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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene files motion to oust Mike Johnson as House speaker

By 37ci3 Mar22,2024

WASHINGTON – Far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to impeach Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday. voted to prevent a government shutdown.

Johnson, R-La., succeeded Kevin McCarthy as speaker for five months. kicked out from the top job under a similar process.

It was not immediately clear how the House would act on his proposal, which would require a majority vote to remove the speaker. Greene, R-Ga., did not present the proposal as privileged — which would force a vote within two legislative days — but instead as a routine proposal that could be sent to a committee, likely to be weakened.

Greene told reporters that his motion to vacate was “more of a warning than a pink slip,” and that he didn’t want to “throw the House into chaos” like the three-and-a-half weeks the chamber has been without a speaker. , his close ally was removed from power.

“I’m not saying it won’t happen in two weeks or it won’t happen in a month, who knows when. But I say that the clock has started. It’s time for our conference to elect a new speaker,” he said.

He also said that he did not discuss the proposal with former President Donald Trump.

Speaker of the US House of Representatives, Mike Johnson.
Rep. Mike Johnson has served as Speaker of the House since October.Jim Watson / AFP – Getty Images

The House went on a two-week recess on Friday and will not consider the proposal until it returns, an official familiar with the process told NBC News. The House will be back in session on April 9.

Raj Shah, a spokesman for Johnson, said the speaker’s focus is “on governance. He will continue to advance conservative legislation that protects our border, strengthens our national defense, and demonstrates how to grow our majority.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who forced the vote to remove McCarthy as speaker, told reporters Thursday that he does not support the proposal to vacate the seat and remove Johnson.

“If we fired this speaker, we would end up with a Democrat,” Gaetz told reporters. “When I fired the last one, I promised the country that we would not end up with a Democratic speaker. And I was right. I could not make this promise again.”

Asked how that could happen, Gaetz said, “We would have Republicans pass. I worry that there are Republicans who will vote for Hakeem Jeffries at this point. I really do. I don’t enjoy saying it. But if you know that the party leadership will not cooperate, you can sack the speaker. I knew it for sure last time. I don’t know for sure this time.”

Gaetz’s action against McCarthy marked the first time in US history that the speaker of the House of Representatives had been removed mid-session. That led to weeks of chaos as the slim Republican majority scrambled to find a replacement before reaching an agreement with Johnson.

Some moderate Democrats have said before They will vote to save Johnson if anyone tries to oust him, it’s not out of love for the current speaker, but to prevent another fight in the House that would bring the whole thing to a standstill.

Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., said he would be among the Democratic votes for Johnson.

“It’s a comedy show, they’re trying to fire the speaker for trying to keep the government open. This is absurd. That’s why I’m fed up with it and I’ll vote for him to stay as speaker,” he said.

And vulnerable Rep. Susan WildD-Pa., who also hasn’t made up his mind, said he’s leaning strongly toward saving Johnson.

“I don’t think Speaker Johnson has been a model speaker or a role model for future speakers,” Wild said in an interview outside the Capitol. “Having said that, I really, really want to see us do our job and the last thing in the world I want is another two or three weeks off because it’s very hard for me to imagine who’s going to be next in line.”

“I can’t imagine that the Democrats will allow this initiative to succeed,” he said.

Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., repeatedly called on Democrats Friday to join the Republican majority in bailing out Johnson. He said Greene’s move would “create chaos and create an unnecessary distraction.”

Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., who voted to remove McCarthy, said Friday he would not support a motion to remove Johnson. “No, he didn’t cheat on me,” she said.

But Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., stood by the vacate motion, saying he wanted to hear a plan from Green about who would succeed as speaker if Johnson is ousted.

Greene was dropping hints about his plans. Asked about the discharge proposal on Steve Bannon’s podcast Friday before the spending vote, he said: “We’re making that decision minute by minute today, Steve, and I think you can follow us. I urge you to watch what is happening.”

“A lot of people are talking about a bid to vacate,” Greene told NBC News Thursday afternoon.

However, he did not say whether or when he would actually file a motion. When asked why, he replied, “All kinds of trouble.”

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