Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is making a motion to impeach Speaker Mike Johnson

(Mike Stewart/Associated Press)

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is making a motion to impeach Speaker Mike Johnson


March 22, 2024

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson is at risk of impeachment after far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to resign Friday amid a vote on a $1.2 trillion package to open the government. hold.

It’s the same political dynamic that unseated the last Republican chairman, Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield, five months ago when far-right conservatives rebelled against his compromise with Democrats to avoid a federal shutdown. But this one faces greater odds with less GOP support.

The House of Representatives will leave town at the end of Friday’s session for a two-week spring recess, and it is doubtful whether a vote on Johnson’s removal from Louisiana will happen anytime soon.

Speaker Johnson always listens to members’ concerns but is focused on governing, spokesman Raj Shah said. He will continue to push conservative legislation that secures our border, strengthens our national defense and demonstrates how well our majority is growing.

Under the rules, any member can privilege the motion, meaning leaders must schedule a vote within two legislative days. But it could also simply sit until lawmakers return next month.

Greene, of Georgia, said she gave Johnson a warning but gave no timetable for her next step.

We have turned back the clock to begin the process of electing a new president, she said on the steps of the Capitol.

But even the threat of removal, the ultimate punishment for a speaker, will hang over Johnson’s young speaker, who has been in office for only a few months, especially now that he wants to pass on funding to Ukraine, which is opposed by far-right Republicans .

No speaker had been removed in this way until the dramatic impeachment of McCarthy last fall, a swift, stunning and chaotic episode that shuttered the House chamber for weeks as Republicans searched for a new speaker.

Greene is a key ally of the Republicans’ presumptive 2024 presidential nominee, former President Trump. And McCarthy was led by a similar contingent of far-right Republicans led by Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz from Florida.

The Georgian congresswoman has spoken out strongly against the House of Representatives’ passage of the funding bill, and she has warned that she would seek to remove the speaker if he goes ahead with a package to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion.

Johnson has refused to put a Senate-passed $95 billion national security package with Ukrainian funds to a vote in the House of Representatives, but he has nonetheless pledged to fund Ukraine if


next priority. The threat of expulsion against him now jeopardizes all votes to help Ukraine.

With the smallest majority in modern times, Johnson has a tenuous hold on his Republicans in the House of Representatives. He can only risk a few defectors on each vote, which means he could be




unless the Democrats act with their votes to protect him.

Still, many Republicans in Congress were embarrassed by McCarthy’s removal as chairman, exposing deep intraparty divisions and infighting that left their new majority, in power since January, unable to fully function in terms of priorities.

The night before Friday’s vote, Gaetz warned against efforts to impeach Johnson, saying Republican lawmakers fed up with the process would cross the aisle and vote for the Democratic leader, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

If we leave this speaker, we would end up with a Democrat, Gaetz predicted late Thursday. When I cleared the last one, I promised the country that we would not end up with a Democratic speaker. I couldn’t make that promise again today.

The idea of ​​a Republican House majority casting votes to make a Democrat Speaker of the House would be an unprecedented political situation.

But with Republicans at war with each other, this could also happen as they try to return Congress to a sense of normalcy.

Mascaro, Amiri and Groves write for the Associated Press.


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