House Democrats: We'll Protect Speaker From His Party's Far Right

Mike Johnson
Speaker Mike Johnson

House Democratic leadership announced Tuesday that they’ll allow members to block any effort from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and her tiny team of nihilists to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, a reminder of where the power sits in the House.

“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 (D-NY), Minority Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-TX) said in a statement.

Even among Republicans Greene’s tantrums have been wearing thin for a few weeks now, but since she had Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Thomas Massie of Kentucky as cosponsors, the theoretical threat remained real—Johnson’s margin of error is that small.

So Greene has continued the bombast.

“Johnson will do whatever Biden/Schumer want in order to keep the Speaker’s gavel in his hand, but he has completely sold out the Republican voters who gave us the majority,” she tweeted Sunday. “His days as Speaker are numbered.”

Republicans feared Greene would make her move Tuesday, but as she and Massie were going into a meeting with the House parliamentarian, she said that “the plan is still being developed.” Then she and Massie left, telling reporters that they had been “developing plans.”

Maybe the speaker’s days aren’t so numbered after all, at least not by her doing. There’s always the possibility that more Republicans will quit, turning the majority officially over to Democrats, but it won’t be through Greene’s efforts. Even Freedom Caucus loud-mouth Chip Roy of Texas says it would be a mistake.

“I do not believe that is the direction that the American people want us to take right now,” he told reporters Monday.

That’s likely in part because Donald Trump has given Johnson his support, twice in two weeks, and he rules their world.

Once the fever broke on Ukraine aid and Johnson was forced to do the right thing, most of them, particularly Johnson, have had to accept the reality that Democrats have control where it matters, making sure that the government continues to function and critical legislation gets passed.

But leader Jeffries wants to make sure that Johnson remembers it’s on their sufferance.

“Mike Johnson doesn’t need too many Democratic friends,” Jeffries toldThe New York Times.

He also quipped that Johnson is lucky to have the enemies that he does.

“[Greene] is one of the best things the speaker has going for him because so many people find her insufferable,” he said.

But does Democratic intervention make Johnson weaker among Republicans?

“Republicans will have to work that out on their end,” Jeffries said. “The reality of this particular Congress is that we are functioning in a manner consistent with a bipartisan governing coalition in order to get things done for the American people.”

And Jeffries isn’t going to let Johnson forget it.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.

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