The House rejects efforts by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to unseat Speaker Mike Johnson

WASHINGTON — Rep. Hardline Marjorie Taylor Greene tried and failed in sudden action Wednesday against the Speaker of the House Mike Johnsonand her far-reaching effort was quickly and loudly rejected by Democrats and Republicans tired of political chaos.

Greene, one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters in Congress, stood on the House floor and read a long list of “misdemeanors” she said Johnson had committed as speaker. Colleagues booed in protest.

Greene criticized Johnson’s leadership as “pathetic, weak and unacceptable”.

After Greene initiated a vote for her application to leave the speaker from his office, Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise, quickly responded by first calling for a vote on its tabling.

The overwhelming majority, 359 to 43, kept Johnson in office for now.

“As I’ve said all along and made clear here every day, I’m going to do my job,” Johnson said afterward. “And I’ll let the chips fall where they may. In my opinion, that is leadership.”

This is the second time in as many months that Republicans have tried to oust their own speaker, representing an unprecedented level of confusion within the party and a move rarely seen in U.S. history.

The breakdown shows the strengths, but also the clear limits of Johnson’s control over the gavel and the risks that await any Republican trying to lead the GOP in the Trump era. Without Democratic assist, Johnson would certainly have faced a grimmer outcome.

A total of 11 Republicans voted to continue Greene’s efforts, more than were needed to oust then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy last fall, a first in U.S. history. The threat still exists – any lawmaker can file a motion to fire the speaker.

Johnson expressed hope that this would be the “end of personality politics”.

As Greene pushed for early voting despite opposition from Republicans at the highest levels, including Trump, GOP lawmakers moved toward Johnson, patting him on the back and grabbing his arm to assure him of their support.

The GOP vowed weeks ago to force a vote on the issue application to leave Republican speaker if he dared to propose a foreign aid package for Ukraine, which he did overwhelmingly approved delayed last month and signed the bill into law.

But in recent days, her efforts seemed to have cooled she and Johnson met numerous times for a potential solution.

Johnson, R-Louisiana, marched on, saying he was willing to take a risk to approve foreign aid, believing it was essential for the United States to support Ukraine against a Russian invasion, and made clear he wanted to participate in the program “right side of history”.

In a highly unusual move, the speaker received support from Democrats, led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries in New York, whose leadership team said so time to “turn the page” about the confusion among the Republican Party and vote for the Greene resolution, which, for now, all but guarantees that Johnson will be saved.

“Our decision to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene from plunging the country into further chaos is rooted in our commitment to problem-solving,” Jeffries said after the vote.

Trump also made the comments after Johnson went to Mar-a-Lago for support last month and the presumptive Republican presidential nominee gave the speaker his nod of approval. And Trump’s hand-picked leader on the Republican National Committee urged House Republicans to back off the action.

Before the House vote, Trump said on social media, “I love Marjorie Taylor Greene,” but added that Republicans must now fight to defeat Democrats in the November election. He urged Republicans to table Greene’s motion.

“At some point, maybe that will happen, but now is not the time,” Trump said, seeking to remove the speaker.

The move now poses its own political risks for Greene, a high-profile provocateur who has moved to the forefront of the party thanks to her own mass of supporters and closeness to Trump.

Greene was determined to force her colleagues to put their votes on the record, putting them in the politically awkward position of supporting the speaker and being seen as joining forces with Democrats to save him.

“I’m proud of what I did today,” Greene said later on the steps of the Capitol.

While reporters and camera crews crowded around Greene and ally Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., a group of other Republicans gathered on the steps, trying to divert attention from her and present their own views.

Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., said of those trying to unseat the speaker: “They’re pretty good at getting attention, but they haven’t been recognized for their ability to get things done.”

He said that if they continue to insist that the speaker be removed, “I think you can expect more of the same: failure.”

GOP Rep. Carlos Giménez, a Republican from Florida, said of Greene: “She does not represent the Republican Party. I’m tired of being the face or voice of the party and attracting attention. All he wants is attention.”

Representative Mike Lawler, R-New York, called for Greene and Massie to be punished for their actions.

Had Democrats not made this unusual move to help, the vote likely would have ended differently for Johnson, who holds one of the smallest majorities in the House currently and has no votes to spare.

Chaos reigned in the House chamber last year when eight Republicans voted to remove McCarthy as Speaker and Democrats refused to help rescue him.

McCarthy’s ouster prompted a nearly month-long search for a recent GOP leader, bringing the chamber to a standstill for an event Republicans wanted to avoid before the November election.

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