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Greene continues attack on Speaker Johnson

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) is heaping a fresh set of criticism on Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the House prepares to reconvene on Tuesday, laying out a list of grievances against the Louisiana Republican in explaining her decision to file a motion to oust him.

In a five-page letter sent to colleagues on Tuesday, Greene — who is threatening to force a vote on removing Johnson’s gavel — laid into the Speaker for a litany of reasons, including his handling of government funding and his plan to move on Ukraine aid, arguing that he is not properly serving the GOP conference.

“I will not tolerate our elected Republican Speaker Mike Johnson serving the Democrats and the Biden administration and helping them achieve their policies that are destroying our country,” Greene said. “He is throwing our own razor-thin majority into chaos by not serving his own GOP conference that elected him.”

“With so much at stake for our future and the future of our children, I will not tolerate this type of Republican ‘leadership,’” she later added. “This has been a complete and total surrender to, if not complete and total lockstep with, the Democrats’ agenda that has angered our Republican base so much and given them very little reason to vote for a Republican House majority.”

Greene quoted the seven “key priorities” Johnson laid out when running for the Speakership in October — restore trust, advance a comprehensive policy agenda, promote individual members, engage members, effectively message, build and utilize external coalitions, develop and grow our majority — before slamming him for, in her eyes, not following through on any of them.

“Mike Johnson has unfortunately not lived up to a single one of his self-imposed tenets,” Greene wrote.

The searing letter from Greene is the latest development in the months-long feud between her and Johnson, which hit a fever pitch late last month after the Georgia Republican filed a motion to vacate against the Speaker. The move came as the House was voting on a $1.2 trillion funding bill to avert a partial government shutdown, which conservative abhorred.

Greene has not said when she plans to trigger a vote on her ouster resolution, calling it a “warning” and noting that it would be a “rolling issue.” But the move was largely viewed as a signal that Johnson should not put Ukraine aid on the floor — which the Speaker has said he plans to do, sparking frustrations among hardline conservatives, including Greene.

Late last month, Johnson said the House would address requested foreign aid — which includes funding for Ukraine — ”right after” lawmakers return to Washington on Tuesday following the two-week Easter recess.

In her letter on Tuesday, Greene noted that Johnson voted against Ukraine aid before he won the Speaker’s gavel, before reiterating that Congress should address the situation at the southern border before sending assistance to Kyiv — a familiar GOP talking point.

“The last time we voted on Ukraine funding was September 28, 2023, and the majority of Republicans voted against giving Ukraine $300 million by 117-101 votes. Mike Johnson was one of the NO votes,” Greene said.

“Mike Johnson is publicly saying funding Ukraine is now his top priority when less than 7 months ago he was against it,” she added. “The American people disagree— they believe our border is the only border worth fighting a war over, and I agree with them.”

She also tore into Johnson’s handling of the fiscal year 2024 government funding process — which wrapped up late last month — knocking him for giving members less than 72 hours to review the second minibus; chiding him for moving two-step continuing resolutions that made the appropriations process “even more convoluted;” and denouncing him for not securing more GOP wins in the pair of packages.

“This was really a two-part omnibus, split into two minibuses, crammed down our throats, passed under suspension of the rules, breaking the 72-hour rule, giving us one day to read over a thousand pages, and tying our hands behind our backs by not allowing us to make any amendments. Rules? What rules? Remember the precious rules?” Greene said. “Apparently, they no longer matter to Mike Johnson, even though he promised to abide by them and enforce them.”

“Mike Johnson worked with Chuck Schumer rather than with us, and gave Joe Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted—no different from how a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries would have done,” she later added.

Johnson commented on Greene’s motion-to-vacate effort last week, telling CNN in a statement “I respect Marjorie” and responding to some of her qualms.

“In spite of our Republican majority of just a single seat in just one chamber of Congress, we are still fighting this administration every day to make policy changes. A shutdown would not serve our party or assist us in our mission of saving the republic by growing our majority, nor will another motion to vacate,” Johnson said.

“As I have always said, national security starts at our southern border. Any funding of the President’s supplemental request should be premised on meaningful policy to help the American people and finally address the invasion at our southern border,” he added.

Greene on Tuesday also addressed criticism she has received after filing her motion to vacate resolution. A number of Republicans lashed out at Greene after she filed the measure, arguing that such a gambit could hand the Speaker’s gavel to a Democrat.

Greene, however, hit back at that, brushing aside the prospect that her effort could lead to a Democratic Speaker and, instead, laying the blame on  the cadre of Republicans who have quit Congress early, which has narrowed the House GOP’s already tiny majority.

“And no, electing a new Republican Speaker will not give the majority to the Democrats. That only happens if more Republicans retire early, or Republicans actually vote for Hakeem Jeffries,” Greene said. “It’s not complicated, it’s simple math.”

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