Where do the eight GOP rebels and Democrats who ousted McCarthy stand on Johnson? – Washington Examiner

A motion to vacate House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is on the table, with eyes on the eight House Republicans who joined Democrats in ousting the last speaker to see whether they will save Johnson or vote to remove the chamber’s top leader once again.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) introduced a motion to vacate Johnson after the speaker brought the final spending bill to the House floor on Friday, which passed with 112 Republicans voting against it. 

She told reporters after the vote that the motion to vacate is a “warning and a pink slip” for Johnson and that though her timeline for bringing it to a vote is not clear, she has some support among Republicans already.

“I don’t have a timeline,” Greene said. “That will be a rolling issue that we’ll be judging and making decisions by.”

Already, some GOP and Democratic lawmakers, including those who voted to oust former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, have said how they will vote if a motion to vacate Johnson is brought to the floor.

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), who was one of the eight House Republicans who voted to remove McCarthy, said he is a “no” on a motion to vacate Johnson.

“I don’t know where [I’ll] be in two weeks, but right now, I can tell you I’m a ‘no,’” Burchett told the Washington Examiner.

He added that he also wouldn’t back the motion “right now because it would elect Hakeem Jeffries. It would hand it over to the Democrats.”

“I just can’t see us doing that,” Burchett said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who led the charge in ousting McCarthy, told Politico he is not prepared to do the same thing to Johnson quite yet. 

“I’m not going to question her decision. I’m just not ready to support a motion to vacate,” Gaetz said of Greene.

Given the Republicans’ narrow majority, it would take only three GOP lawmakers to oust Johnson if all Democrats vote to vacate the speakership. However, some Democratic members have already indicated they will support Johnson, such as newly sworn-in Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY) and Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-FL).

“I do not support Speaker Johnson but I will never stand by and let MTG to take over the people’s House,” Moskowitz said in a post on X.

Greene’s decision to file a motion to vacate could throw the House into a tailspin, considering a similar move last fall left the lower chamber without a speaker for three weeks. It also set off a competitive speaker’s race that further highlighted the infighting and chaos within the Republican conference that has been on display since the GOP took the House majority.

Whether the other House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy are in favor of removing Johnson remains to be seen. On Thursday, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good (R-VA) argued that Johnson hasn’t committed a fatal mistake with the spending deal, insisting he inherited promises made by McCarthy. 

“To clarify, Speaker Johnson didn’t make any promises to become speaker,” Good said on Thursday. “He didn’t pledge anything to anybody. So in terms of breaking his word on pledges, I don’t know where that’s coming from.” 

However, on Friday, Good said he is not defending Johnson’s decision to bring the legislation to the House floor but sidestepped questions about the fate of the speaker during a House Freedom Caucus press conference ahead of the vote. He told reporters that “this is not a personnel discussion for today” when asked if there needed to be a change in GOP leadership. 


Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) also brushed off comments on Johnson’s fate during the conference, though it is likely he and Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) align with the feelings of other Freedom Caucus members. Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), who voted to oust McCarthy as well, is retiring from Congress on Friday and will not be present for a motion to vacate Johnson.

The Washington Examiner reached out to Crane, Gaetz, and Reps. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Nancy Mace (R-SC) for comment.

Cami Mondeaux contributed to this report.