Mike Johnson is likely safe through the election, one of his GOP detractors says


WASHINGTON — Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has been the most avid ally of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene‘s quest to overthrow Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. He voted with her to force Johnson’s ouster and predicted that the Louisianan’s gavel was about to be stripped.

But now, things have changed. Massie believes that after Democrats teamed up with most Republicans to protect Johnson, the speaker is safe in his job, at least through the Nov. 5 election.

“I don’t see it coming back. I think it’s done,” Massie said in an interview as the House adjourned Wednesday for a long weekend.

He said that if Republicans win the presidential election and hold the House majority, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump would influence whether Johnson keeps his job next year.

“Practically speaking, a lot of that’s up to Trump,” he said.

But Massie maintained that he’s a hard no on Johnson for speaker.

“Hell or high water, I won’t vote for him,” the congressman said.

Massie’s comments could spell the end of the push to oust Johnson this year after the Kentucky Republican had confidently predicted he would be out of a job. Greene led the charge to depose him in March after Johnson cut deals with Democrats to fund the government and approve aid to Ukraine and Israel. She forced a vote on May 8, which Johnson’s allies immediately moved to table. That succeeded 359-43 after most Democrats joined most Republicans to effectively protect Johnson. Just 10 GOP lawmakers voted with Greene to proceed to oust him.

The effort has since fizzled, struggling to gain support. And with few major bills expected to move through Congress before the election, many Republicans — including Johnson skeptics — say they don’t see much upside in replacing him now. Unless something fundamentally changes, Johnson’s gavel appears safe this year.

Any one member can force a vote on a motion to vacate, but a majority of the House would need to agree to oust the speaker. Greene has not said if or when she’ll bring it up again. Her office had no comment on what Massie said but pointed to recent remarks she made accusing Johnson of failing to use his power to crack down on what she called an “invasion” of migrants.

“Mike Johnson still hasn’t figured out how to use the power of the purse,” Greene wrote Tuesday on X. “Republicans can’t seem to ever figure out how to use the power the American people gave us.”

Greene also said this week she’ll push Johnson to impeach President Joe Biden and questioned whether he really supports Donald Trump, who has stayed away from the speaker battle by praising both Johnson and Greene. The Biden impeachment inquiry has floundered as GOP investigators struggle to find evidence of wrongdoing and look for an escape route.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com



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