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Marjorie Taylor Greene floats new threat against GOP House speaker

Last week, Marjorie Taylor Greene was repulsed by GOP chatter about ousting Speaker Mike Johnson. Now, she's talking about pursuing the idea herself.

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As the new year got underway, several far-right members of Congress made clear that they were not pleased with House Speaker Mike Johnson, fueling chatter about a possible vote to oust him. Punchbowl News reported that while it’s too early to say that the Louisiana Republican’s days are numbered, “there are knives out for the speaker already.”

Helping lead the GOP charge was Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, who said on Jan. 9 that a motion to vacate the chair — the procedural step members use to fire a sitting House speaker — was “on the table.”

Later that day, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene dismissed such talk. “I would say that Chip Roy haphazardly throwing in a motion to vacate is probably about the dumbest thing that could happen,” the Georgia Republican told The Hill, “because I think the last motion to vacate was pretty stupid, and has thrown our conference into utter chaos.”

The right-wing congresswoman added, “I’m kind of sick of the chaos.”

That was last week. This week, the Georgian has apparently rediscovered her affection for the chaos. NBC News reported:

Greene said she would personally file a “motion to vacate” and force a vote to overthrow House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., if he cuts a deal to fund Ukraine, no matter what immigration provisions it contains. “We can’t fund Ukraine,” she said, calling it “an absolute no-go — that would be a reason to vacate.”

This was apparently not an offhand remark. Greene told Steve Bannon on Friday that she personally warned Johnson that she was prepared to file a motion to vacate.

Or put another way, the GOP congresswoman who rejected the idea nine days ago as “probably about the dumbest thing that could happen,” suddenly can’t stop talking about how she’s prepared to run with the exact same idea.

Roy and Greene are not alone. Republican Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona also said this week that the House speaker’s job was in possible jeopardy. “If things continue to go the way that they’re going, do I think that’s possible outcome? Absolutely,” Crane said.

It’s reached the point at which House Democrats have talked about possibly saving Johnson — for a price.

What’s more, to reiterate a point from last week, let’s also not forget that the rules that were in place last fall, when then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost his gavel, remain unchanged. It would, in other words, take just one member to force a vote on the speaker’s fate, and given the incredibly narrow margins in the chamber, if even a few House Republicans voted to oust Johnson, the party would once again find itself without a speaker.

For his part, the Louisianan told reporters last week, “I don’t think I’m in any jeopardy of being vacated.”

I seem to recall McCarthy making similar comments in the not-too-distant past.

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