GOP rep on effort to oust Speaker Johnson: ‘I don’t know who would want the job at this point’

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) on Wednesday lambasted any Republican looking to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), arguing the Louisiana Republican is doing the job “very admirably” given the circumstances.

“I’m standing with the Speaker because I actually consider him a friend, and I think he is trying to do the toughest job in politics. And I think given all the circumstances, he’s doing it very admirably,” Armstrong said during an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

“My recommendation to any of my colleagues that are thinking about doing this — go back to October where we have 13 weeks where we go through all of this,” he continued. “Now, we’re walking into an election cycle. We have tremendous things that we can campaign on across our districts and by throwing ourselves into chaos without having any kind of real succession plan … I mean just to be honest, I don’t know how would want the job if this succeeds at this point.”

Johnson is facing the threat of being ousted from his role in the wake of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) motion to vacate the Speakership. Rep. Thomas Massie (Ky.) emerged on Tuesday as the first Republican to publicly back the motion, citing Johnson’s plan to put Ukraine aid on the floor, along with his handling of government funding and the reauthorization of the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance authority.

Armstrong joins a series of lawmakers who have warned against moving forward with the motion to vacate. It comes just months after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was booted from the top role in the chamber over his handling of government funding and other policy disagreements.

“I do not support removing Mike as Speaker,” Armstrong said. “Again, I had the opportunity to come into Congress and serve with Mike. I think he has an incredibly tough job, and he’s doing it well.”

Infighting within the GOP conference caused the House to go without a permanent Speaker for nearly three weeks.

Johnson said he will not resign, calling the ouster effort “absurd” and “not helpful.”

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