Speaker Johnson Says He, MTG In Frequent Contact Over Motion to Vacate

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.


House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) told Fox News host and former Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy (S.C.) over the weekend that he and Rep. Majorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) have been speaking for days, including over the Easter holiday, about her filing a motion to vacate his position.

During his “Sunday Night in America” appearance, Johnson called the motion a “distraction” that Republicans, who have a thinning majority in the House, can do without, adding they “don’t need any dissension right now.”

MTG issued her call for removal just over a week ago, following the passage of the bipartisan spending bill. However, she did not file her motion, House Resolution 1103, as a privileged resolution, which would have demanded immediate action on the House floor. Consequently, the motion is currently in limbo, as Johnson described it, while the House is on a spring recess.

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However, merely filing the motion and applying pressure through the media and her social networks had some fellow Republicans expressing frustration, as evident on Sunday. Republican Rep. Mike Turner referred to MTG and some of her allies as the “Chaos Caucus.”

Gowdy, in referring to the situation, said it seems that Georgia Republicans like Greene would better spend their time “looking to reclaim those two GOP, those two Senate seats” in Georgia, after both were lost to Democratic challengers in 2020. “Two eminently winnable seats,” he said.

“How does it help the GOP grow the majority to be talking about a motion to vacate instead of talking about the border, inflation, or other issues that are better for the GOP?” he asked. “How does this motion to vacate help win back the majority or win a bigger majority?”

“I don’t think it does,” Johnson replied. “And I think all of my other Republican colleagues recognize this is a distraction from our mission. Again, the mission is to save the Republic. And the only way we can do that is if we grow the House majority, win the Senate, and win the White House. So, we don’t need any dissension right now.”

Johnson revealed that he’s been exchanging text messages with Greene regularly, including on Easter Sunday, and that he will speak with her on the subject next week.

He said that he understood her frustration but that even if Republicans weren’t able to get all “the terrible stuff out” of the spending bill, they still “fought like warrior poets” to do their best.

Johnson added:

Look, Marjorie Taylor Greene filed the motion. It’s not a privileged motion so it doesn’t move automatically. It’s just hanging there, and she’s frustrated. She and I exchanged text messages even today. We’re going to talk early next week.

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Marjorie’s a friend. She’s very frustrated about, for example, the last appropriations bills. Guess what? So am I. As we discussed Trey, these are not the perfect pieces of legislation that you and I Marjorie would draft if we could do it differently. But with the smallest margin in U.S. history, we’re sometimes going to get legislation that we don’t like. And the Democrats know that when we don’t all stand together with our razor-thin majority they have a better negotiation position. And that’s why we got some of the things we didn’t like.

Now we fought like warrior poets to keep some of those Senate appropriations or some of those Senate earmarks out of the bill. And we were successful in getting a lot of the terrible stuff out, but a few of them made it through. And that’s what Marjorie’s upset about, and I am, too. But I want to talk with her about reforming the budgeting and spending process going forward. That’s what Republicans are for. That’s the transformational kind of change that we can forge if we all stand together.

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