POLITICS & ELECTIONS

House quickly rejects Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Johnson from office

May 8, 2024, 5:58 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)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hardline Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene tried and failed in sudden action Wednesday to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, her long-shot effort swiftly and resoundingly rejected by Democrats and Republicans tired of the political chaos.

One of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress, Greene stood on the House floor and read a long list of “transgressions” she said Johnson had committed as speaker. Colleagues booed in protest.

Greene of Georgia criticized Johnson’s leadership as “pathetic, weak and unacceptable.”

No sooner than Greene triggered the vote on her motion to vacate the speaker from his office, the Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise countered by calling first for a vote to table it.

An overwhelming majority, 359-43, kept Johnson in his job, for now.

Democrats say they will save Speaker Mike Johnson’s job if Republicans try to oust him

It’s the second time in a matter of months that Republicans have tried to oust their own speaker, an unheard of level of party turmoil with a move rarely seen in U.S. history.

As Greene pressed ahead despite pushback from Republicans at the highest levels, including Trump, GOP lawmakers filtered towards Johnson, giving him pats on the back and grasping his shoulder to assure him of their support.

“As I’ve said from the beginning, and I’ve made clear here every day, I intend to do my job,” Johnson said afterward. “And I’ll let the chips fall where they may. In my view, that is leadership.”

Johnson said the “distraction” was behind him and said he hoped it “is the end of the personality politics.”

The Georgia Republican had vowed she would force a vote on the motion to vacate the Republican speaker if he dared to advance a foreign aid package with funds for Ukraine, which was overwhelmingly approved late last month and signed into law.

But in recent days it seemed her effort had cooled, as she and Johnson met repeatedly for a potential resolution.

Marjorie Taylor Greene calls on Johnson to resign after foreign aid bills pass

Johnson of Louisiana marched on, saying he had been willing to take the risk to approve the foreign aid, believing it was important for the U.S. to back Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and explaining he wanted to be on the “right side of history.”

In a highly unusual move, the speaker received a boost from Democrats led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, whose leadership team had said it was time to “turn the page” on the GOP turmoil and vote to table Greene’s resolution — almost ensuring Johnson’s job is saved, for now.

“Our decision to stop Marjorie Taylor Green from plunging the country into further chaos is rooted in our commitment to solve problems,” Jeffries said after the vote.

Trump had also weighed in after Johnson trekked to Mar-a-Lago last month for support, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee giving the speaker his nod of approval. And Trump’s hand-picked leader at the Republican National Committee urged House Republicans off the move.

Ahead of House voting, Trump said on social media, “I absolutely love Marjorie Taylor Greene,” but he said Republicans need to be fighting now to defeat Democrats in the November election. He urged Republicans to table Greene’s motion.

“At some point, we may very well be, but this is not the time,” Trump said, to oust the speaker.

Johnson won’t change rules over removing him from speakership after hardliners revolt

The move now poses its own political risks for Greene, a high-profile provocateur.

Greene was determined to force her colleagues to be on the record with their vote – putting them in the politically uncomfortable position of backing the speaker and seen as joining forces with Democrats to save him.

The tally showed the strength, but also the weakness, of her effort, as most lawmakers voted to move past the infighting and allow the Republican speaker, just six months in the office, to keep the gavel.

“The Democrats saved him,” Greene said afterward.

Without Democratic support, the vote would most likely have ended differently for Johnson who holds one of the slimmest majorities in the House in modern times, with no votes to spare.

Last year, the House chamber was brought to a standstill when eight Republicans voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s office and Democrats declined to help save him, the first such removal of a House speaker in U.S. history.

Ousting McCarthy resulted in a nearly monthlong search for a new GOP leader, throwing the chamber into turmoil with an episode Republicans wanted to avoid before seeking voter support in the November election.

__

Associated Press writers Stephen Groves, Mary Clare Jalonick and Michelle Price contributed to this report.

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.

2 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.

House quickly rejects Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to remove Speaker Johnson from office