MTG Forces Vote On Ousting Speaker Johnson

( – After weeks of threats, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) pulled the trigger on a privileged motion to vacate, attempting to oust Speaker Johnson (R-LA) after he was repeatedly decried for collaborating with Democrats. Johnson avoided being removed from the position by calling for a vote to table the motion, which was supported and passed by a bipartisan majority 359 to 43. Four Republicans and 39 Democrats voted to remove Johnson from the office.

The vote was historic, marking the first time a minority party has helped to maintain the Speakership of the majority. Previously all the Democrats voted to vacate Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last fall. Johnson required the aid of the Democrats due to the one-seat majority the GOP currently holds in the House.

Virtually all the Republicans wanted to maintain Johnson in the role, with rare exceptions. Green and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) highlighted that Johnson broke his promises to the conservative party just as McCarthy did.

Massie joined Greene’s call to oust Johnson after the passage of $95 billion in foreign aid without using the issue for leverage on conservative priorities like the southern border crisis. Massie also lambasted Johnson’s willingness to reauthorize warrantless wiretapping under the FISA program as fundamentally opposing conservative values.

Johnson called the move “misguided” and said he was going to “do my job” which he indicated was heavily guided by morals to “do the right thing.” He implied the attempt to oust him was “frivolous character assassination.”

Critics of the move suggested an ouster would plunge the country into “chaos” citing the previous shutdown for three weeks while Republicans selected a Speaker last fall.

Greene was mocked by legislators during her speech announcing the vote. The majority of her party formed a line to shake Johnson’s hand after the vote to table was passed. The fact they literally “got in line” was metaphorically interesting, given the context.

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