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Senate Conservatives Reject Greene’s Proposal to Remove Speaker Johnson as ‘Horrible Idea’

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Credits: Vanity Fair)

Senate conservatives are urging Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to abandon her attempt to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.)., deeming it futile and distracting from more pressing legislative priorities ahead of the November election.

Greene filed a motion to vacate the speakership last month, protesting Johnson’s handling of Ukraine aid, government spending, and the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

However, her effort has garnered little support among Senate conservatives, who believe Johnson is the right person to lead the conference and that a leadership change at this time would be political malpractice.

Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) told The Hill, “It’s a horrible idea. Moses could not do a better job than what Mike Johnson is doing right now.” Marshall praised Johnson’s leadership, saying, “I think he’s doing the very best possible job in the situation with a slim majority where the Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

Marjorie Taylor Greene (Credits: Michigan Advance)

There’s no more conservative person over there who can be elected Speaker than Mike Johnson.” Johnson has been dismissive of Greene’s effort, recently stating in an interview that he does not consider her a severe lawmaker.

Greene’s push is widely expected to fail, as Johnson’s conservative critics in the House have little appetite for a repeat of the chaos that ensued after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was removed in October. Democratic leadership and rank-and-file members have pledged to help save Johnson’s gavel after he put Ukraine aid on the floor, where it easily passed.

Leading Senate conservatives, including Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.), have expressed their disapproval of Greene’s effort, calling it “utterly ridiculous and counterproductive.”

Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits:

Braun noted that the effort could harm the Republican agenda for the remainder of the year and that conservatives don’t support it because there is no real fallback option. It took three weeks, and multiple failed candidacies for the House GOP conference to elect Johnson, and Braun asked, “Who’s raised their hand that would want to be Speaker?”

Greene’s effort has also been hindered by former President Trump’s support for Johnson in recent weeks, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) full support for the embattled Speaker.

McConnell told reporters, “I’m relieved as I think all of America is that the chaos in the House will be discontinued. I think it’s a benefit to our country, a benefit to the House, a benefit to the reputation of Congress.”

While Johnson’s recent bipartisan deals have angered some conservatives, many have been hoping to avoid a motion to vacate vote on the floor despite Greene’s insistence.

GOP Speaker Mike Johnson (Credits: CBS News)

Representative Chip Roy (R-Texas), a leading House Freedom Caucus member, said recently that the ability to oust a Speaker “exists for reasons, but they should be deployed sparingly” – a sentiment shared by some of his Senate colleagues on the right ahead of the November election. Most members would prefer to focus on putting Trump back in the White House and winning control of Congress instead of engaging in what they see as a petty fight.

Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), a former House Freedom Caucus member, advised, “Don’t do it, don’t do it. That would be my suggestion.” Even those most dissatisfied with Johnson in the Senate GOP ranks, such as Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.), won’t go so far as to support Greene’s effort, with Paul stating, “They have to decide that. That’s not for me to say.”

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