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Four Texas Republicans vote against U.S. House resolution condemning QAnon

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Posted at 10:35 AM, Oct 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-03 11:35:12-04

WASHINGTON — While the U.S. House overwhelmingly voted on Friday to condemn the QAnon conspiracy theory movement, four Texas Republicans voted against the resolution.

The measure, titled "Condemning QAnon and rejecting the conspiracy theories it promotes," passed the U.S. House on Friday on a 371-18 vote. The four Texans among those 18 were Republican U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington of Lubbock, Brian Babin of Woodville, Michael Burgess of Lewsiville and Bill Flores of Bryan.

Four other Texans, also all Republicans, did not vote: U.S. Reps. Michael Cloud of Victoria, Louie Gohmert of Tyler, Kenny Marchant of Coppell and Ron Wright of Arlington. Wright is currently being treated for cancer. The 27 other Texans serving in the U.S. House, including all Texas Democrats, voted to condemn QAnon.

The FBI has identified the movement as a domestic terrorism threat. BuzzFeed reported earlier this week that followers of QAnon targeted the resolution's author, New Jersey Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski, with death threats. Malinowski's resolution condemned and rejected the conspiracy theories the movement promotes and included a list of crimes in which the perpetrators cited QAnon as a guiding inspiration. The resolution additionally pointed to FBI and U.S. military warnings about the movement's potential to foment political tension and radicalization.

The QAnon movement adheres to an unfounded theory that a cryptic government official named "Q" is exposing a plot against Trump by "deep-state" actors involving satanism and child sex trafficking. It has gained more attention as it has spread in conservative political circles online. Some believers have been accused of plotting or carrying out violent crimes. In April, an Illinois woman was arrested after she traveled to New York with illegal knives and wrote on Facebook that Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden need to be "taken out."

“There is no place in America for conspiracy theory groups who threaten our democracy," said Burgess in a statement. "There should also be no place for leaders of this country to put politics before the American people. This resolution was designed as a blunt force weapon to be used against the Administration — not to condemn conspiracy theory groups."

"The Speaker of the House should have brought a vote to save thousands of airline jobs —along with a dozen other legislative actions that would have benefited the country," he added. "This is no time for partisan theatrics. That’s precisely what the Speaker intended for in this resolution."

Babin also issued a statement.

“I know next to nothing about this Qanon stuff, but I do know that this resolution put forward by the House Democrat Majority will serve only to give its devotees the publicity and legitimacy they are desperate for," he said. "We’ve got big, real issues to deal with in Congress, and instead we spent most of today debating this silly, pointless, powerless resolution that was written and brought to the floor for one reason: to make campaign commercials. I didn’t want to offer any more underserved legitimacy to either Qanon or these political games so I did my part: I voted No.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a GOP congressional candidate who openly supports the movement, won her primary runoff this summer in Georgia and will likely join the U.S. House in January.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2020/10/02/texas-republicans-congress-qanon-resolution/.

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