May 23, 2024

Despite all indications that an attempt to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) will fail, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Thomas Massie (R-KY) announced they are set to force a vote on the motion to vacate that Greene originally filed more than 40 days ago.

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The criticism against Johnson centers primarily on foreign aid, particularly to Ukraine. The speaker recently bypassed conservative lawmakers to work with Democrats to pass legislation approving over $60 billion in aid to Ukraine. Greene has repeatedly threatened to lead an effort to remove Johnson as speaker, and now it appears she will follow through on that threat.


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During a press conference on Wednesday, Greene announced that she will push a vote on the motion to vacate. Greene started by praising former President Donald Trump as “the very man that stood out and represented Republican voters and Americans all over the country that were sick and tired of a Republican establishment failing us over and over again.”

Greene also slammed the establishment for funding “the uniparty agenda” and “the status quo that is Washington, D.C.” She blamed these actions for Republican losses in the 2018 midterms when “Nancy Pelosi became speaker.”

The lawmaker asserted that Republicans won the House in 2022 because voters “were fed up with the Democrat agenda that is destroying this country.”

She turned her attention to Johnson, saying that she voted for him to be speaker “because his voting record before he became speaker was conservative” and pointed out that “he voted against funding Ukraine” and was “solidly pro-life.”

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“He voted to fight against Democrats, fight against the witch hunt against President Trump,” she added.

However, Johnson “has become a man that none of us recognize,” according to Greene, who added:

He passed three continuing resolutions, and then he finally passed a two-part omnibus that fully funded Joe Biden’s agenda and the Democrat agenda, funded the Department of Justice that…wants to put President Trump in jail for the rest of his life, which is a death sentence. Mike Johnson fully funded the FBI, which raided Mar-a-Lago, and he gave them a brand new building as a gift. Pro-life Mike Johnson funded full-term abortion clinics, funded the trans agenda on children that 70 percent of Americans are completely against on both sides of the aisle and he fully funded Joe Biden’s open border policies, the number one issue in America.

The lawmaker also attacked Johnson for his tiebreaking vote to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act without requiring federal agencies to obtain a warrant before spying on American citizens.

Greene highlighted Johnson’s championing of foreign aid to other countries and funding of “forever wars.”

He funded 61 more billion dollars to Ukraine. Funded a war in Israel while he funded Hamas in Gaza. How do you support Israel when you’re funding Hamas? And gave more money away while our border stays open and today, 300 Americans will die from fentanyl. Tomorrow, 300 Americans will die from fentanyl. And the next day, 300 more Americans will die from fentanyl poisoning because there’s a war on America led by the cartels in Mexico. And nobody in Washington, DC gives a damn and has enough courage to face it.

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Massie also lashed out at Johnson, saying, “There was nothing in his prior life, political or private, that qualified him for this job.”

He is a lost ball in tall weeds. He is unequipped to negotiate with Chuck Schumer. A lot of people have ideas about why he’s betrayed us. I think it’s just pretty simple. He’s over his head. I would say there are at least a dozen members of our conference who either politically or privately have done things in their life that qualify them to lead. I’d be willing to consider any of them.

The move to remove Johnson as speaker is not likely to succeed, given the level of support he still maintains on both sides of the aisle. Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said publicly that they will not back an effort to remove him.

The debate over the matter stems from Johnson’s foreign aid decisions, particularly when it comes to sending more taxpayer money to Ukraine. Several Republican lawmakers, even those in the conservative wing of the party, have indicated they would not support the initiative to remove Johnson as speaker.

“I oppose a motion to vacate at the current time,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who led the ouster against former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) said the move is “pretty much not gonna happen” because they are “at too much of a slim majority.”

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) shared these sentiments, noting that he is “not hearing a lot of critical mass for it” and that “it’s not the time. Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) said he has “left the door open” to ousting Johnson, but he does not “think it’s good timing” because “if it was triggered, I don’t think it would pass.”

On the other side of the aisle, Democrats have already said they would protect Johnson. “We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair,” said House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

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