Rep. Massie Joins Effort to Oust Speaker Johnson

 April 17, 2024

When Speaker Johnson (R-LA) replaced Kevin McCarthy, the caucus gave him quite a bit of rope due to the situation that he was thrust into.

That rope is now gone, as Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) has joined Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's (R-GA) effort to oust Johnson from the position.

Talking Points…
- Massie joins Greene in motion to vacate
- Johnson responds
- Analysis

Massie Joins Effort to Ouster Speaker Johnson

Since taking over as Speaker, Johnson has pushed through legislation in a fashion that has not sat well with members of the Freedom Caucus. When the $1.2 trillion spending bill was passed, Greene went ballistic. The fact that the legislation was passed through the House so quickly also agitated members. When Greene made her initial motion to vacate, she stated it was a warning for Johnson, but she had no problem flooring the motion if Johnson continued down this path.

If all Democrats vote for the motion to vacate, Greene only needs a handful of Republicans to remove Johnson, and she just got an additional supporter in Massie. Massie is now demanding that Johnson announce that he will resign his position after a new Speaker is elected. If Johnson refuses, Massie appears ready to help Greene with the motion to vacate. Massie stated:

"I asked him to resign…he said he would not.

"And I said, well, you're the one who's going to put us into this because the motion is going to get called, OK? The motion will get called."

Johnson Responds to Massie Demand

Johnson responded defiantly to the media when asked about Massie’s demand. He stated:

"I am not resigning.

"It is, in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion. We're simply here trying to do our job. It is not helpful. It is not helping the House Republicans advance our agenda, which is in the best interest of the American people."

Johnson has vowed to put aid packages on the floor for both Ukraine and Israel, but Massie says the rule will not even make it through the procedural hurdle, calling it "dead on arrival." Other lawmakers have also chimed in, believing that Johnson should pass whatever he can while he can and then announce that he will step down.

Several lawmakers were also asked about Johnson's defiant attitude in all of this, which is very similar to the path that McCarthy took in daring Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to put his motion to vacate on the floor, all smiles until he realized that Gaetz had the support needed, which is when McCarthy's face went ghost white realizing he was going to be removed.

Lawmakers have stated that when Massie says he is going to do something, it happens, so this is a legitimate threat. House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) added:

"I think if the speaker ignores the obvious desire of the conference to include border control [in the foreign aid plan], and I think a lot of people who want part of this to be paid for, I think he ignores that at his own risk."


I completely understand Greene and Massie's frustrations, but I think they need to look at the big picture. If they remove another Speaker, any confidence that is left by the American people in the ability of Republicans to act like adults and legislate will be gone, more than likely turning the House over to Democrats in the upcoming election. If that happens, it will be a complete and utter disaster if Donald Trump wins, even more so if Biden wins, as there will be no obstruction to Democrats passing whatever they want unless the GOP manages to take back the Senate.

This is truly a "big picture" moment in the House, so we will learn about the people who are only seeking personal glory and those who will do what needs to be done for the good of the conservative moment. If you do not want Johnson, suck it up and wait until after the election and put a candidate up against him that you do want. But now is not the time to play these games and risk the entire conservative movement to grab personal glory.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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