Speaker Johnson calls threats to oust him 'absurd' as second Republican joins effort

Massie says he plans to co-sponsor Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's motion to vacate against Johnson

House Speaker Mike Johnson said Tuesday that he's "not resigning" from his position, as fellow GOP Rep. Thomas Massie predicts the effort to remove him from his post – which he now backs – will ultimately be successful. 

Massie, of Kentucky, said he plans to co-sponsor the so-called "motion to vacate" filed last month by Georgia GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, over Johnson shepherding the passage of a $1.2 trillion spending bill to keep the government from going into a partial shutdown. 

He told reporters that he is frustrated with Johnson's latest foreign aid plan, which as of Tuesday does not include provisions to pay for it.

The plan would allow separate votes on aid to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. Massie explained that opposition to the proposal among Republicans is growing.

Massie also predicted there will be more support within the House Republican Conference to oust Johnson than there was during then-GOP Speaker Kevin McCarthy's removal in October 2023. The effort was led by some of the chamber's most right-wing members. Green and Massie did not vote to oust McCarthy though. 

"When it does happen, it's going to pass, the motion to vacate will pass," Massie told reporters Tuesday. "Is there something he can do now? I don't know, possibly."

He argued that the House is "steering everything toward" what Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants" and "there hasn't been a change."

To avoid going through a motion to vacate process on the House floor, Massie suggested that Johnson should announce he is leaving as soon as another speaker is elected, similar to what former House Speaker John Boehner did.

Johnson said he's focused on governing and not on threats from other Republicans to oust him.

"I am not resigning and it is in my view an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply here trying to do our jobs," he said. "It is not helpful to the cause. It is not helpful to the country."

As the House GOP leadership prepares to release the legislative text of their foreign aid proposal, Johnson cancelled a speech he was expected to deliver at the Federalist Society's "Executive Branch Review Conference" on Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokesperson for the organization.