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Greene says she will file a motion to leave next week

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said Wednesday that she will call for a vote to impeach Speaker Mike Johnson the week of May 6, ending her long-running feud with the chairman over his bipartisan dealmaking and his decision to put an aid package for Ukraine on the floor of the House of Representatives will escalate. .

Greene’s move has been expected for weeks since the Georgia Republican first introduced her resolution to declare the speakership vacant in March, but she has struggled to gain support from fellow GOP lawmakers.

As of Wednesday, only two other Republicans had joined in, at least publicly: Reps. Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Paul Gosar of Arizona. And former President Donald Trump has backed away from pressure from his ally Greene and appeared to support Johnson, R-La., including during a joint appearance at Mar-a-Lago.

Still, Greene invoked Trump in her comments Wednesday, arguing that Johnson’s decisions do not serve his party and its perceived leader, the Republican Party’s presumptive presidential nominee.

Voters “are ready for a Republican majority that is willing to support President Trump and his agenda,” Greene said at a news conference outside the Capitol, flanked by Massie. “And I’m happy to cast that vote for everyone next week.”

Another reason for some concern about Greene’s push is that Republicans’ margin on party-line votes will temporarily shrink to one vote once Democrat Tim Kennedy, who won a special election Tuesday night, is sworn in to succeed former Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N. . Y.

That means that if there is a vote to elect a new chairman in the event of Johnson’s impeachment, significant absences could send the vote to Hakeem Jeffries, DN.Y. — a concern voiced by none other than Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who launched the motion last fall that removed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

But Jeffries and his group put all that into question Tuesday when they officially decided to bail out Johnson, saying they would vote to introduce Greene’s resolution when it is presented. Solid Democratic support would offset any Republican Party votes against the filing and ensure Johnson would keep his gavel for the time being.

Greene and Massie used their press conference to launch a direct attack on a speaker they believe has betrayed conservative values ​​and his own Republican majority.

“Once he became chairman, he became a man that none of us recognize,” Greene said, citing Johnson’s support for three continuing resolutions and a bipartisan spending omnibus “that fully funded Joe Biden’s agenda,” including a new FBI -headquarters.

And she took aim at Johnson’s decision to bring up an aid package for Ukraine, saying the speaker supported “forever wars” and was trying to “make Ukraine great again” instead of the United States.

If her motion doesn’t gain support, she said, “it’s not a failure.” It’s a victory for the American people because that’s a list of names. … I believe in registered votes. That is our job.”

Greene also portrayed Johnson as a captive of the Democrats, saying that top Democratic leaders are “embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss… They are ready to support him as speaker… Why? Because Mike Johnson gave them everything they want.”

In a statement Wednesday, Johnson called Greene’s decision “wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution and wrong for the country.”

In an interview that aired Wednesday on NewsNation, Johnson also disparaged Greene when asked if he considered her “a serious legislator.” He said, “I don’t think she turns out to be, no.”

Greene rejected that criticism Wednesday, saying, “I don’t like personal attacks. That’s not why I’m doing this. This has nothing to do with Mike Johnson as a person. It’s about performance at work.”

Massie and Greene said delaying the vote until next week, rather than pulling the trigger on Wednesday, would give Republicans more time to consider their decision. They also renewed their calls for Johnson to resign to avoid a confrontation on the floor.

“I think this is a grim decision for Mike Johnson,” Massie said. “He deserves a weekend to think about it. He should resign because he knows what will happen next week. What’s going to happen is he’s going to share power with Hakeem Jeffries.”

Peter Cohn contributed to this report.