Speaker Mike Johnson says he’s “not resigning” as effort to remove him gains new backer

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Marjorie Taylor Greene moves to oust Johnson


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene moves to oust Speaker Mike Johnson

09:06

Washington — House Speaker Mike Johnson is facing a new call by another Republican lawmaker to step down or face removal, but he said Tuesday he’s not resigning.

Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie said Tuesday that he’d co-sponsor a motion to vacate the speaker filed last month by GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. She laid the groundwork for an eventual vote to strip Johnson of his gavel after he worked with Democrats to approve a government funding package and avert a partial shutdown weeks ago. But Greene has yet to commit to a timeline on calling for a vote on the resolution to remove Johnson.  

Massie said he told Johnson in the closed-door Republican conference meeting Tuesday morning that he would co-sponsor the motion to vacate, adding in a post on social media that Johnson “should pre-announce his resignation” so the conference can work on selecting his replacement. But Johnson said at a news conference after the meeting that he is “not resigning,” calling it “an absurd notion” that someone would bring a motion to vacate “when we are simply here trying to do our jobs.”

Speaker Mike Johnson speaks to the press following a House Conference meeting to discuss Iran's attack on Israel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.
Speaker Mike Johnson speaks to the press following a House Conference meeting to discuss Iran’s attack on Israel at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

Anna Rose Layden / Getty Images


“It is not helpful to the cause, it is not helpful to the country. It does not help the House Republicans advance our agenda which is in the best interest of the American people here,” Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, said. 

Massie predicted to reporters that “the motion will get called, and then he’s gonna lose more votes than Kevin McCarthy,” referencing the former speaker who was ousted from his post in October.

The move came after Johnson unveiled a plan Monday to push forward with four bills to address foreign aid. Although the Senate earlier this year passed a supplemental funding bill to provide aid to U.S. allies that the White House has urged the speaker to take up in the House, Johnson outlined that his plan would separately provide funding for Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan, while another bill would address other GOP foreign policy priorities. The push came after lawmakers expressed new urgency around approving the funds for Israel following unprecedented airstrikes by Iran over the weekend.

Johnson said Tuesday that “we are in unprecedented times,” adding that he regards himself as a “wartime speaker.” 

“We need steady leadership, we need steady hands at the wheel,” he said. 

Ellis Kim contributed reporting. 

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