'A foolish move': Marjorie Taylor Greene re-traumatizes House Republicans with her threat to oust Mike Johnson

  • Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to oust Mike Johnson. It's unclear if it will ever get a vote.

  • But Republicans are already groaning about the move after the chaos they endured last time.

  • "I think it's not a good move," said one House Republican. "I think it's a foolish move."

Just a few months after their 23 days of speaker-less chaos, House Republicans are facing the possibility that it might all happen again.

On Friday, before the House narrowly passed a $1.2 trillion government funding bill that most Republicans voted against, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a "motion to vacate" — aka, a resolution that would remove Speaker Mike Johnson if passed.

The Georgia Republican, who was immediately greeted by a throng of reporters and cameras after filing her motion, declared that she was issuing "more of a warning" to Johnson over what she sees as conservative losses in recent government funding bills.

Unlike the effort led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida in October, Greene isn't forcing an immediate vote on the resolution — though she could at any time. She told reporters that she does not "wish to inflict pain on our conference and to throw the House in chaos."

But all it took was the mere threat to reopen old wounds for House Republicans.

Several condemned the idea of ousting Johnson, pointing to the trauma of October when the Louisiana Republican emerged from relative obscurity to become speaker after several rounds of failed speaker candidates and the first successful motion to vacate in American history. It was a tough time for the GOP conference, with one Republican even being driven to stress-vomiting.

"We exhausted, I think, our viable Republican candidates that have the experience and the credibility to govern a conference with near unanimity," said Rep. John Duarte, a swing district Republican from California. "I don't know what it looks like going forward if this motion to vacate succeeds."

"I think we need to think about, 'What does Marjorie's March Madness bracket look like?'" Duarte added. "We should all make a bracket of Marjorie's March Madness, and try and guess who the next speaker is going to be."

"Some members of the conference would rather grandstand and create chaos than actually govern," said Rep. Mike Lawler, a swing district Republican from New York, as he marveled at the gaggle surrounding Greene just a few feet in front of him.

"I think it's not a good move," said Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida. "I think it's a foolish move."

Other Republicans who have been critical of Johnson — or even voted to oust Kevin McCarthy — did not immediately jump to Greene's side in support.

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas told reporters that he was "focused on the appropriations bills" and did not directly weigh in on whether he would support a motion to vacate.

Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, was similarly noncommittal. "I'm interested in keeping the speaker a Republican," he said.

Of course, a big part of the reason McCarthy was ousted in October was because every House Democrat voted for Gaetz's resolution. At the time, they argued that McCarthy had done nothing to win their support, and that they didn't owe anything to a speaker who they had come to revile.

Lawler was eager to put the onus on Democrats, saying they "should be very clear with the American people now that they're not going to entertain this."

In general, Democrats have been willing to talk about saving Johnson from a motion to vacate — if he brings the $93.5 billion Ukraine and Israel aid bill up for a vote.

"I don't even care if he votes for the bill. I just want him to bring it," said Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, who recently traveled to Kyiv. "If that's the circumstance, then I would motion to table [Greene's motion to vacate] at that point."

But Lawler fiercely rejected the notion that Johnson owes Democrats anything in exchange for their votes.

"They don't need assurances, they don't need deals," said Lawler. "They should just make it clear, 'We're not going to participate in this.' That would seem like the appropriate thing to do for the country."

Read the original article on Business Insider