier this year, House Democrats stripped Greene of her committee assignments in response to threatening social media posts from prior to Greene’s election to Congress.
Democrats have grown increasingly fearful of some House Republicans following the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.
In January, Pelosi installed metal detectors at the entrances to the House Chamber after some Democrats felt threatened by House freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert, a gun-rights advocate from Colorado who had pledged to carry her handgun onto the House floor.
Greene had sought out Ocasio-Cortez for a public debate on key issues, but AOC has not agreed to the debate. Ocasio-Cortez walked away from Greene as the Georgia congresswoman pursued her in the hallway.
Greene later told reporters Ocasio-Cortez was “chicken” for refusing to defend legislation she supports, including the Green New Deal.
In a statement to the Washington Post, Ocasio-Cortez’s spokeswoman Lauren Hitt called on top leaders to get involved in taming Greene.
“We hope leadership and the Sergeant at Arms will take real steps to make Congress a safe, civil place for all Members and staff — especially as many offices are discussing reopening. One Member has already been forced to relocate her office due to Congresswoman Greene’s attacks,” Hitt said.