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Marjorie Taylor Greene to force vote next week on ousting U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson 


Marjorie Taylor Greene to force vote next week on ousting U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson 

May 01, 2024 | 11:39 am ET
By Jennifer Shutt
Marjorie Taylor Greene to force vote next week on ousting U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson聽
Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks during a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, about removing U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson from the leadership office. Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, who supports the effort, stands to her left.  (Photo by Jennifer Shutt/States Newsroom)

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. House Republicans, aggrieved by Speaker Mike Johnson’s bipartisanship amid divided government, said Wednesday they plan to force a vote next week on removing him from the leadership office — despite the extremely long odds of success.

Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie held a press conference just steps from the Capitol, calling for lawmakers and Johnson to use the weekend to think through how they want to vote on the so-called motion to vacate.

She also rebuked Democrats for their plans to support Johnson’s speakership, implying it would be problematic for them when voters decide on whether to reelect lawmakers in November.

“I can’t wait to see Democrats go out and support a Republican speaker. And have to go home to their primaries and have to run for Congress again, having supported a Republican speaker, a Christian conservative,” Greene said. “I think that’ll play well. I’m excited about it.”

“I also can’t wait to see my Republican Conference show their cards and show who we are because voters deserve it,” she added. “Have the Republican Party finally learned their lesson, have they finally heard the message from voters back at home?”

Congress, which is split between Republican control of the House and Democratic control of the Senate, has passed too many bipartisan bills during Johnson’s six months in leadership, Greene said.

That includes the government funding packages approved in March; a reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; and the military and humanitarian assistance package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan approved in April.

Massie rejected the bipartisan legislation as well, pointing to two posters staff had set up at the press conference showing Johnson and House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York holding the gavel and hugging.

The two leaders, Massie contended, should be “archrivals,” not working together to advance bipartisan legislation through Congress.

“This is about who holds that gavel,” Massie said. “Right now, they are both holding that gavel. They are sharing power about procedures, about what bills will come to the floor, about how long we will debate those bills and which committees are comprised of which members.”

Johnson: ‘This motion is wrong’

Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, released a written statement after the press conference saying the motion to vacate is not the right path forward.

“This motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country,” Johnson wrote.

House Democratic Leaders released a statement Tuesday saying the party would support Johnson during a floor vote, likely dooming efforts to oust him from the speaker’s office given the slim GOP majority.

Arizona GOP Rep. Paul Gosar supports removing Johnson from the leadership post as well, but was unable to attend the press conference Wednesday due to a scheduling conflict, according to Greene.

Many of the Republican Party’s other far-right members, including Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good of Virginia, have said the best time to have internal debates about House leadership is after the November elections.

Greene said during the Wednesday press conference that the vote will give all Americans the chance to see which lawmakers support Johnson remaining speaker and which want to remove him from leadership.

“This vote will be called next week and I just want to urge all our colleagues to prepare for it,” Greene said. “It’s the right thing to do for America. It’s time to clean house and get our conference in order and get ready to support President Trump’s agenda, God willing he wins in November.”

Trump has publicly expressed support for Johnson remaining speaker in the last month, saying during a joint appearance at Mar-a-Lago that Johnson is “doing a very good job” and then, following the foreign aid vote, that “he’s a very good person.”