Democrats Shield Speaker Mike Johnson for Now


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., has talked and done nothing despite her threats of voting to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson (R. La.).

Greene received a barrage of questions from reporters as she left Tuesday’s U.S. Capitol. The reporters wanted to know why Greene hadn’t taken action to remove Johnson from her position, and if she had any other reasons for not doing so.

Do you know when to move forward? A scribe shouted.

Do you find that your threats are a little blank when you attempt to implement your resolution at the moment? I asked.

A reporter then asked: “How soon do you plan to make a decision?”

Greene didn’t respond in public, but she did issue a statement. It was only moments before the House Democratic Leaders had announced that they would defend Johnson if Greene tried to leave her seat.

In an extraordinary move, the House Democratic leadership team of Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., declared “the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction. We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

Greene immediately responded to Johnson and the Democrats.

What deal did Johnson make to win the Democrats’ support? Greene questioned.

The Georgia Republican stated, “Mike Johnson was officially elected as the Democrat speaker in the House.” She said she would call for a vote “because making Congress actions public allows Americans to see what is true. ”

Johnson did not know that the Democratic cavalry was coming.

Johnson’s response to a reporter who asked him about the Democratic backup was: “First time I heard of it.”

Does the House have a Democratic speaker?

Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. said: “It doesn’t matter if Hakeem Jefferys or Mike Johnson is the current Speaker. We will still pass the Democrat’s agenda. ”

I asked Rep. Chip Roy, (R-Texas) if Johnson was now weaker or relying on more Democratic votes.

Roy responded, “He already relied upon Democrat votes.”

It’s true. Johnson leaned on Democrats to get the foreign aid package passed and to avoid multiple government shutdowns. Democrats were especially pleased that Johnson approved an amount of money for Ukraine.

Does this work for Johnson?

Perhaps now. Johnson may face serious consequences.

House Majority whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) and House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) could use the Democrats’ support as a wedge to challenge Johnson for Speaker of the House next year, or a leadership role in the new Congress if Republicans lose their majority. House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R – Minn.) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R – Ohio) could use Democratic support as a wedge to challenge Johnson for Speaker next year or a leadership position in the new Congress if Republicans lose the majority.

Let the past guide you

The late House Speaker Joe Cannon, R-Ill., relied on the DEMOCRATS to overcome a vote of no confidence in the early 20th century. Cannon kept his Speakership. Cannon held onto the Speakership largely because of help from outside the party.

The same situation could occur.

Johnson might have gained a few points for naming the House Office Building in honor of Cannon.

So, there’s that.

It was thought that some Democrats would vote for Johnson before Democratic leaders declared their support. Johnson could change the House math if Democrats don’t vote.

Other members can trigger the “vacate Chair” resolution, forcing the House to debate the possibility of removing the Speaker.

Johnson, or an ally could make a bold move and introduce the resolution, confident they can defeat Greene. The scenario would embarrass Greene and could kill any attempts to remove him from the rest of Congress.

This is what happens when Greene’s Resolution is activated.

First, the House will vote on whether to kill or table a resolution. Greene will lose his efforts. Democrats will claim they can help.

Democrats studied the proceedings in parliament and decided what they would do to Johnson.

Aguilar stated, “Nothing that we discussed in caucus was about saving Mike Johnson. The motion to vacate was not discussed.”

This was not meant to endorse Johnson. The main purpose of the statement was to remove Greene

Tom Suozzi, a New York State Representative, said: “We want to show that the Emperor has no clothes.” We are dealing with people who do not have any responsibility to the nation. They have had power for too long.

I questioned leading Democrats about why they gave Johnson a lifeline.

Do Democrats seem to want a piece of Mike Johnson now that you’re protecting him? Do they appear to be jealous of his success, and think he’s somehow obedient towards Democrats? Katherine Clark asked me.

Clark responded, “We’ll extend our hand to Mike Johnson in bipartisanship and hope they continue to learn how to bring back the voices of American citizens on the House Floor. We reject the extremism and chaos that Marjorie Taylor Greene continues to peddle. ”

Assume that the House doesn’t protect Johnson. If the motion is defeated, the House will vote on whether Johnson should be removed. This is called the “motion for the chair to vacate”.

If the House votes Johnson out, chaos will follow.

The House ceases to function, much like last fall when Members removed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. The House is paralyzed and cannot take any legislation action until it picks a new Speaker. An acting Speaker Pro Tempore, like House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., would take over. But have little power other than to gavel the House into session and out.

In the fall of 2013, it took several days before the House was ready to vote for a new Speaker. The House had to wait for several days to be prepared to vote. For 22 days, the Speakership remained vacant.

Greene takes a familiar path.

Mark Meadows, former chief of staff of the Trump White House as well as former Rep. Mark Meadows presented a similar measure in the summer of 2015. The resolution was meant to remove House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio ). Meadows did not force a vote like Greene.

Boehner gave up all of his positions after meeting Pope Francis and giving a speech at a Joint Meeting of Congress. Boehner said he would first “cleanse” the barn by dealing with difficult issues like funding the government and the debt ceiling. The new Speaker would then be able to find their feet in politics.

Mike Johnson has, for the time being, “cleaned the barn”, barring any major crises at home or abroad.

Very few Republicans want to experience another turbulent time like last fall when the House voted McCarthy off.

If Greene cannot garner enough support to remove Johnson from the House, the next vote will likely be around 1 pm et January 3, 2025. According to the Constitution, the 119th Congress – the new Congress – convenes around noon et. The first thing to do after a quorum is called elect a House speaker. Republicans will choose one candidate. Democrats will nominate a different candidate. However, Members – who are technically Representatives-elect at that point – can vote for anyone they want.

Democrats won’t protect Johnson during that election. The Democrats could be in the majority and elect Jeffries to the position of Speaker of the House. They would vote for Jeffries and watch the bickering from the other side.