MTG appears to back off on vote to oust speaker, says 'ball is in Mike Johnson's court'

Greene said she did not give Johnson a specific timeline for obeying her demands, but said the timeline would be "pretty short." She also did not state whether she would meet Johnson again before deciding whether to force a vote.

Published: May 7, 2024 5:34pm

Georgia firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene appeared to back off on her threat to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson on Tuesday, claiming that the ball is in his court to meet her demands.

Greene said last week that she planned to move forward with her motion-to-vacate and force a vote this week, but is appearing to compromise with the speaker after she met with him and GOP Rep. Thomas Massie for two hours on Monday and an hour and a half on Tuesday, per Fox News.

"We've had discussions in the speaker's office and right now the ball is in Mike Johnson's court," Greene told reporters with Massie on Tuesday. "He understands that he's got to be our Republican Speaker of the House. The things that we've discussed about, that got leaked out to the press, are very simple and they serve the American people. They serve the people that gave us the majority."

Greene said the two conservatives did not give Johnson a specific timeline for obeying their demands, but said the timeline would be "pretty short." The pair did not state whether they would meet Johnson again before deciding whether to force a vote.

Some of those demands include a promise not to pass any more aid to Ukraine, a vow to only bring bills to the floor that have the support of the majority of House Republicans, the imposition of a one percent budget cut across all agencies if there is no spending deal for fiscal year 2025 by Sept. 30, and the defunding of special counsel Jack Smith's investigation into former President Donald Trump, according to the Hill.

Massie said he warned Johnson that if he intends to drag out the process and hope the GOP lawmakers will back off, then they should have the vote to oust him now. If they do have the vote soon, Johnson is expected to survive the vote with the help of Democrats.

"Our view would traditionally be, 'Let the other side work its own mess out,'" House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries recently told "60 Minutes." "But when that mess starts to impact the ability to do the job on behalf of the American people, then the responsible thing at that moment might be for us to make clear that we will not allow the extremists to throw the Congress and the country into chaos."

Of House Republicans, only Greene, Massie, and Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar have indicated support for ousting Johnson so far. 

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