Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to oust Johnson as House speaker fails

Members of both parties voted to table the motion to vacate

WASHINGTON — An overwhelmingly bipartisan coalition put a stop to U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort Wednesday to remove Mike Johnson as House speaker.

The vote to table the Rome Republican’s motion to vacate was 359 in favor and 43 opposed. Greene and 10 other Republicans voted against the motion to table. So did 32 Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams of Atlanta.

But the vast majority of House members decided to kill Greene’s effort, a resounding rebuke after she railed for weeks against Johnson’s leadership.

Both Republican and Democratic colleagues booed loudly as Greene laid out her case against Johnson during a speech Wednesday afternoon on the House floor. She was interrupted by jeers several times as she spoke.

Although Greene knew that her motion to vacate was likely to fail, she said previously that she wanted the vote to happen anyway so voters would know where their lawmakers stood.

After the vote, Greene said that the fact that leaders of the Democratic Party, including former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, voted to save Johnson was proof that he was no longer the conservative standard-bearer he promised to be.

“It’s up to Mike Johnson to prove that he’s a Republican,” she said. “It’s up to Mike Johnson to earn back people’s trust.”

But as she spoke, many Republicans gathered nearby from Greene to criticize her decision to force the vote, saying she was grandstanding while they were trying to govern.

“It’s getting more publicity; it’s about raising more money,” Rep. Rich McCormick, R-Suwanee said. “This is the problem with something that’s about messaging rather than about legislation.”

Former President Donald Trump praised Greene’s “spirit” in a post on his social media site Truth Social, but he wrote that now is not the time to challenge Johnson, whom he called “a good man who is trying very hard.”

“With a Majority of One, shortly growing to three or four, we’re not in a position of voting on a Motion to Vacate,” Trump wrote. “At some point, we may very well be, but this is not the time.”

Trump had previously signaled that he did not support Greene’s effort to remove Johnson.

Earlier this week, Greene had paused her efforts to remove Johnson as speaker. The two met privately on Monday and Tuesday.

She asked him to make four assurances to prevent the ouster vote. They included not bringing to the floor any bill to provide additional money to help Ukraine in its war with Russia and to agree not to send bills to the floor that don’t have the support of a majority of Republicans.

Neither she nor Johnson confirmed whether an agreement was reached.

But in a surprise move Wednesday, Greene moved forward with the vote on her motion to vacate.

Now that her effort has failed, it is unclear how Greene will proceed or if fellow Republicans will attempt to punish her for forcing the vote. She can file another motion to vacate at any time. Democrats who helped save Johnson have indicated they may not continue to support him if multiple votes are called.