Marjorie Taylor Greene draws an ally, and a foe, in effort to oust speaker

WASHINGTON — A Republican ally lent his support to U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s efforts to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson from office.

But another prominent voice — Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp — spoke up Tuesday in Johnson’s favor, saying Greene’s threats to oust him were bad politics.

Kemp was responding to the news that Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie announced he was joining Greene as a co-sponsor of her resolution calling for Johnson to be stripped of his title.

“Instead of bickering amongst themselves and handing Democrats control of the House, Republicans should do their damn job and vote on the important issues facing our nation,” the governor wrote on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. “Enough is enough. I support @SpeakerJohnson.”

Greene filed her resolution weeks ago, although she stopped short of calling for an immediate vote on whether Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, should be removed. Instead, she has allowed the threat to hang over his head while amplifying her criticism of his governing.

Johnson announced this week that he planned to bring a series of bills to the floor that would fund aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Greene responded with more rebukes, saying his decision to push foreign aid bills without tying them to border security measures shows he is out of touch with the rest of his colleagues.

“Leaders know how to lead, or at least they should know how to lead; I haven’t seen leadership yet,” she told reporters Monday. “He’s been leading for the Democrats and serving (President Joe Biden’s) agenda.”

Tuesday morning, Massie became the first Republican to publicly say he would support Greene if she moved to remove Johnson from office. He made the announcement during a closed-door meeting with GOP members, calling for Johnson to step down immediately as opposed to facing a vote on the House floor. He later confirmed those reports in a post on social media.

Johnson, meanwhile, has refused to step down and called the efforts to oust him via a “motion to vacate” misguided and counterproductive.

“I am not resigning, and it is, in my view, an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply here trying to do our jobs,” the speaker said.

Greene said there are more Republicans planning to join her and Massie, although she said she would not identify them and instead wait for them to reveal themselves once they are comfortable. She also said she has no timetable for a vote and has not identified who she thinks should replace Johnson.

“I’m being responsible with this decision and allowing people to come to terms and think about who would be the next speaker,” she said.