House blocks Greene’s resolution to oust Johnson

House blocks Greene’s resolution to oust Johnson

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly voted to protect Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from a conservative coup, torpedoing an effort by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to oust the GOP leader from the top job.

The chamber voted 359-43-7 on a motion to table Greene’s motion to vacate, preventing the removal resolution from hitting the floor for a vote.

The final vote — which was widely expected amid bipartisan opposition to the ouster gambit — dealt a major blow to Greene, who filed her measure more than a month ago and had threatened to trigger it ever since, all while heaping sharp criticism on the Speaker.

It means Johnson, who won the gavel in October following the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), will remain in the top job. But the vote puts him in the precarious position of being a GOP Speaker propped up by Democrats, which could earn him the ire of conservatives.

In brief remarks delivered shortly after Wednesday’s vote, Johnson thanked his colleagues for their support.

“I appreciate the show of confidence from my colleagues to defeat this misguided effort,” he said. “That is certainly what it was.”

“As I’ve said from the beginning and I’ve made clear every day, I intend to do my job. I intend to do what I believe to be the right thing, which is what I was elected to do, and I’ll let the chips fall where they may,” he continued. “In my view, that is leadership.”

Greene filed her motion to vacate Wednesday afternoon, a surprise to some after it appeared that the Georgia Republican was backing off her threat. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) immediately motioned to table the measure.

The final vote marked the end — for now — of Greene’s weeks-long threat to oust Johnson, which began in March and has grown more pronounced since. Greene left open the option of bringing another ouster vote in the future.

The Georgia Republican filed her motion to vacate more than a month ago when the House was voting on a bill to avert a government shutdown, a move that she described as a warning shot for the Speaker. Her frustrations with Johnson, however, swelled in the weeks after, particularly when he backed a bill to reauthorize the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance authority and spearheaded a foreign aid package that included billions of dollars for Ukraine.

That anger came to a head last week, when the firebrand announced that she would force a vote on Johnson’s ouster this week. Questions, however, swirled regarding whether or not she would follow through after she met with Johnson on Monday and Tuesday and issued a set of demands for the Speaker to stand down on her threat.

But on Wednesday, she decided to move forward with her maneuver.

“Weeks ago, when I filed that motion, I filed it and I said this was like a pink slip, and in my mind I was hoping it would serve to be a warning to Mike Johnson and wake him up that this can’t be allowed to continue,” Greene said Wednesday. “And apparently it didn’t’ serve to be a wake-up call at all.”

In the end, just 10 Republicans joined Greene in opposing the motion to table — including her two co-sponsors, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

Shortly after the vote closed, former President Trump — who had expressed support for Johnson in recent weeks — issued a statement that encouraged Republicans to vote in favor of the motion to table, warning that “disunity” would hurt the GOP’s chances in November, while also expressing support for Greene.

“[I]f we show DISUNITY, which will be portrayed as CHAOS, it will negatively affect everything!” Trump wrote on Truth Social. “Mike Johnson is a good man who is trying very hard. I also wish certain things were done over the last period of two months, but we will get them done, together. It is my request that Republicans vote for ‘THE MOTION TO TABLE.’ We WILL WIN BIG – AND IT WILL BE SOON!”

This story was updated at 10 p.m.

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