POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

House rejects Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Johnson from office

May 8, 2024, 3:53 PM | Updated: 4:05 pm

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on the house side as she arrives for a meeting with Speaker of t...

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) on the house side as she arrives for a meeting with Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) at the U.S. Capitol on May 7, 2024 in Washington, DC. Last week Greene threatened to move forward with a 'motion to vacate' over her dissatisfaction with the Speaker's handling of the government funding legislation. (Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

(Kent Nishimura/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene stunned colleagues Wednesday by calling for a vote to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, but lawmakers quickly rejected it.

Greene pressed ahead with her long-shot effort despite pushback from Republicans at the highest levels tired of the political chaos.

One of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress, Greene stood on the House floor and read a long list of “transgressions” she said Johnson had committed as speaker. Colleagues booed in protest.

It was the second time in a matter of months that Republicans have tried to oust their own speaker, an unheard-of level of party turmoil with a move rarely seen in U.S. history.

Greene of Georgia criticized Johnson’s leadership as “pathetic, weak and unacceptable.”

GOP lawmakers filtered towards Johnson, giving him pats on the back and grasping his shoulder to assure him of their support.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise quickly moved to table the effort — essentially stopping it from going forward. The motion to table was swiftly approved.

The Georgia Republican had vowed she would force a vote on the motion to vacate the Republican speaker if he dared to advance a foreign aid package with funds for Ukraine, which was overwhelmingly approved late last month and signed into law.

But in recent days it seemed her effort had cooled, as she and Johnson met repeatedly for a potential resolution.

Johnson of Louisiana marched on, saying he had been willing to take the risk, believing it was important for the U.S. to back Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and explaining he wanted to be on the “right side of history.”

“I just have to do my job every day,” Johnson said Monday.

In a highly unusual move, the speaker received a boost from Democrats led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, whose leadership team had said it was time to “turn the page” on the GOP turmoil and vote to table Greene’s resolution — almost ensuring Johnson’s job is saved, for now.

Trump also weighed in after Johnson trekked to Mar-a-Lago for a visit, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee giving the speaker his nod of approval. And Trump’s hand-picked leader at the Republican National Committee urged House Republicans off the move.

The move now poses its own political risks for Greene, R-Ga., a high-profile provocateur.

Forcing the vote could bring the House chamber to a standstill, as happened last year when eight Republicans voted to ousted Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s office, and Democrats declined to help save him.
Ousting McCarthy resulted in a nearly monthlong search for a new GOP leader, and there is no immediate successor if Johnson is removed.

 

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House rejects Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Johnson from office