Democrats Could Save Speaker Johnson from Potential GOP Ouster Effort

Mike Johnson
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Congressional Democrats appear ready to save Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) from a motion to vacate if one is triggered, according to a report.

“More than two dozen Democrats told POLITICO they expect a swath of the party to step in and save the Republican speaker,” should Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) move on her motion to vacate against him, the outlet’s Nicholas Wu and Daniella Diaz reported.

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) bluntly predicted that most Democrats in the conference would back Johnson if a privileged motion to vacate arose.

Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez (D-WA) told Politico that Johnson “showed he was a leader worth saving” by moving his $95 billion foreign aid package, which includes nearly $61 billion for Ukraine.

“So if he keeps acting the same way, I’d keep voting the same way. I wouldn’t vote for him in an election for speaker, of course. But that’s a much different circumstance,” she added.

Johnson’s bundling of separate spending bills without any measures for border security comes months after he criticized an extremely similar package proposed by the Senate in February ahead of that bill’s release.

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“House Republicans were crystal clear from the very beginning of discussions that any so-called national security supplemental legislation must recognize that national security begins at our own border,” Johnson said.

Greene filed her motion to vacate in March, moments before Johnson broke the Hastert Rule on the omnibus vote, and it gained support in light of the Speaker’s actions last week and over the weekend. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) cosponsored Greene’s motion, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) signed on after the package passed the House.

The motion differs from Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL), which was used to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), as it is not privileged, meaning the House does not have to consider it immediately. If Greene makes it privileged, the House would have to consider it within two days.

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On April 17, Massie laid out the vision to Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily that he would like to see, in which Johnson agrees to resign as Speaker upon the conference coming to a consensus on a successor. This would prevent a period of chaos similar to speaker-less weeks in the House after McCarthy was vacated.

“We don’t want to have a chance of having Hakeem Jeffries as speaker,” Massie emphasized. “We would like to continue doing subpoenas and hearings and passing bills, even though they may go nowhere in the Senate, and we’d like to still have a speaker in that chair.”


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