Third Republican backs effort to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson


Washington — A third Republican joined the effort to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson from his post on Friday, making it more likely that Democrats will have to save him if it comes to a vote. 

Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona announced he was signing onto the motion to vacate against Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, after the House advanced a foreign aid package with more Democratic votes than Republican support. 

“I have added my name in support of the motion to vacate the Speaker,” Gosar said in a statement. “Our border cannot be an afterthought. 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.” 

A number of right-wing hardliners have lashed out at Johnson for omitting border security provisions from the package. The House is expected to vote on final passage on the legislation, which includes aid for Israel, Ukraine, the Indo-Pacific region and other foreign policy priorities, on Saturday. 

The effort to oust Johnson has been spearheaded by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She has dangled the threat over his head for weeks, warning him against holding a vote on funding for Ukraine, but she has so far not moved to force a vote and has not said when she would. Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky is also supporting the resolution. 

Greene said Thursday she had not forced the vote yet because “I’m a responsible person.” 

“I’m not acting out of emotions or rash feelings or anger,” she said. “I’m doing this the right way.” 

Ahead of Friday’s procedural vote, Johnson said he was not worried about his job. 

“I don’t worry,” he said. “I just do my job.” 

Johnson said Wednesday he had not asked Democrats to help him. 

“I have not asked a single Democrat to get involved in that at all,” he said. “I do not spend time walking around thinking about the motion to vacate. I have a job to do here, and I’m going to do the job, regardless of personal consequences, that’s what we’re supposed to do. If Marjorie brings the motion, she brings the motion and we’ll let the chips fall where they may.” 

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries wouldn’t explicitly say Friday whether Democrats will bail him out, saying the caucus “will have a conversation about how to deal with any hypothetical motion to vacate, which at this point hasn’t been noticed.” 

“Marjorie Taylor Greene, Massie and Gosar are quite a group,” the New York Democrat said. “I’m sure that will play some role in our conversation. But central to the conversation, the prerequisite to the conversation, is to make sure that the national security legislation in totality is passed by the House of Representatives.” 

Nikole Killion, Ellis Kim, Jaala Brown and Laura Garrison contributed reporting. 



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