February 21, 2024

REPORT: Moderate Democrat Floating Mike Johnson Removal Protection

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has not exactly had a smooth time in his first term as the Speaker of the House.

More specifically, he has members of the Freedom Caucus asking for his head.

We are now learning that a moderate Democrat is making a move to protect Johnson from removal.

Protecting Johnson

When Kevin McCarty (R-CA) was House Speaker, he negotiated some rule changes in regard to a motion to vacate.

Part of his deal to get elected Speaker was that any single member of the House could make a motion to vacate, which is what allowed Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) to have McCarthy removed.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) is now reportedly trying to protect Johnson from the same thing happening to him.

Gottheimer is authoring a resolution that would require Democrat or GOP leadership to sanction the motion to vacate.

Axios reported that he has sent the proposal to his fellow lawmakers in an effort to get support for the resolution.

The clock is ticking on this because time is running out on approving aid for Ukraine, but that is something that could get Johnson removed.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), a member of the Freedom Caucus, has already stated that if Johnson puts Ukraine aid on the floor for a vote, she will file a motion to vacate against Johnson.

From the reports I have seen, Gottheimer may be able to pull this off, as there was clearly hatred for Kevin McCarthy on both sides of the aisle, but Johnson has been perceived as someone that is easier to work with, and most members of Congress do not want to see the House shut down again while another election for a House Speaker takes place.

This is also a protective measure for Democrats, who believe they can take the House in the 2024 cycle with the clear fracture in the House GOP caucus.

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