Greene, Johnson to Meet Again Amid Ouster Threat

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and the speaker met for two hours on May 6 in a closed-door meeting in the speaker’s office.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) will hold another meeting on May 7 to continue discussing Ms. Greene’s ongoing threat to bring a motion to vacate to the floor.

That comes after Ms. Greene and the speaker met for two hours in Mr. Johnson’s office on May 6 about her threat last week, when she said she was “absolutely bringing” a vote on the motion to vacate this week.

“We’re going to be meeting again tomorrow based on the discussion that we’ve had. And so we really don’t have any news to report,” Ms. Greene, joined by Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), said during brief remarks to reporters after the closed-door meeting.

Ms. Greene declined to answer questions about what happened in the meeting, including whether she still planned to force a vote on the measure. She also declined to answer a question about whether Mr. Johnson had offered concessions to avoid a vote.

The remarks were a tone shift from her fiery speech outside the Capitol last week, when she vowed to put both Republicans and Democrats on the record on the issue.

After the meeting, it’s unclear whether Mr. Johnson will face a vote to strip him of the gavel in the coming days.

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House Democrat leaders said they would vote to shelve a motion to vacate advanced by Ms. Greene, effectively ensuring its defeat on the House floor.

Although that could be viewed as a victory for Mr. Johnson, he may also face further scrutiny from the right flank for having to rely on Democrats to save his speakership.

Ms. Greene, who is publicly supported by two Republicans, Mr. Massie and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), first offered the motion to vacate in March to serve as a “warning” after the speaker advanced a $1.2 trillion government funding bill with broad Democrat support.

Since then, Mr. Johnson’s vote against adding a warrant requirement to a bill reauthorizing controversial surveillance powers and his move to take up a $95 billion foreign aid bill funding Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific that didn’t include border security measures stirred outrage among some conservatives, including Ms. Greene.

Mr. Massie, who joined Ms. Greene at a May 1 press conference when she announced she would activate the motion to vacate in the week of May 5, defended the Georgia Republican.

“I think she’s gone about this in a very reasonable way. She’s given the speaker multiple chances to resign, to leave. And instead, he’s clinging to power by clinging to Democrats,” he said.

Undaunted that Democrats are poised to protect Mr. Johnson by voting to table her motion, Ms. Greene said: “I believe in recorded votes. That is our job—our job is to vote.”

“If this vote fails,” she said, “that’s a list of names—and the voters and the American people … they deserve that list.”

Mr. Johnson responded to Ms. Greene’s announcement, calling it a “dangerous gambit” that would throw Congress into dysfunction.

“This motion is wrong for the Republican conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country,” the speaker said in a statement on May 1.

Many Republicans have echoed this sentiment, apparently not eager for a repeat of October 2023, when eight Republicans voted with all Democrats to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), throwing the House into weeks of paralysis before Mr. Johnson was elected.

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) said he thought the procedure was being used improperly.

“I don’t think you enact a motion to vacate in the manner that it’s [being] done; it’s as serious as impeachment,” he said. “There should be at least some standards, moral standards, such as if someone were to engage in an unethical action, or crime.”

Rep. Monica De La Cruz (R-Texas) said she doesn’t believe this is what the country wants. The lawmaker also said she thought Mr. Johnson deserved the support of the Republican Party.

Democrats

When House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) and other Democrat leaders announced they would shield Mr. Johnson from Ms. Greene’s effort to oust him, they cited the speaker’s help in passing the $95 billion foreign aid package.

“At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” they said in an April 30 statement.

House Democrats were told to vote their conscience on the issue. Many were on board with the plan to protect the Republican speaker.

“I’m definitely open towards making sure that speaker Johnson continues,” Rep. Don Davis (D-N.C.) said.

Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) went a bit further.

“I think there will be Democrats who would rather reward a speaker for doing the right thing than reward Marjorie Taylor Greene, and her effort to overtake the House,” he said.

Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) expressed reservations about killing the motion to vacate.

“Now is certainly not the time to vacate the speaker’s chair,” he said.

The Georgia representative said he was troubled by some of Mr. Johnson’s viewpoints, saying they were almost enough to disqualify him as speaker of the House.

“But he is our speaker,” he said, “and he has acted responsibly by bringing the supplemental appropriations bill to the floor of the House at personal peril.”

Rep. Annie Kuster (D-Pa.), in voicing her support for tabling the motion to vacate, criticized Ms. Greene.

“She’s been a thorn in our side for a long time; now she’s a thorn in [the GOP’s] side,” Ms. Kuster said. “So, I’m thrilled to take the position that she is a paper tiger, she doesn’t speak for anyone, she can’t count, and she doesn’t have the votes.”

But other Democrats were wary of bailing out Mr. Johnson.

“If you’re asking me, do I believe Democrats should help Mike Johnson, I do not … he is very right-wing. I don’t know why I’d support that,” Rep. Gerald Connolly (D-Va.) said.

“Frankly, if he stays in office at the sufferance of Democrats, he’s a marked man in his own party.”

Rep. Delia Ramirez (D-Ill.) spoke even more firmly.

“Mike Johnson is absolutely against everything that I believe in,” she said. “There is no way I would vote for someone like him to be able to stay in his seat. Let the Republicans, and maybe others do that, but that won’t be me.”

When Ms. Greene brings the motion to the floor, leadership will be required to hold a vote on it within a few days. Normally, a motion to vacate requires a simple majority to pass, but in this case, a member is expected to bring up a motion to table the measure. This is likely to succeed, which would put off a formal vote on the issue altogether.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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