Hakeem Jeffries

Democrat Leaders Say They’ll Save Speaker Johnson From MTG’s Ouster Bid

(The Epoch Times)—House Democrat leadership announced on April 30 that they would vote to save House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) bid to strip him of the gavel should she activate it.

The Democrat lawmakers said they would vote to table Ms. Greene’s motion to vacate should she bring it up, while referencing the House GOP leader’s recent help in passing $95 billion in foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific that had been stalled for months.

“If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-Conn.) and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.

“From the very beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have put people over politics and found bipartisan common ground with traditional Republicans in order to deliver real results,” the Democrat leaders stated. “At the same time, House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that.”

In March, in response to Mr. Johnson’s initiative to secure broad Democrat support for $1.2 trillion in government financing, Ms. Greene presented a motion to vacate that she characterized as a “warning” or “a pink slip.”

Since then two other Republicans publicly backed the motion, Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.). Despite conservative outrage over last week’s passage of a foreign aid package that included more than $60 billion for Ukraine, most in the Republican conference have not supported Ms. Greene’s effort.

Ms. Greene responded to news of the Democrat move, asking, “What slimy back room deal did Johnson make for the Democrats’ support?” in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Mike Johnson is officially the Democratic Speaker of the House. Here is their official endorsement of his Speakership.”

“He should resign, switch parties, and continue voting for Biden’s open border invasion of America, endless wars, full term abortion on demand, trans agenda on children, warrantless spying on the American people, weaponizing government against President Trump and his supporters, and every other Democrat wishlist item he’s handed over.”

The Georgia Republican asserted that Americans “deserve to see the Uniparty” on display, and warned, “I’m about to give them their coming out party!”

‘Never Requested Assistance’

Mr. Johnson answered questions at a press conference not long after the Democrats’ statement was released, saying that he did not ask Mr. Jeffries for his support in the face of the motion to vacate.

“I’ve never requested assistance from anyone at all,” Mr. Johnson told reporters.

Mr. Jeffries previously refrained from a commitment to save Mr. Johnson but said at a press conference earlier in the month, “I believe a reasonable number of Democrats would not want to see the speaker fall for doing the right thing,” referencing the government spending package that prompted Ms. Greene’s motion.

A similar statement was made by Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.J.), who said: “I will say that I’m the first to give Speaker Johnson a lot of credit for finally putting the foreign aid bill on the floor. We certainly knew that was a risky move within his within his party. Sadly, it shouldn’t be but it was.

“I think there will be Democrats who would rather reward a speaker for doing the right thing than reward Marjorie Taylor Greene, and her effort to overtake the House.”

A number of Republicans, including some who voted to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), have indicated they don’t support removing Mr. Johnson in the same way.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who was a leader in the effort to remove Mr. McCarthy, told reporters, “I oppose a motion to vacate at the current time.”

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) responded to questions about the motion, saying he believed in this case it is “being exercised improperly.”

According to his statements to The Epoch Times, a motion to vacate should be “as serious as impeachment” and applied solely in cases where the speaker has committed grave moral or legal transgressions.

“There should be at least some standards, moral standards, such as if someone were to engage in an unethical action, or crime, deceit,” Mr. Meuser said.

Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-Ga.) had a similar take, telling The Epoch Times that targeting the Republican speaker “takes the focus off of just how bad President Biden is, how bad House Democrats are.”

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), who has been a critic of Mr. Johnson in the past, told The Epoch Times of the motion, “I’m not itching to do anything like this. What I think we need to do is just get back in the saddle and focus on doing our job.”

Joseph Lord and Stacy Robinson contributed to this report.