Home U.S. Democrats Announce That They Will Rescue Johnson if He Faces Ouster Vote

Democrats Announce That They Will Rescue Johnson if He Faces Ouster Vote

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Democrats Announce That They Will Rescue Johnson if He Faces Ouster Vote

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House Democrats said on Tuesday that they would join with the G.O.P. to kill an effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson if far-right House Republicans forced a vote to remove him from his post after he allowed a foreign aid package including assistance to Ukraine to be approved.

In a joint statement after a closed-door party meeting, the three top Democrats said they would side with Republicans supportive of Mr. Johnson and vote to table any motion to vacate him from the speaker’s chair, blocking it from coming up.

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, has filed such a measure and threatened to call a snap vote on it, a threat she renewed on Tuesday after Democrats made clear their intentions.

“At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” the Democratic leaders said in a joint statement. “If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

The statement was issued by Representatives Hakeem Jeffries of New York, the Democratic leader; Representative Katherine M. Clark of Massachusetts, the No. 2 Democrat; and Representative Pete Aguilar of California, the chairman of the Democratic caucus.

Mr. Jeffries had indicated earlier that Democrats were likely to come to Mr. Johnson’s aid if he put the foreign aid package on the floor and allowed a bipartisan coalition to support it despite opposition from many on the far right. When Republicans took steps to push Kevin McCarthy from the speakership last year, Democrats joined in the vote to remove him, resulting in Mr. McCarthy’s ouster.

Ms. Greene filed her motion to remove Mr. Johnson in March after he pushed through a bipartisan $1.2 trillion spending agreement that enraged the far right, but she said she would wait to force a vote, hoping that the speaker would change his ways. She had not said when she planned to act, and other conservatives have said in recent days that they did not expect her to do so imminently and that House Republicans would be better off if they toned down their internal strife.

But after the statement from Democrats, Ms. Greene suggested she might move ahead.

“If the Democrats want to elect him Speaker (and some Republicans want to support the Democrats’ chosen Speaker), I’ll give them the chance to do it,” Ms. Greene wrote on social media. “I’m a big believer in recorded votes because putting Congress on record allows every American to see the truth and provides transparency to our votes.”

“Americans deserve to see the Uniparty on full display,” she said. “I’m about to give them their coming out party!”

In voting to table a motion to vacate the speaker, Democrats would avoid a direct vote on backing Mr. Johnson, one that would be extremely awkward for many in the party given the top Republican’s own highly conservative credentials on most fiscal and social policy and his support of former President Donald J. Trump. He also helped to lead Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

But Democrats said the effort was less about Mr. Johnson and more about beating back the right fringe.

“I would say that none of the discussion we had in caucus was about saving Mike Johnson,” Mr. Aguilar told reporters, where he referred to Ms. Greene by her initials. “We don’t want to turn the clock back and let M.T.G. dictate the schedule and calendar of what’s ahead.”

The Democratic leaders noted in their statement that in multiple instances over the past 18 months, it has taken a bipartisan majority to enact legislation over far-right resistance.

“From the very beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have put people over politics and found bipartisan common ground with traditional Republicans in order to deliver real results,” they said. “At the same time, House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that.”

Leading Republicans and Democrats alike had seen Mr. Jeffries’s earlier hint that his party would move to save the speaker from an ouster as critical in helping to stiffen Mr. Johnson’s spine as he cleared the way for the long-stalled foreign aid bill to pass.

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