Saturday, May 18, 2024
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Third Republican Announces Support for Ousting Johnson as House Speaker



A third House Republican has announced he will co-sponsor a motion to vacate introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., that, if passed, would end Mike Johnson’s tenure as House speaker after fewer than six months.

If all 213 House Democrats vote in support of the motion to remove Johnson, R-Ky., as speaker, only three Republicans would need to cross over for the motion to carry, 216-215, once Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., resigns, as he plans to do imminently.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., announced that he would join the Georgia Republican’s effort to oust Johnson, saying in a written statement:

[R]ather than spending the resources to secure our southern border and combating the invasion of 11 million illegals and despite repeated promises there would be no additional money going to Ukraine without first securing our border, the United States House of Representatives, under the direction of the speaker, is on the verge of sending another $61 billion to further draw America into an endless and purposeless war in Ukraine.

“Our border cannot be an afterthought,” Gosar added. “We need a speaker who puts America first rather than bending to the reckless demands of the warmongers, neo-cons and the military industrial complex making billions from a costly and endless war half a world away.”

Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., announced earlier this week he supports Greene’s motion to vacate.

Gosar’s decision comes as Johnson relied on House Democrats’ votes to pass a series of foreign aid bills opposed by many conservative Republicans.

Johnson brushed off the threat of Greene’s motion to vacate Wednesday, saying: “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.”

Johnson became House speaker in October after the ouster from the post of his predecessor, former Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., by a motion to vacate. The Kentucky Republican has faced increasing pressure from conservatives in the House.

Johnson continues to have the support of former President Donald Trump, who said Johnson is doing a “very good job” when the two appeared together April 12 at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida.

“I stand with the speaker,” Trump said.

Johnson was elected House speaker with the votes of 220 Republicans. His predecessor, McCarthy, was removed as speaker after eight Republicans and all Democrats voted against him.

Since Johnson became speaker, McCarthy and Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., have resigned and left Congress. Former Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., was expelled in a House vote, and Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., plans to resign soon.

When Gallagher leaves office, that will leave 217 Republicans and 213 Democrats, a razor-thin Republican majority.