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Conservative Coup Against Johnson Gains Momentum, Democrats Intervene

Speaker Johnson (Credits: KTSM 9 News)

The simmering debate over the fate of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) reached a boiling point on Tuesday when top Democrats announced their intention to shield the embattled GOP leader from a conservative coup.

The move was met with an immediate response from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the leader of the coup, who vowed to force a vote on Johnson’s removal.

Greene, who has been sitting on her motion to vacate resolution for over a month, accused Johnson of cutting “slimy” deals with Democrats and urged him to switch parties.

US House Republican Johnson (Credits: The Hill)

She also announced her plan to force a vote on the resolution, saying, “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.”

The drama came to light when the top three House Democrats – Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (N.Y.), Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (Mass.), and House Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (Calif.) – issued an unprompted statement announcing their intent to protect Johnson from Greene’s effort to remove his gavel.

Minority Party’s Intervention in the Move Seen as Highly Unprecedented

The plan is not to have Democrats vote for Johnson’s Speakership directly but to support a proposal to table Greene’s resolution – a procedural move preventing it from ever reaching the floor.

The move was seen as unprecedented, as the minority party rarely intervenes in the majority party’s internal affairs. However, Democrats said they wanted to reward Johnson for responsible governance and bring stability to the volatile lower chamber.

“It would be wrong to have Marjorie Taylor Greene drag him down into the gutter and drown him down there,” Rep. Juan Vargas (D-Calif.) said. “We’re not going to allow that.”

Despite the Democratic support, Johnson faces huge opposition from his own party. Greene’s threat to force a vote on the resolution has sparked a fierce debate among Republicans, with some accusing her of hypocrisy and others defending her right to challenge the Speaker.

The prospect of Democrats keeping Johnson in power has also raised questions about the impact on the Speaker’s standing in a GOP conference where conservatives are already furious at him for cutting bipartisan deals on big-ticket legislation.

Speaker Johnson (Credits: Bloomberg)

Johnson brushed off concerns about serving as a Speaker propped up by Democrats, describing his job as one that leads the entire House and not just the GOP conference.

“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,” Johnson said Tuesday.

The drama is likely to continue in the coming days, with Greene scheduled to hold a press conference on Wednesday to detail her plan. The outcome remains uncertain, but one thing is clear – the fate of Speaker Mike Johnson hangs in the balance, and the consequences of this power struggle will be far-reaching.

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