Hot Posts


Speaker Johnson: Ouster threat ‘absurd’ and 'not helpful'

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) pushed back on the growing ouster effort against him Tuesday, calling it “absurd” and “not helpful.”

The comment came shortly after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) announced he would co-sponsor Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) motion to vacate resolution, becoming the first lawmaker to publicly back the Georgia Republican’s measure.

“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 said at a press conference in the Capitol. “It is not helpful to the cause, it is not helpful to the country, it does not help the House Republicans advance our agenda which is in the best interest of the American people here — a secure border, sound governance — and it’s not helpful to the unity that we have in the body.”

“I am not concerned about this. I am going to do my job, and I think that’s what the American people expect of us,” he later added.

The Speaker also said he would not resign from the Speakership after Massie called on him to do so during a closed-door conference meeting Tuesday morning.

“I am not resigning,” he told reporters.

Massie told his colleagues in a closed-door GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning that he would sign on to Greene’s motion-to-vacate resolution as a co-sponsor, less than 24 hours after Johnson rolled out the outline of his plan to consider foreign aid.

Under the proposal, the House would hold votes on three separate bills to send aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, in addition to a fourth measure that includes other national security priorities.

In a twist, however, the legislation will not include border security — a change from Johnson’s previous stance that any support for Kyiv must be paired with legislation to address the situation at the southern border — sparking opposition among Republicans.

After the private GOP huddle, Massie criticized Johnson’s handling of government funding and reauthorizing the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance authority, and took a swipe at his plan to stage a vote on Ukraine aid.

“There’s only one person right now who could stop us from going into what happened last fall, and that’s Mike Johnson,” Massie said, referring to the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in October.

“He’s cleaning the barn, that’s obvious,” he continued. “He had three things to do: He wanted to do an omnibus that broke all the spending records, he wanted to do FISA without warrants, now he wants to do Ukraine. Those are the three things. There are people riding him like a horse here; they don’t care when the horse collapses — I do, because it’s gonna throw our conference into turmoil.”

Neither Greene nor Massie have said when a vote on Johnson’s ouster could come to the floor. And so far, the two Republicans are the only ones publicly backing the effort.

Some hardline conservatives declined to comment on the motion-to-vacate gambit after Massie’s announcement. But a large number of Republicans were quick to criticize the ouster push.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, said the conference “does not need” the motion to vacate.

“We don’t want that. We shouldn’t go through that again,” he added, calling it “a total waste of time and absolute ridiculous concept.”

Johnson on Tuesday likened his current position to being a “wartime Speaker.”

“We are in unprecedented times, okay. We’re in dangerous times, as has been articulated here, around the world and here at home. We need steady leadership, we need steady hands at the wheel,” Johnson said. “I regard myself as a wartime Speaker, I mean, in a literal sense we are. I knew that when I took the gavel, I didn’t anticipate that this would be an easy path.”

He also called for unity as Republicans look to notch wins in the November elections.

“We need to win back the Republican majority in the Senate and we need to restore Donald J. Trump to the White House as our nominee. I believe all those things will happen, but we have to have a united front and we have to have our members work together. And we’ll be working today to do that very thing,” he said.

Post a Comment