First Democrat Pledges Vote to Save Mike Johnson If Needed

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to vacate last month.

California Rep. Ro Khanna, a Democrat, on April 21, became the first member of his party to publicly say he would support House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) if a GOP motion to vacate the seat moves forward.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) filed a motion to vacate last month after Mr. Johnson supported a resolution that the House passed to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Currently, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) have publicly said they would back Ms. Greene’s move, although more could soon join.

Anger against Mr. Johnson’s leadership has grown in recent days as the House of Representatives on Saturday passed a package of controversial foreign aid and geopolitical security legislation.

The $95 billion package included foreign assistance for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. It also contained a bill that could lead to TikTok being banned, bundled with legislation that allows for the seizure of assets owned by Russian oligarchs.

The most controversial of these bills was a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine, which ultimately passed the House in a broad bipartisan 311–112 vote. A majority of the House Republican Conference opposed the legislation.

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Mr. Khanna, who describes himself as a “progressive Democrat,” said that Mr. Johnson needs “credit” for the aid package, adding that he would vote to shelve a motion to vacate him, a move that would essentially keep the motion to remove him in limbo.

Khanna’s Support

Mr. Khanna noted he and Mr. Johnson came to Congress at the same time, noting that he believed Mr. Johnson cared about civility.

“I’m a progressive Democrat, and I think you would have a few progressive Democrats doing that, and I disagree with Speaker Johnson on many issues,” he told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday. “But he did the right thing here and he deserves to keep his job until the end of this term.”

Democrats did not extend the same hand to former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) last October, joining with eight Republican lawmakers who voted to oust their speaker.

Aside from Mr. Khanna, another Democrat, Florida Rep. Jared Moskowitz, criticized Ms. Greene’s motion to oust Mr. Johnson and her comments on the passage of the foreign aid bills.

“What Marjorie Taylor Greene and what Thomas Massie and what Paul Gosar are trying to accomplish by removing the speaker of the House in this very moment after Oct. 7 would only embolden China, it would only embolden Russia, [and] it would only embolden Iran,” Mr. Moskowitz said on Fox News this Sunday.

Also on Sunday, Ms. Greene threatened to activate her motion to vacate, which she filed as an unprivileged bill that has held it off from being brought for an immediate vote if Johnson doesn’t resign.

“Mike Johnson’s speakership is over,” Ms. Greene said on a Fox News program on Sunday. “He needs to do the right thing to resign and allow us to move forward in a controlled process. If he doesn’t do so, he will be vacated.”

Johnson Defends Himself

Mr. Johnson has said he won’t resign and thus far has brushed off the threat of his removal. If Ms. Greene makes good on her threat, Johnson would almost certainly need help from Democrats to keep his job, given his party’s historically slim one-vote majority.

Mr. Johnson said in remarks following Saturday’s foreign aid passage that despite criticism for pushing through the legislation, it did not represent a “blank check” and was passed in light of worldwide events in Russia, Iran, and China.

“I have to do my job. We did. I’ve done here what I believe to be the right thing, and that is to allow the House to work its will,” he said on Saturday. “And as I’ve said, you do the right thing and you let the chips fall where they may, and I’ll continue to do that.”

Minority Leader Hakim Jeffries (D-N.Y.) hinted in a press conference last week that his party would be willing to help Mr. Johnson keep the speaker’s gavel.

“If the speaker will do the right thing and allow the House to have an up or down vote on the national security bill, I believe that there are a reasonable number of Democrats who would not want to see the speaker fall.”

Joseph Lord and Jack Phillips contributed to this report.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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