House rejects Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene effort to oust Mike Johnson as speaker

Lawmakers quickly rejected Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday.

Greene pressed ahead with her long-shot attempt earlier on Wednesday despite pushback from Republicans at the highest levels tired of the political chaos.

It was the second time in a matter of months that Republicans have tried to oust their own speaker, an unheard-of level of party turmoil with a move rarely seen in U.S. history.

After Greene triggered the vote on her motion to vacate the speaker from his office, Republican Majority Leader Steve Scalise quickly countered by calling first for a vote to table it.

An overwhelming majority, 359-43, kept Johnson in his job, for now.


FILE- U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) speaks at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Building on May 18, 2023 in Washington, DC.

In March, Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a resolution for a House-wide vote to oust Johnson, known as a motion to vacate, in protest of his work with Democrats on government spending and foreign aid. 

Greene and other ultraconservatives have branded the recent passage of the foreign aid bill as "America Last" because it does not include border security measures. 


FILE - Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) talks to reporters during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Feb. 14, 2024 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Johnson marched on, saying he had been willing to take the risk to approve the foreign aid, believing it was important for the U.S. to back Ukraine against Russia’s invasion and explaining he wanted to be on the "right side of history."

In a highly unusual move, the speaker received a boost from Democrats led by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, whose leadership team had said it was time to "turn the page" on the GOP turmoil and vote to table Greene’s resolution — almost ensuring Johnson’s job is saved, for now.

"Our decision to stop Marjorie Taylor Greene from plunging the country into further chaos is rooted in our commitment to solve problems," Jeffries said after the vote.

Last fall, Kevin McCarthy was the first speaker to be removed via a motion to vacate. 

Many Republicans in Congress were embarrassed by the spectacle of McCarthy’s removal, which exposed deep party divisions and infighting that left their new majority, in office since January, unable to fully function on priorities. 

This story was reported from Detroit. The Associated Press and Fox News contributed.