NewsSecond GOP lawmaker backs ousting House speaker, putting Johnson's job in peril

Second GOP lawmaker backs ousting House speaker, putting Johnson’s job in peril

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Mike Johnson is drawing closer to peril after another conservative hardliner publicly came out in support of forcibly removing the Republican leader from his job.

Shortly after unveiling a plan to deliver foreign aid to key U.S. allies, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., forcibly came out against the House speaker’s proposal in a closed-door conference meeting on Tuesday morning, announcing he would support an existing effort to oust Johnson.

Massie, along with conservative rabble-rouser Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., are calling on Johnson to step down from the top post. If he doesn’t, they are threatening to call up a vote on the House floor that could supplant the speaker and send the chamber into another leadership vacuum. In the last year, Johnson took the job, putting him second in line of succession for the presidency, after a handful of Republican rebels last fall voted to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., from the role.

“There’s no shortage of people,” that could replace Johnson, Massie said, rebuking the speaker as “some guy nobody in America ever heard of.”

Massie’s support for what is known as a motion to vacate – a procedural vote to remove the speaker – puts Johnson’s job in jeopardy, as Republicans control the House with a razor-thin majority and conservative ire continues to grow at the embattled speaker.

Johnson at a weekly leadership news conference, was defiant and said he will not resign.

“It is in my view an absurd notion someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply here trying to do our job,” Johnson said. “I regard myself as a wartime speaker and in a literal sense. I knew that when I took the gavel. I didn’t anticipate this would be an easy path.”

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to the press following a House Conference meeting to discuss Iran's attack on Israel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks to the press following a House Conference meeting to discuss Iran’s attack on Israel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

After one GOP lawmaker resigns from the lower chamber this Friday, Republicans will have just a one-vote margin on party lines in the House. That means Greene and Massie alone could oust Johnson if all Democrats join them to remove the speaker as they did last year.

Democrats this time however, could rescue Johnson from right-wing fury depending on how Johnson presents foreign aid to allies including Ukraine and Israel.

“Massie wants the world to burn, I won’t stand by and watch. I have a bucket of water,” Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, coming out against a motion to vacate.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Second lawmaker calls to oust speaker, putting Johnson’s job in peril

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