Democrat Guam congressional delegate Michael San Nicolas led members of Guam’s National Guard in a march to Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s office in Washington D.C. after her criticism of funds to Guam.
Nicolas shared a video of himself bringing an assortment of cookies and books from Guam to Greene’s office, while joined by more than a dozen Guam Guard troops in uniform.
Greene was not in her office during Nicolas’ unannounced visit. Nicolas can be seen asking Greene’s congressional aides when she would return and says, “I also have my Guam Guardsmen that are out here on the deployment and they wanted to come over and say hello too.”
Nicolas’ video ends with a caption, “Guam is a U.S. territory with troops fighting and dying alongside fellow Americans while not having voting representation in the Congress or Electoral College representation to elect a commander-in-chief.”
According to Nicolas’ YouTube account, Greene is the only Republican lawmaker he marched to with Guam troops. He did also visit House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC).
At the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) last month, Green said that U.S. taxpayer dollars should not go to foreign countries or Guam. “We believe our hard-earned tax dollars should just go for America, not for what? China, Russia, the Middle East, Guam, whatever, wherever,” she said.
Greene’s comments led some on social media to believe she was suggesting Guam is a foreign land. While those born in Guam are U.S. citizens, they can not vote in U.S. presidential elections and their territorial delegates do not have voting power in Congress. Guam citizens are also completely exempt from U.S. federal taxation, according to EveryCRSReport.
Reacting to the video of the visit to her office, Greene tweeted, “It’s time for our great men and women of the National Guard to go home and be with their families. The Democrats need to stop using them as political theatre and drama on Capitol Hill. Shame on Democrats for disrespecting our military.”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) also raised concern about Guard troops being used for political appearances.
“[email protected] is being politicized. Uniformed service members recently criticized a private citizen for his First Amendment rights, & today a Dem lawmaker used soldiers in a political stunt against a GOP member,” McCarthy said. “@SecDef Austin—This sets a dangerous precedent. It must stop now.”
McCarthy’s tweet referenced another recent military controversy in which several military officials criticized Fox News host Tucker Carlson for questioning whether the military is prioritizing social issues over force readiness. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps after one official Marine Corps account called Carlson a “boomer” in its criticism of him.
Department of Defense regulations state, “Military service members and federal employees acting in their official capacity may not engage in activities that associate the DOD with any partisan political campaign or elections, candidate, cause or issue.”
It is unclear whether the troops involved in the video broke those military rules and, according to Military.com, it doesn’t appear that any of the soldiers in the video will face disciplinary action.
Responding to the controversy, Maj. Gen. Esther J.C. Aguigui, the adjutant general of the Guam National Guard, said the Guard remains a “non-partisan entity” despite the event.
“We appreciate Congressman San Nicolas’ efforts to represent our culture of Inafa’ Maolek, or bringing harmony, practiced here in Guam,” she said in a statement. “We also thank Congresswoman Greene for ultimately helping raise awareness of Guamanians as citizens of the United States, and our rich tradition of service and sacrifice to our nation.”