Greene says she will force vote over Speaker Johnson’s ouster next week

GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene announced Wednesday she will force a vote over House Speaker Mike Johnson’s ouster next week – a move that comes after Democrats have said they will vote to kill the effort and ensure Johnson doesn’t lose his job.

“I think every member of Congress needs to take that vote and let the chips fall where they may and so next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate. Absolutely, calling it,” she said at a news conference.

Greene’s decision puts an end to weeks of speculation over whether she would move forward to trigger the consequential vote. The move escalates pressure on Johnson and sets up a major showdown on the House floor, even though the vote is expected to fail.

Johnson has defended his leadership against the threat, saying that he will not resign and warning that a vote to oust him could cause chaos in the House.

“This motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country,” the speaker said in a statement after Greene’s announcement.

Many Republicans oppose the push to oust Johnson and do not want to see the House GOP Conference devolve into disarray like it did after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy was ousted in a historic and unprecedented vote last year.

Greene on Wednesday insisted she is “absolutely not” defying former President Donald Trump, even though Trump has defended Johnson, by forcing the vote.

“I’m the biggest supporter of President Trump,” she said. “I fight for his agenda every single day, and that’s why I’m fighting here against my own Republican conference.”

Greene also said she has not made a decision yet if she will force repeated votes on the issue if the vote fails next week.

“I haven’t made a decision on that yet,” she said.

Greene originally filed the motion to oust Johnson in March amid conservative anger over the Louisiana Republican’s handling of the government funding fight.

A floor vote to oust Johnson would require a majority to succeed, but it can still be preempted. A motion to table – or kill – the resolution could be offered and voted on first. That would also only require a simple majority to succeed.

House GOP leaders plan to quickly take up and kill Greene’s motion, according to GOP sources. Greene has yet to specify which day she plans to go to the floor and call for a vote. GOP sources say they could vote the same day she offers it, depending on attendance.

After Johnson moved last month to pass a major foreign aid package that included aid for Ukraine, House Democratic leadership announced that Democrats would help Johnson keep his job by voting to table if the issue arose.

“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 Democratic leaders said in a statement on Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries would not commit to having Democrats save Johnson from multiple attempts to oust him if there are repeated attempts.

Jeffries said the Democratic caucus “will take it one step at a time.”

Greene railed against Johnson on Wednesday for roughly 10 minutes, taking issue with his support for Ukraine aid and focusing on the recent announcement that House Democrats would vote to kill her effort to oust him.

“Now we have (House Democratic leader) Hakeem Jeffries and the Democrats coming out, embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss,” she said.

Greene said she didn’t trigger the motion previously because she was being “controlled” and “responsible.”

“I was being conscious and caring about my conference in our majority. It was a warning to stop serving the Democrats and support our Republican conference and support our agenda. And he didn’t do it. And we all went home and Republican voters everywhere, Americans were raging at Mike Johnson.”

During the news conference, Greene put a “Make Ukraine Great Again” hat on a photo of Johnson and Jeffries.

A wide range of House Republicans immediately pushed back on Greene’s plan.

“I disagree with that,” said Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus. “She had every right to do it, but it’s not the time.”

“Who’s in line to take over, who wants the job? And I really hate, you know, with all the problems we’re facing now – you see what’s going on at campuses – you know, we got an election coming up,” he continued.

However, Norman acknowledged that he is still frustrated with Johnson’s job performance so far.

“We expected more when Mike took office – and I like him personally, he’s a very devout man – but the reason he’s getting the criticism … is because they expected him to fight,” Norman said.

Rep. Marc Molinaro, a vulnerable Republican from New York, accused Greene of simply “wanting more attention.”

He continued, “Mike Johnson will sustain the speakership. The speaker acknowledges the reality that we live in, and has been focused on conservative principles, acknowledging that we have to negotiate with another branch and another house that don’t see the world, all the issues the same way we do.”

Rep. Greg Pence of Indiana was also disappointed with Greene’s announcement. “I wish she wouldn’t,” he said, calling the speaker fight “terribly painful” and “unproductive.” “We’ve got more important things to work on instead of that.”

“Let’s just move forward,” Pence added. “You know, God put our eyes in the front of our head so we would always look forward, and she’s looking back.”

Later Wednesday, Greene dismissed concerns that her effort will hurt Republicans in November and said she doesn’t give a “rat’s a**” about what other members think of her actions.

“What you guys need to know is I really don’t give a rat’s a** what anybody up here says about what I’m doing,” Greene told CNN. “I care completely about the people in this country, and I cannot wait to put the entire party on record.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Morgan Rimmer, Melanie Zanona and Ailee n Graef contributed to this report.

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