What Greene Risks Losing in Speaker Fight

She's pressing her demands to avoid a vote she promised only last week
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 8, 2024 7:58 AM CDT
What Greene Risks Losing in Speaker Fight
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., leaves a meeting with House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., whom she has vowed to remove from his leadership post, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2024.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

House Speaker Mike Johnson is not negotiating with the enemy, or so he told reporters after a two-hour meeting with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday. Greene promised to call a vote on her motion to vacate the speakership this week, though she hasn't done so yet and some outlets see her as backing away from her threat under pressure from former President Trump. On Monday, she and Rep. Thomas Massie, a co-sponsor of her motion, met with Johnson to press their demands in exchange for not bringing a vote, including only the advancement of legislation with support from the majority of House Republicans, no more spending on Ukraine aid, and the defunding of Jack Smith's special counsel investigation of Trump, Axios reports.

They also seek enforcement of the Massie Rule, which would force an automatic 1% cut in government spending if an agreement isn't reached to avoid a government shutdown before the election. According to Johnson, "it's not a negotiation." Before discussions resumed Tuesday, the speaker told reporters he was simply listening as he'd promised to do. "Almost on an hourly basis I hear suggestions and ideas and thoughts from members," he said, per Axios. "My door has been open from day one." Still, he pledged to "keep this team together," per Politico. Greene and Massie met again with Johnson for 90 minutes on Tuesday afternoon, per the Independent. Greene later told reporters, "It is up to Mike Johnson."

Politico reports he could likely meet three of the four demands without too much trouble, though defunding Smith's investigations could be tricky. Johnson didn't rule it out Tuesday. "We're looking very intently at it because I think the problem has reached a crescendo," he said, per ABC News. Of course, all of Greene's demands are "largely symbolic" as the Senate and President Biden would likely block them, per the Independent. ABC and other outlets see Greene as backing away from her threat to oust Johnson because Trump has pressed the party to unite. "Barely anyone on Capitol Hill is supportive of her efforts," per USA Today. "But if she pulls back her threats now, her credibility evaporates." (More Mike Johnson stories.)

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