It’s happening again: Greene moves to force vote on ousting speaker

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has proposed a vote on ousting Speaker Mike Johnson, according to three people with direct knowledge — setting up a high-stakes referendum on his leadership as conservatives lament the Louisiana Republican’s passage of a $1.2 trillion government funding deal with mostly Democratic votes.

Greene, who supported Johnson’s October election as speaker, is one of several members on his right flank who have publicly soured on his leadership in recent weeks. She had hinted earlier Friday that she was considering a maneuver to force the ouster vote. Johnson may or may not have to take it up, since it’s not yet clear whether Greene filed it as a “privileged” resolution that requires House floor time.

Greene’s measure wasn’t initially recognized as privileged, which means Johnson would be able to postpone any vote on it after the House takes a two-week recess. If she ultimately opts against any protections of privilege, Johnson could let it sit.

Should there be an ultimate vote on ejecting Johnson, Greene could easily fall short, despite rising conservative angst with him. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), one of the eight GOP lawmakers who voted to fire former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, said Friday that he had “no idea” what Greene was doing and would not support her effort.

Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.), another of the eight who opposed McCarthy, also said she would vote no on firing Johnson. But Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.), another frustrated conservative, declined to tip his hand and said only “we’ll see.”

If all Democrats vote for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries as speaker during an ouster vote where the House has full attendance, Johnson could only afford to lose two Republican votes if he wants to remain in power.

Asked earlier Friday if he was concerned about Greene forcing an ouster vote, Johnson simply shook his head. His spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment.

Greene previously told POLITICO, after she first raised the idea of a Johnson ouster push, that unlike McCarthy’s removal from the speakership — which triggered a chaotic three-week long power vacuum in the House — she would want a plan in place before moving against Johnson.

Nicholas Wu, Daniella Diaz and Anthony Adragna contributed.