Speaker Johnson faces threat of ouster vote in pivotal week as he meets with Marjorie Taylor Greene

May 6, 2024, 9:13 PM

House Speaker Mike Johnson, at left, and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, at righ...

House Speaker Mike Johnson, at left, and Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, at right, are pictured. (Reuters, Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(Reuters, Getty Images via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — House Speaker Mike Johnson is expected to confront a vote over his ouster in the coming days, a pivotal moment that presents a major leadership test for the Louisiana Republican even though he is expected to prevail.

House Democratic leaders have said that Democrats will vote to kill the effort led by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, effectively ensuring Johnson won’t lose his job.

Johnson met with Greene on Monday for around two hours in his office. After the meeting concluded, Greene said they would meet again on Tuesday, but declined to provide details about what was discussed or say if she would still force a vote seeking his ouster this week.

“We just had a very long discussion with the speaker. We are going to be meeting again tomorrow based on the discussion that we’ve had so we really don’t have any news to report at this time,” Greene said.

Johnson told CNN after meeting with Greene, “We had a productive discussion and we talked about some ideas and we’re gonna meet again tomorrow. So I think we’ll be able to get everybody on the same page.”

Moving on from issue

A failed vote would give Johnson an opportunity to argue that it is time to move on from the issue. But support from Democrats will open Johnson up to even more criticism from his right flank.

It’s not yet clear how many Republicans would vote against Johnson – the higher the number, the more of a blow it could prove to be to the speaker’s standing within the House GOP conference.

Greene has said she will force a vote in the coming days, escalating pressure on Johnson and setting up a major showdown on the House floor. Even if the vote fails, as expected, it still threatens to intensify divisions among House Republicans, who control a razor-thin majority.

Former President Donald Trump and Greene have spoken about her motion to vacate within the last week, multiple sources with knowledge of the call told CNN. Trump did not directly tell Greene to drop the motion, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee discussed party unity and signaled that the motion might be distracting, one source said, noting that he listened to Greene’s reasoning and wasn’t too forceful with her.

Many Republicans oppose the push to oust Johnson and do not want to see the conference devolve into bitter infighting like it did after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a historic and unprecedented vote last year.

Greene and other hardline conservatives, however, have been highly critical of Johnson’s speakership. Conservative anger at Johnson intensified after he worked to help pass a major foreign aid package with assistance for Ukraine last month.

Johnson says he won’t resign

Johnson has defended his leadership against the threat, saying that he will not resign and warning that a vote to oust him could cause chaos in the House.

“This motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country,” the speaker said in a statement after Greene announced she would move forward with a vote.

Two other Republicans are publicly supporting Greene’s motion to vacate: Massie and Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.

“I believe in recorded votes. That is our job – our job is to vote,” Greene said at a news conference where she announced she would trigger a vote.

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

Greene has been dangling the threat of an ouster vote for weeks. She originally filed the motion to oust Johnson in March amid conservative anger over his handling of the government funding fight.

The congresswoman also has not ruled out the possibility of forcing repeated votes in the future after the coming vote.

“I haven’t made a decision on that yet,” she said at the news conference.

A floor vote to oust Johnson would require a majority to succeed, but a motion to table – or kill – the resolution is expected to be offered and voted on first.

House GOP leaders plan to quickly take up and kill Greene’s motion, according to GOP sources. Depending on attendance, they could vote the same day she offers it.

Johnson met with the conservative House Freedom Caucus Monday night, per a source familiar, as he continues to try to stave off ouster threats. Greene was booted from the caucus in July 2023.

In the wake of Johnson’s push to pass the foreign aid package over the objections of hardline conservatives, House Democratic leadership announced that Democrats would help Johnson keep his job by voting to table if the issue arose.

But House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries would not commit last week to having Democrats save Johnson from multiple attempts to oust him if conservatives trigger repeated votes in the future.

Jeffries said the Democratic caucus “will take it one step at a time.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Politics & Elections

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hea...

Rashard Rose and Jack Forrest, CNN

Romney says if he were president he would have immediately pardoned Trump

Sen. Mitt Romney said that if he were president he would have “immediately pardoned” former President Donald Trump.

1 day ago

Landscape fabric covers the ground at a legal cannabis farm near Brewster, in north-central Washing...

Lindsay Whitehurst, Associated Press

Justice Department formally moves to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug in historic shift

The Justice Department has formally moved to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, a historic shift in generations of U.S. drug policy.

2 days ago

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the National Peace Officers M...

Alanna Durkin Richer and Colleen Long

White House blocks release of Biden’s special counsel interview audio, says GOP is being political

The White House has blocked the release of audio from President Joe Biden’s interview with a special counsel about his handling of classified documents.

2 days ago

Fourth District congressional candidate Jake Hunsaker answers questions next to an empty podium dur...

Lindsay Aerts

Utah’s primary debates begin June 10

The Utah Debate Commission will host its series of local and federal primary debates starting June 10 ahead of Utah’s primary election on June 25.

3 days ago

FILE: Signs promoting the vice presidential debate are pictured on the University of Utah campus in...

Lindsay Aerts

Trump and Biden plan to skip October presidential debate in Utah

A planned presidential debate in October at the University of Utah is in serious jeopardy of officially being called off.

3 days ago

FILE: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks to the media prior to talks with German Chancellor O...

Karel Janicek

Slovakia’s populist prime minister shot multiple times in attempted assassination

Slovakia’s populist prime minister has been shot multiple times and gravely wounded after a political event.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Speaker Johnson faces threat of ouster vote in pivotal week as he meets with Marjorie Taylor Greene