Rep. Greene Defends Motion to Vacate Against Johnson

Joseph Lord
By Joseph Lord
March 24, 2024Congress
Rep. Greene Defends Motion to Vacate Against Johnson
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks to reporters in Washington on Oct. 12, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Times)

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) on Sunday defended her submission of a motion to vacate the speakership earlier in the week.

Ms. Greene submitted the motion immediately after the House’s passage of a $1.2 trillion minibus spending bill that passed with complete Democratic support but a majority of Republican opposition.

She said that the motion was “a pink slip,” representing a warning to House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). Ms. Greene made clear that she didn’t plan to immediately force a floor vote on the motion.

“This is a betrayal of the American people. This is a betrayal of the Republican voters,” the congresswoman told reporters outside of the Capitol following the vote.

The move immediately brought flashbacks to October 2023, when Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) submitted an ultimately successful motion to vacate against then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). It took nearly a month and three failed candidacies for lawmakers to decide on Mr. Johnson.

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Ms. Greene explained the move further.

She said that Republican voters expect that House Republicans “will never back down” on securing important policy and funding wins.

“Yet this week, Speaker Johnson, who has barely been a speaker for six months, led us to a complete catastrophe,” she said.

Ms. Greene decried the more than 1,000-page funding package, which has a top line cost to taxpayers of $1.2 trillion, for several reasons.

She noted its swift passage through Congress, ultimately being passed by both chambers roughly 48 hours after its introduction in the early morning hours of March 21.

That comes in violation of a Republican conference rule in the lower chamber requiring that lawmakers be given 72 hours to read all spending legislation.

Ms. Greene also decried the lack of an amendment process for the legislation.

She described the bill as “being stuffed full of Democrat wish list” items and said that it would perpetuate “the Biden catastrophe border policies,” saying that the lack of amendments made it impossible for Republican lawmakers “to do our jobs.”

Ms. Greene particularly honed in on the lack of new border policies in the bill, citing the killing of University of Georgia student Laken Riley by an illegal alien and a shocking video released last week showing illegal aliens storming the border and overrunning the Texas National Guard.

“There’s nothing in this bill that secures the border,” Ms. Greene said. “This bill that Johnson pass does everything to keep the Biden administration’s horrible, horrible border invasion, the deadly daily invasion going every single day.

“We are barely hanging on to our Republic, we’re a nation in debt with over $34 trillion in debt. And we cannot have a Republican Speaker of the House that is willing to do the bidding of [Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)].”

Still, despite these concerns, Ms. Greene again emphasized that she has no immediate plans to force a vote on the resolution.

“It’s a promise to my conference,” she said, listing several conditions for keeping the motion on the back burner. “Keep the investigations going. Keep the committee work going. Let’s do the good work that we’re doing.

“I haven’t drawn a deadline, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t call it to the floor and force a vote to happen,” she added.

Would It Work?

Ahead of Ms. Greene’s resolution, several lawmakers who voted to oust Mr. McCarthy say they have no immediate plans to do the same to Mr. Johnson.

Several, including Mr. Gaetz, Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), and Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), have indicated that they think pursuing another motion to vacate would be foolish and could hurt the party in the lower chamber.

“If we vacate this speaker, we’ll end up with a Democrat speaker,” Mr. Gaetz, who led the charge against Mr. McCarthy, told reporters last week.

NTD Photo
House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) (R) talks to Rep.-elect Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) in the House Chamber during the fourth day of voting for speaker of the House, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, on Jan. 6, 2023. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

He suggested that many of Mr. Johnson’s faults are driven by moderate Republicans willing to join Democrats on spending issues, and said the solution, rather than giving Mr. Johnson the boot, is to “elect a better batch of Republicans.”

Mr. Burchett agreed.

“If we were to kick him out, you might as well just give the gavel to Hakeem,” Mr. Burchett said, referencing House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.), who also voted to remove Mr. McCarthy, echoed Mr. Burchett, striking a conciliatory and understanding tone toward the embattled speaker.

While acknowledging that the buck stops with Mr. Johnson, Mr. Crane said, “We’ve also got to be realistic and look at the situation.”

He emphasized that he wouldn’t support a motion to vacate against Mr. Johnson at the present time.

“I’m glad that we did what we did,” Mr. Crane said. “At the very least … Speaker Johnson is transparent and, you know, doesn’t make promises and then not deliver on those promises.”

Mr. Crane cited the shrinking Republican majority in the House as part of the reasoning for his much more understanding approach to Mr. Johnson’s speakership.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a lawmaker who took the lead in opposition to the spending bill, has indicated as much.

“I’m not going to go down that road right now,” he said during a March 21 interview on Fox News’ “Your World.”

With these lawmakers expressing opposition to pursuing a motion to vacate against Mr. Johnson, it’s unclear whether Ms. Greene’s motion would be successful if brought to the floor.

From The Epoch Times

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