House Dem leaders announce they will block effort to oust Johnson

House Democratic leaders announced Tuesday that they’d block a looming effort to boot Speaker Mike Johnson, an unprecedented development they attributed to the GOP leader’s help to pass foreign aid.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar said in a statement.

During Tuesday’s Democratic caucus meeting, Jeffries gauged where rank-and-file members stood on whether to table any attempt to boot Johnson. House Democrats had seemed inclined to vote to throw out the speaker-deposing motion in a closed-door conference meeting Tuesday morning, according to four people familiar with the discussions. Others like Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) had argued that Johnson, as an architect of legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election, shouldn’t be rescued, though they were in the minority.

Although Democratic leadership has made their position clear, Jeffries told his caucus members to vote their own conscience, according to another person in the room. Dozens of Democrats have indicated for weeks they might be willing to step in to save Johnson if he brought the foreign aid package to the House floor — many were just waiting for an official signal from their party leaders.

Meanwhile, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), the architect of the motion to terminate Johnson’s speakership, has not yet been spotted at the Capitol since lawmakers returned from last week’s recess. There’s widespread speculation that she might not follow through on her threats to call a vote to depose Johnson.