Johnson slams raucous congressional hearing sparked by Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘fake eyelashes’ comment

“It was not a good look for Congress,” Johnson said.

Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday said he is disappointed in the chaos and name-calling that happened during a raucous House Oversight Committee markup on Thursday night when Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez clashed over Greene’s comments that Rep. Jasmine Crockett wore “fake eyelashes.”

“It was not a good look for Congress,” the speaker told ABC News. “We all — I think — need to control the emotions better and get the job done.”

Tensions flared Thursday night during the committee’s markup of a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over the audio recording of President Biden’s interview with Special Counsel Robert Hur. However, the drama had nothing to do with that, and led to a nearly hourlong disruption where lawmakers shouted over each other.

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks on the steps of the House, May 17, 2024, in Washington. POOL/ABC News

“I think the decorum in the House is an important tradition to maintain,” said Johnson, the top Republican in Congress who is known for his civility. “So we’ll be talking about that with our members. I think Hakeem Jeffries needs to do the same on the Democrat side.”

It all began when the Georgia Republican made a crack about the Texas Democrat’s eyelashes — “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading” — which was made when Crockett pushed back to a line of questioning from Greene.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, Rep. listens at a hearing for the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, May 16, 2024, in Washington. POOL/ABC News

Democrats called for Greene’s eyelash comment to Crockett to be stricken from the record and the congresswoman to be barred from speaking for the rest of the proceedings. Greene repeatedly shouted she was “not apologizing.”

“That is absolutely unacceptable, how dare you attack the physical appearance of another person,” Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, said.

“Are your feelings hurt?” Greene responded.

“Oh baby girl … don’t even play,” Ocasio-Cortez shot back.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, left, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, May 16, 2024. POOL/ABC News

The proceedings devolved then into further chaos with lawmakers shouting over each other and Democrats repeatedly trying to force Greene to apologize. At times, House Oversight Committee chair James Comer said he struggled to hear over the shouting and repeatedly worked to bring order to the proceedings. Comer even called a brief recess to figure out how to parliamentary respond to Greene’s remarks.

“Why don’t you debate me … you don’t have enough intelligence,” Greene said to Ocasio-Cortez during the exchange.

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., made a crack about Democrats on the committee not wanting to work.

Rep. Dan Goldman, D-N.Y., shot back, “like showing up for a vote?” — presumably a jab at the fact that Luna and several other members missed much of Thursday on Capitol Hill attending former President Donald Trump’s criminal trial in New York.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., left, and Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., listen at a hearing for the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, May 16, 2024, in Washington. POOL/ABC News

“You have a lot to say being that you’re on retainer for the judge’s daughter. Sorry trust fund kid,” Luna replied — a reference to the daughter of Judge Juan Merchan, who is overseeing Trump’s trial. The judge’s daughter has been the target of Trump and Republican’s criticism over her work for a digital consulting firm that they claim creates an “ongoing financial interest” tied to the former president’s criminal trial.

Luna also said Democrats should be disciplined for making unspecified cracks about “Marjorie’s body.”

“I hope you brought your popcorn,” Greene added, then moved on to talking about how her “body is pretty good” given how she is “going to turn 50 this month.”

After a vote to strike Greene’s comments failed along party lines, Greene eventually continued her remarks and the hearing continued.

On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez issued a statement on X criticizing Republicans and the failing of the vote to strike Greene’s comments.

“Republicans VOTED in [committee] to allow the rhetoric that was used against Ms. Crockett last night,” she wrote. “Notice that when Dems have the majority, these things don’t happen.”

Luna said Friday that “a lot of people didn’t realize there’s a lot of disrespect early on against Ms. Greene.”

“But look, I don’t think it should ever elevate to the point of personal insults,” Luna added.

Ranking member of the House Oversight Committee Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., said the level of personal attacks were “not acceptable.”

“It was a radical breach of decorum to engage in personal insults based on physical appearance, and when [Greene’s] words were not taken down immediately, it led to a lot of chaos, and it reflects very poorly on the whole institution, but certainly on the majority,” Raskin said.

Despite the chaos and disorder that unraveled during the markup on, the GOP-led House Oversight Committee ultimately voted 24-20 late Thursday to approve a report recommending a contempt of Congress resolution against Attorney General Merrick Garland for his failure to turn over audio recordings of the Special Counsel Robert Hur interview with President Joe Biden.

The Garland contempt resolutions now head to the full House for a vote.

ABC News’ Sarah Beth Hensley contribute to this report.

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