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May 01, 2024 02:09 PM UTC

Marjorie Taylor Greene Will Move Ahead with Motion to Vacate Speaker's Chair

  • by: Colorado Pols
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced today that she will demand yet another motion to vacate and remove Republican Mike Johnson as Speaker of the House. Greene made the announcement even though she has virtually no support among fellow Republicans…and even though Democrats have already promised to put a stop to this nonsense.

From The New York Times:

In a morning news conference at the Capitol, Ms. Greene excoriated Mr. Johnson for working with Democrats to push through major legislation and said it was time for lawmakers to go on the record about where they stood on his speakership.

“I think every member of Congress needs to take that vote and let the chips fall where they may,” Ms. Greene said. “And so next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate.”

The move comes just over a week after Mr. Johnson pushed through a long-stalled $95 billion package to aid Israel, Ukraine and other U.S. allies over the objections of Ms. Greene and other right-wing Republicans who staunchly opposed sending additional aid to Kyiv.

House rules — which were amended by former Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy in January 2023 as part of a deal to get him the Speaker’s gavel (for a few months, anyway) — currently allow for any one member to call for a vote on a Motion to Vacate (MTV). Many Republicans have recently talked openly about the need to amend this rule.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, accurately describing this situation — again — with one facial expression.

In the meantime, House Democrats will play the role of “adults in the room” and will save Johnson…for now. As The Washington Post explains:

Democratic leaders in the House officially declared Tuesday that they would vote to keep order in the House by protecting Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from any far-right Republicans seeking his ouster…

…Earlier Tuesday morning, House Democratic leaders — Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.) and Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) — announced after discussions with colleagues that Democrats would be willing to block any motion to oust Johnson from the speakership.

“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 [Greene’s] Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” the Democratic leadership trio said in a statement.

Another MTV would be a colossal waste of time for a House of Representatives that is already well on its way to setting a record for being the least effective group in modern American history. And for Johnson, working with Democrats may anger the looniest of the right-wing weirdos, but it won’t cost him his job.

During the most recent episode of the Get More Smarter Podcast, Congresswoman Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas) talked about what Johnson learned in watching McCarthy get (figuratively) beheaded by his own caucus:


Post by @getmoresmarter
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Texas Democratic Rep. Jasmine Crockett

CROCKETT: “[Johnson] learned from McCarthy’s mistakes and realized that even if you give this radical right everything they want, it still is not enough. It just ain’t enough, right? It’s easier to deal with the Democrats. You may have to make some concessions, but it’s some concessions that you can actually live with, versus giving up your entire soul…and they will still double-cross you and try to take you out.”

Johnson is also helped by the fact that The Big Orange Guy himself doesn’t want to see the Speaker deposed; Donald Trump’s handpicked leadership team at the Republican National Committee is trying to get MTG to STFU about an MTV.

Greene is nevertheless willing to move forward despite Trump’s concerns. Her other problem, however, is a bit more unavoidable. As The Washington Post reports in a separate story, MTG’s not-so-merry band of followers has reduced to a mere trickle of twits:

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is a woman with few followers — on Capitol Hill, anyway. And her lack of support within her conference has made ousting House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from his perch an exercise in futility, at least for now.

Greene has been unable to grow the number of backers in her effort to remove Johnson. Only two of her House colleagues have publicly said they support her effort: Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.).

She called on members this month to go home and hear from their constituents. They did. And no one else signed on to her effort.

Oof. Massie and Gosar are two of the least-liked Members of Congress (and Gosar’s own family despises him).

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep. Lauren Boebert.

Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert does not appear to be part of the anti-Johnson crowd — at least for now — after having made some veiled threats toward Johnson in recent weeks. As The Colorado Sun reported via its “Unaffiliated” newsletter, Boebert was clear at a recent Colorado Republican Party luncheon:

Boebert was asked by someone in the audience if she thought Republican U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Johnson’s chief antagonist, would move forward with a motion to vacate.

“I think there are enough people who are trying to talk her out of that,” Boebert said. “(But) I can’t always guarantee what Marjorie is going to do.”

Boebert, after all, has been endorsed by Mike Johnson in CO-04.

It is genuinely impossible to predict what MTG and her former “Freedom Caucus” buddies might end up doing, but at this point it looks like Democrats have saved America from another long waste of time that would result from Republicans trying to select a third House Speaker in less than 18 months


9 thoughts on “Marjorie Taylor Greene Will Move Ahead with Motion to Vacate Speaker’s Chair

  1. Maybe EmptyG is just playing chicken with Drumpf on the VP slot and she’ll get the nod if she backs down next week?  I’m probably giving her waaay too much credit. It’s really all she has for leverage at this point, and Stefanie is laser focused right now. .  

  2. Johnson actually, literally "bless her heart"-ed Mad Madge in a teevee interview. Credit where credit's due; that's a genteel way of saying, "Mad Madge is a circus freak who's no threat to me or anyone else."

    1. If business could continue without someone named Speaker, it might be fine to let the Republicans bicker. But under the current rules, the only thing the stand-in Speaker pro tem can do is run the election for the Speaker.

      If there was nothing to do, it might not be bad to have an inoperative House.  But there are priorities with deadlines, so maintaining a Speaker who keeps his promise (eventually) is better than no one in the chair. 

      I'm pretty certain there will be continuing displays of how REPUBLICANS 'R' REVOLTING …. and on-going examples of Republicans trying to show their true ideology instead of supporting something that could pass the Senate and get White House assent. 

      1. Precisely what kind of business is it that you expect them to do? Even business of the "must do" variety?

        Didn't their last funding bills get us to October 1 which is the start of the next fiscal year?

        Nothing is going to happen on the '24-'25 federal budget until September, at the earliest, at which point they will need to pass a CR because (a) it's campaign season, and (b) it's too hard to get funding bills to the floor.

        The funding bills are the only kinds of "must do" business the House has to perform. And they usually just kick that one down the road for a few weeks or months.

        They might impeach another cabinet member since the Mayorkas impeachment got them what they wanted:  a chance to vent, a chance to fundraise off the venting, and a chance to vent on the corrupt process by which Chuck Schumer shut down the shit show impeachment. Oh, and after scuttling Lankford's bipartisan border security bill, they could claim that they did “something” about border security by impeaching Mayorkas.

        They might launch another investigation into:  Hunter Biden, Anthony Faucci, the "stolen" 2020 election, Obama's birth certificate, Hillary's emails or the secret Yalta agreements between Stalin and Roosevelt. (Well, maybe not that last item especially if Putin tells MTG and her associates to put the kabash on that one.)

        We should not fear another speaker floor fight any more than we should fear goveernment shutdowns. Since all politics today is performance art, if this is the shit show that the GOP wants to put on stage, so be it.

        OTOH, I think Jeffries and the Dem leadership are putting country above politics which still can be a good thing as both a matter of both principle and politics. I agree with Mike Johnson on virtually no substantive issues but I do admire the way in which he has handled Empty G's empty threat. And he did bring the Ukraine funding bill to the floor. Can you imagine "My Kevin" doing so if Trump and the Crackpot Caucus told him to block the funding bill? 

        Like Pence, another Republican with whom I agree on nearly no substantive issue, I have to say that the one issue on which I agreed with Pence – that the VEEP does not get to set aside the election results – was kind of an important one.

        My prediction:  Empty G's empty threat gets a floor vote which ends up:  3 "ayes", roughly 325 "nays", and about 100 abstentions from the member of the Progressive Caucus.

        1. Didn't their last funding bills get us to October 1 which is the start of the next fiscal year?

          Nothing is going to happen on the '24-'25 federal budget until September, at the earliest, at which point they will need to pass a CR because (a) it's campaign season, and (b) it's too hard to get funding bills to the floor.


          Second Session House Calendar is build around 4 day work weeks with the eception of the 4th week of September 5 full days of grandstanding before a break that will take us into the election. 

          I don't think any budget or CR is going to pass. Even if Johnson agrees today in principle handshake and all wont happen.

          You are correct with your assessment of what would be the Republican agenda if a MTG shaped speaker were to take the gavel for the final days of the second session. It would be someone way more engaged with politics and social media probably. Regardless of which of the hate party is in office the schedule is: June Attack 2SLGBTQI+, July "America isnt America month", Semtember the Budget & CR aka nothing or northing beats the best, then ELECTION.

          Speaker Johnson is weakened and regardless of intent and what Democrats want Republicans are primed for hard right stupidity. Either Trump or Bob Good or Kevin Roberts last wild hair will suggest "what if we could get a better deal after Biden loses?". Im not sure if them selected a new bozo as Speaker would change that. 

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