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Democratic Leaders Pledge to Protect Speaker Johnson from Greene’s Motion to Vacate

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: Responsible Statecraft)

House Democratic leaders, including Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, and caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, announced on Tuesday that they will support Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) against a potential conservative coup, ensuring he will remain in the position for the rest of the term.

This move is an outstanding development in the ongoing Speaker saga that has hindered the GOP’s governing majority since the start of the 118th Congress.

The announcement is a response to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) threat to oust Johnson due to his deals with President Biden on federal spending, government surveillance, and aid to Ukraine.

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Credits: NBC News)

Greene’s resolution, introduced over a month ago, has only gained support from two other GOP representatives, Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). However, with the backing of Democratic leaders, Johnson is now insulated from Greene’s ouster effort.

The Democratic leaders stated, “At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction… We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

Greene responded swiftly, vowing to bring her resolution to the floor, although she did not specify when. She wrote on the social platform X, “If the Democrats want to elect him Speaker (and some Republicans want to support the Democrats’ chosen Speaker), I’ll give them the chance to do it… Americans deserve to see the Uniparty on full display. I’m about to give them their coming out party!”

The Democratic leaders made their announcement as Johnson and other top Republicans were holding a press conference, catching the Speaker off guard. Johnson stated, “First I’ve heard of it… I have to do my job. We have to do what we believe to be the right thing. What the country needs right now is a functioning Congress.”

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Credits: NBC News)

Johnson rejected the notion that he made a deal with Jeffries for Democratic support, saying, “There’s no deals at all… I’ve not requested assistance from anyone, I’ve not focused on that at all. I’ve focused on getting the job done and getting the legislation passed.”

The Democratic support may put Johnson in a difficult position, subjecting him to conservative criticism for being propped up by liberals.

However, Johnson emphasized his responsibility to steer the House among global conflicts, stating, “The Speaker of the House serves the whole body… I am a conservative Republican — a lifelong conservative Republican. That’s what my philosophy is, that’s what my record is, and we’ll continue to govern on those principles.”

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