Marjorie Taylor Greene Files Motion to Vacate Speaker Mike Johnson

marjorie taylor greene mike johnson

Marjorie Taylor Greene has filed a motion to vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson, plunging Republicans into a state of uncertainty ahead of Friday night’s government funding deadline.

Greene and other far-right Republicans have been livid over Speaker Johnson agreeing to a bipartisan bill aimed at avoiding a government shutdown. “No Republican in the House of Representatives in good conscience can vote for this bill,” the Georgia representative railed on the House floor. “It is a complete departure from all of our principles. … This is not a Republican bill. This is a Chuck Schumer, Democrat-controlled bill coming from the House majority that is supposed to be controlled by Republicans.”

The House Freedom Caucus, of which Greene is no longer a member, held a press conference earlier Friday morning to express their displeasure with the bill. “This is capitulation,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) said. “This is surrender.” The group’s chairman, Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), wasn’t interested in a motion to vacate Johnson, however. “This is not a personnel discussion for us today,” he said, according to NBC News. “We’re talking about the bill and the policy today.”

Greene had other ideas, filing a motion to strip Johnson of the Speaker’s gavel. The House won’t have the opportunity to vote on the motion until after it returns from a two-week recess, but Greene’s colleagues are already speaking out in opposition of the measure.

“If we vacated this Speaker, we’d end up with a Democrat,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) said. “When I vacated the last one, I made a promise to the country that we would not end up with the Democrat Speaker. And I was right. I couldn’t make that promise again.”

Gaetz was behind the motion to vacate former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy last October. McCarthy’s ouster sent Republicans into a weeks-long tailspin as they repeatedly tried and failed to put forth a replacement the entire party supported. The GOP’s narrow majority in the House meant they could only afford to lose a scant few dissenters and still elect a new Speaker, as Democrats voted as a bloc for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). Mike Johnson, then a largely unknown representative from Louisiana, was ultimately elected in later in October.

Gaetz isn’t the only Republican who isn’t a fan of Greene’s motion to vacate Johnson. “I don’t know what this accomplishes,” Rep. Lisa McClain (R-Mich.) said, according to Semafor. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) also said he wouldn’t move to oust Johnson. “No, he’s not lied to me,” he said, according to NBC News. Burchett was one of eight Republicans, along with Gaetz, who voted to oust McCarthy in October.


Greene’s motion could once again descend the GOP into a dysfunctional mess — moreso than it already is, anyway — right as election season starts to kick into gear. She insisted to reported, however, that the move is “more of a warning and a pink slip” and that she does “not wish to inflict pain on our conference and throw the House in chaos.”

We’ll see. “We need to find a new Speaker of the House,” Greene added, noting that Johnson is “already in the arms of Democrats.”

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