Marjorie Taylor Greene Ups Ante Against Johnson: ‘Republican Speaker Should Not Be Executing Democrats’ Agenda’

UNITED STATES - MAY 18: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., conducts a news conference in
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) escalated her war against Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) Tuesday with a missive that will greet weary lawmakers returning to the Capitol for a tense two-week legislative burst that might be the most treacherous period of Johnson’s speakership.

Greene’s letter is the latest attack in her weeks-long crusade against Johnson that gained legislative legitimacy when she filed a motion to vacate the chair on March 22. That motion could strip Johnson’s gavel just as the House did to then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) in October.

She filed her motion the day Johnson passed a massive $1.2 trillion government funding plan over the objections of the majority of House Republicans, a move Greene says “broke our conference rules and the promises we made to our voters.”

The House adopted rules at the beginning of the 118th Congress intended to allow members at least 72 hours to review all legislation before voting. The 1,000-plus page spending bill was presented to members before 3:00 a.m. Eastern on Thursday morning, less than 36 hours before the vote.

More significantly, the bill was opposed by 112 Republicans, with only 101 Republican votes in support despite significant pressure from Johnson and his leadership team. By passing a bill under suspension of the rules – bypassing the Republican-controlled Rules Committee – and relying on Democrat support to pass a bill opposed by the majority of his party, Johnson violated the Hastert Rule, an informal rule that Republican speakers should never bring forward a bill opposed by the majority of his party.

Greene opposed that minibus – the second part of a two-tiered, or “laddered” omnibus spending bill – on its merits as well. She writes, “There is little daylight between Nancy Pelosi’s omnibus in the 117th Congress and Mike Johnson’s omnibus in the 118th Congress, in spite of Americans giving Republicans the majority in order to stop the Democrats’ ‘America Last’ destructive agenda.”

But her concerns with Johnson’s speakership are much broader than the months-long funding fight which culminated in the omnibus – almost six months after the original deadline, which occurred before Johnson grabbed the gavel.

Greene says the Speaker “has unfortunately not lived up to a single one of his self-imposed tenets,” referring to a letter Johnson sent his colleagues in October 2023 outlining the seven tenets that would guide the conference under his leadership. She writes:

Allowing us one day, rather than 72 hours, to review a 1000-plus page bill to which no amendments could be offered was not “ensuring total transparency, open processes, and regular order.” Relying on majority Democrat support to pass a two-part omnibus was not “advancing a policy agenda supported by Conference consensus.” Working behind closed doors with Democrats to produce appropriations texts, NDAA text, and other legislative items was not “working to understand and emphasize each Member’s unique strengths,” and it certainly was not “engaging Members” to work together on consensus legislation. Expelling George Santos, who has not been convicted of any crime, and watching Members retire left and right was not “developing and growing our majority.” Fully funding abortion, the trans agenda, the climate agenda, foreign wars, and Biden’s border crisis is not “ensuring liberty, opportunity, and security for all Americans.”

Her letter asserts that spending bills were Republicans’ best chance of enacting meaningful legislation to address the immigration surge, a top priority for the Republican base. “Even with our razor-thin Republican majority, we could have at least secured the border, with it being the number one issue in the country and being the issue that is causing Biden to lose in poll after poll.”

She continues, “Instead, Mike Johnson worked with Chuck Schumer rather than with us, and gave Joe Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted no different from how a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries would have done,” citing numerous areas funded by the bill which she and conservatives oppose.

Greene’s articulate presentation of her case against Johnson comes as the House reconvenes for a two-week work period highlighted by consideration of bills reauthorizing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and providing foreign aid funding.

Johnson is under fire on both fronts. He stripped provisions from the FISA authorization bill to bar data brokers from selling Americans’ data to intelligence and law enforcement agencies – a provision he voted for before he gained the gavel. And many conservatives and liberals alike are wary the bill will not require the intelligence community to obtain warrants before spying on Americans.

But more significantly – certainly to Greene – Johnson has vowed to make a “priority” of advancing a foreign aid bill to funnel tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer funding to Ukraine’s flailing and seemingly hopeless war effort against Russia. Johnson’s evolution on this issue since becoming Speaker — from ardent opposition to falling in line with President Joe Biden and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) — has flummoxed Capitol Hill, with Greene and others speculating that Johnson is being blackmailed.

Johnson must walk a fine line or risk Greene – or another Republican – triggering a vote on a motion to vacate, which House rules would require. Despite her broad concerns, many Members and others inside the Capitol believe Greene’s continued pressure on Johnson has been a threat to ensure he does not act on Ukraine funding and thereby lose his gavel.

The dynamics have changed since the House booted McCarthy. Republican retirements – and the expulsion of Santos – mean Johnson can only lose one Republican vote. And despite the same suggestions to Johnson that Democrats floated to McCarthy that they would save his speakership, Democrats are no more likely to vote to save Johnson’s gavel than one or more Republicans are likely to deliver the gavel to Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

But Greene predicts, “No, electing a new Republican Speaker will not give the majority to the Democrats. That only happens if more Republicans retire early, or Republicans actually vote for Hakeem Jeffries. It’s not complicated, it’s simple math.”

Yet in a Congress that will forever be remembered for slim majorities, wild antics, and the unprecedented, anything could happen. Perhaps the only certainty is that this Congress will not be remembered as one in which a Republican House majority scored any significant accomplishment.

“As a matter of fact, if we win the House this fall, it will only be because President Trump is on the ballot, not because we have earned it,” Greene says.

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


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