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Second US House Republican calls for Speaker Johnson to leave top job

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Second US House Republican calls for Speaker Johnson to leave top job
April 16, 2024
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. Republican lawmakers are now pushing to oust House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson, who said on Tuesday he would not resign.

THE TAKE

Johnson, who took over as the narrowly divided chamber's speaker last year after fellow Republicans ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, faces pressure from far-right conservatives, particularly those aligned with former President Donald Trump, over pending aid for Ukraine and a recently passed surveillance bill.

Congressman Thomas Massie, in a post on X on Tuesday, said he would join fellow Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene's bid to oust Johnson by co-sponsoring her motion to vacate. He added that he had urged Johnson to resign at a Republican House meeting but that the speaker had declined.

KEY QUOTES

"I am not resigning," Johnson told reporters at House Republicans' weekly press briefing. "I am not concerned about this. I am going to do my job."

Asked about the motion's potential success, Massie told reporters on Tuesday, "I will tell you, if it is called, there will be a lot of people who vote for it."

"I’m grateful to @RepThomasMassie for cosponsoring my Motion to Vacate. We need a new Speaker!" Greene posted on X.

CONTEXT

Another bid to oust the top House Republican would again throw the chamber into turmoil and raise questions about the party's governing ability just six months ahead of the November election in which control of Congress and the White House are at stake.

Trump backed Johnson when the two met last week but is also a close ally of Greene.

With a slim Republican majority, Johnson could need Democratic votes to protect his speakership if the motion to vacate comes up for a vote. Republicans maintain a 218-213 majority in the House with three current Republican vacancies, and House Rules require a majority for the motion to pass.

(Reporting by David Morgan; additional reporting by Jasper Ward and Ismail Shakil; Writing by Caitlin Webber and Susan Heavey; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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