09 May 2024, 10:02

Democrats save Republican US House speaker from right-wing rebel

  WASHINGTON, May 9, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Democrats voted to rescue the
Republican leader of the US House of Representatives on Wednesday after a
right-wing lawmaker moved to topple him, plunging the already-divided party
into fresh conflict ahead of November's elections.

Under House rules, any single lawmaker can force a vote to oust Speaker Mike
Johnson, and Marjorie Taylor Greene finally pulled the trigger more than six
weeks after filing a "motion to vacate" his position atop the Republican

The Georgia conservative was booed by colleagues as she formally announced
the effort on the House floor, reeling off a litany of grievances over
Johnson's leadership.

She accused the speaker of "regularly" siding with Democrats to consolidate
power and of running a party that "fuels foreign wars, tramples on civil
liberties and increases our disastrous national debt."

But Greene had failed to gain traction among her colleagues and, crucially,
she was not supported by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who
recently said the speaker was "doing a very good job."

Greene was also opposed by the Democratic leadership, and it was never in
doubt that the effort would fall flat. In the end 163 Democrats joined
Republicans in a 359-43 vote to dismiss the resolution.

Greene, a fervent Trump ally, had two public supporters but none of the
broader backing on the right that prompted the removal last year of Johnson's
predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.

She plowed ahead anyway, seeking to make Republicans go on the record about
whether they support Johnson.

Many right-wing lawmakers are upset with the speaker for relying on
Democratic votes to pursue an agenda they see as a betrayal of their
conservative outlook on issues from Ukraine aid to government funding.

But rank-and-file lawmakers in both parties were wary of repeating the chaos
of McCarthy's removal, which left the House paralyzed for three weeks as they
struggled to find a replacement.

And with the presidential and congressional elections less than six months
away, Republicans see threatening Johnson's gavel as divisive and damaging to
their prospects of unified control in Washington.

Trump praised Greene in an effusive statement released on his Truth Social
platform after the vote.

"I absolutely love Marjorie Taylor Greene. She's got Spirit, she's got Fight,
and I believe she'll be around, and on our side, for a long time to come," he

But he added that Republicans were "not in a position" to oust Johnson.
"At some point, we may very well be, but this is not the time," he said.

After the vote Johnson said: "I want to say that I appreciate the show of
confidence from my colleagues to defeat this misguided effort, that is
certainly what it was."

  • Latest News
  • Most View