Watch Margie Struggle To Explain Her  'Motion To Vacate' House Speaker

Watch Margie Struggle To Explain Her  'Motion To Vacate' House Speaker
Margie Lied: Debunking That 'Migrant Crime Wave' Canard
Marjorie Taylor Greene

Georgia’s main contribution to the degradation of competent government, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, just put Speaker Mike Johnson on notice with a motion to vacate the chair, the process that some Freedom Caucus Republicans used to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy last fall. It’s filed, but she hasn’t yet activated it to force a floor vote. That was probably a smart move on her part since she’d definitely lose if she tried to derail the two-week recess the House is ready to set off on.

Watch her try to justify her action to reporters:

“I filed the motion to vacate today,” she said, “but it's more of a warning and a pink slip.” (Note to Marge: A pink slip is not a warning.) “I respect our conference,” she continued.

“I do not wish to inflict pain on our conference and to throw the throw the House in chaos, but this is basically a warning, and it's time for us to go through the process take our time and find a new speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans and our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats.”

In other words: It's time to oust him, but I'm not doing it yet, but it's time, but I don't want to cause chaos. Sure, Marge, sure. Greene went on to say that she’d move forward with it if Johnson puts Ukraine aid on the floor.

This is reminiscent of what then-Freedom Caucus member Mark Meadows did to former Republican Speaker John Boehner in 2015. Meadows filed a motion to vacate but didn’t activate it. The move from Meadows and his fellow maniacs ultimately contributed to Boehner’s resignation. That probably won’t be the result Greene gets this time around, but it complicates Johnson’s precarious hold on his conference, particularly since his margin on votes is now so slim.

At the moment, Greene doesn’t seem to have any takers. Several of the members who voted to oust McCarthy aren’t on board this time around, not yet anyway. Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett told CNN, “Marjorie is my friend, but honestly, if the Republicans do that, they know they'll be handed it over to [Democratic leader] Hakeem Jeffries, and that's the bottom line.”

Rep. Nancy Mace of South Carolina, one of the eight who voted to boot McCarthy, is also a no as is the ringleader of that previous fight, Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. At least one of those eight—Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina is playing coy. “We’ll see,” he told reporters.

Johnson has essentially no votes to lose on a motion to vacate—a situation made even more dire by the just-announced early retirement of Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), as soon as next month. Johnson’s also in a singularly weak position in the conference right now, and that showed in Friday’s government funding vote. Not only did Johnson have to rely on Democrats again to pass it, but also the majority of Republicans voted against it, 112 to 101. That’s hardly a vote of confidence from his conference.

The uncertainty for Johnson, and the fact that it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Jeffries could win a majority if another speaker vote comes up, Democrats are in a good position to extract some concessions from him, and that’s just what they’re preparing to do. That concession: the Senate’s supplemental funding bill to aid Ukraine.

“I think Speaker Johnson should demonstrate a willingness to govern in a way that is helpful to the plight of democracy and our allies across the world,” said Rep. Abigail Spanberger, a Virginia Democrat, told Politico, saying she’d vote to table the motion to vacate.

“It's not a question of saving Mike Johnson,” Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said. “I’ll make a common cause and an alliance with anybody in Congress who will try to save the Ukrainian people at this point.”

Through all 15 of the votes it took to elect McCarthy speaker last year, Democrats held firm behind Jeffries. They did it again during the arduous process this past fall, when Republicans couldn’t figure out how to replace McCarthy. Now that the Republican majority is next to nonexistent—depending on absences and no votes on any given day—Johnson’s survival as speaker is Democrats’ hands.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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