MTG’s Motion to Vacate Gets a Co-Sponsor – Is Speaker Johnson’s Job at Risk?

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene shook up the House Republican conference recently by filing a Motion to Vacate the Speaker’s chair, an act that would send the House into another period of chaos akin to the end of the McCarthy era of the House.

Greene’s motion, however, appears to have received a cosponsor. Rep. Thomas Massie has reportedly told his colleagues that he’ll side with Greene on the motion in a closed-door meeting with GOP colleagues.

According to reports, there was an intense exchange between Massie and Johnson.

“I’m going to deliver you some bad news,” Massie said, according to a POLITICO reporter. “I’m going to co-sponsor the [Motion to Vacate], even though I don’t want to.”

“I think the only way that Chuck Schumer gets the message that he can’t roll every speaker we send over there, is every speaker he rolls is no longer speaker,” he also told reporters after the meeting.

It’s been a tense speakership for Johnson, who barely has a majority in the House and has been under constant threat from his right. It appears, though, that he is tired of the threats, having reportedly told Massie, “Bring the MTV, that’s your choice.”

Johnson told reporters later in the morning that he would not be resigning.

Conservatives have aired their frustration with Johnson, a stalwart conservative voice prior to his Speakership. However, disappointment with recent bills and votes has them questioning whether or not he has changed his ideology. Supporters say he has not, but longtime friends and commentators have raised some concerns.

“I hope he hasn’t,” said Moon Griffon, a radio host syndicated across Louisiana and friend of Johnson, during his show on Tuesday morning. However, Griffon has been publically blasting the FISA reauthorization and recent spending bill. “But everything Mike Johnson has ever stood up for, he’s doing the opposite now. Are his principles being blocked by the Establishment?”

However, Massie is setting up a situation that could work against Republicans in the House. Moderate Republicans have publicly grumbled against the hard right over their actions in the House – dating all the way back to Matt Gaetz vacating the chair under McCarthy. Johnson would almost certainly need Democrat votes to save his job if conservatives and moderates in the Republican conference are split. Or, more troublingly, Democrats and moderates could work together to put a Democrat into the chair, allowing the minority party to run the House.

The current trajectory for Republicans looks like a minefield, should Greene and Massie move forward with their plan to vacate the chair. Especially during a very contentious election year.


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