WASHINGTON — Congressional hearings are often acrimonious, however they not often descend into the sort of private assault that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., waged in opposition to lecturers’ union chief Randi Weingarten at a Home listening to final week on pandemic-related faculty closures, a difficulty that continues to excite sturdy passions.
These passions had been expressed in a “very homophobic” method by the outspoken congresswoman, Weingarten instructed Yahoo Information final Friday. The listening to had taken place two days earlier than, however she was nonetheless plainly rattled by the trade.
In the course of the listening to, Greene repeatedly famous that Weingarten just isn’t a “organic mom,” a seeming reference to the truth that the 65-year-old American Federation of Lecturers president is married to a girl, Sharon Kleinbaum, a rabbi on the world’s largest LGBTQ synagogue. She sat behind Weingarten throughout the listening to.
“She was simply trying to dehumanize me,” Weingarten stated of Greene.
Weingarten instructed Yahoo Information that she has been pressured to journey with a safety guard since November of final 12 months, when former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to as her “essentially the most harmful individual on the earth.”
And he or she stated the trade with Greene has resulted in a flood of “vile” emails, lots of them homophobic or antisemitic.
Weingarten was the only real witness on the listening to, which was carried out by a subcommittee of the Republican-controlled Home Oversight Committee that’s tasked with investigating the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, had opened the listening to by pleading with members of each events to concentrate on the subject at hand, which was whether or not the AFT unduly influenced Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention tips on faculty reopenings.
Emails beforehand made public confirmed Weingarten asking for amendments within the steerage, a request the influential union chief stated was not out of bounds and one among many inputs that the CDC thought-about.
Republicans disagreed, however none with extra vehemence than Greene, a hard-right congresswoman with a penchant for controversy.
Greene stated Weingarten shouldn’t have had any say within the reopening tips as a result of she’s “not a medical physician, not a organic mom and, actually, not a trainer, both.”
Kleinbaum has two daughters from a earlier marriage, as Weingarten famous, however that didn’t seem to fulfill Greene, who has made gender and race points a centerpiece of her legislative profession.
“Let me let you know, I’m a mom, and all three of my kids had been straight affected by the college closures — by your suggestions — which is one thing that you would be able to’t perceive,” Greene stated. (Her insistence on “organic” motherhood appeared to invalidate not solely the experiences of LGBTQ dad and mom but additionally of those that grow to be dad and mom by way of adoption or remarriage after divorce.)
“Someplace, Ronald Reagan, an adoptive guardian who gave conservatism a pleasant face, is shaking his head,” former White Home speechwriter David Kusnet wrote on Twitter of Greene’s assertion.
The congresswoman’s workplace didn’t return a request for remark.
Greene additionally produced a chart exhibiting that diagnoses of gender dysphoria rose throughout the pandemic, a pattern she attributed to time spent on social media platforms.
“There may be one factor I do agree along with her about,” Weingarten stated on Friday, “which is that we have to do extra to carry tech corporations accountable, as a result of the algorithms and these different issues are literally making children really feel unhealthy about themselves.”
Earlier this month, Home Republicans handed a invoice that may stop transgender ladies from becoming a member of school-based sports activities groups designated for ladies. Transgender rights have emerged as a high tradition warfare subject for a lot of Republican voters.
As Greene’s interplay with Weingarten got here to an finish, the lawmaker returned to her declare that the union chief just isn’t a real mom. “Individuals like it is advisable to admit that you just’re only a political activist, not a trainer, not a mom, not a medical physician,” she stated on the conclusion of her diatribe.
Democrats unsuccessfully tried to have her assaults on Weingarten stricken from the Congressional Report, however Wenstrup stated Home guidelines wouldn’t allow him to take action.