Speaker Johnson details text exchange with MTG over motion to vacate

Imperiled House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La,) touched on an Easter Sunday text exchange with Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R) as the duo were “expected to talk.”

(Video: Fox News)

After hanging the sword of Damocles over the speaker’s head in filing a motion to vacate over passage of the $1.2 trillion omnibus spending package to keep the federal government open, the threat of a vote remained just that.

With the House of Representatives in recess until April 8, Johnson joined Fox News host and former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy for his program “Sunday Night in America” where they touched on the potential for yet another speaker fight in the lower chamber.

“How does this motion to vacate help win back the majority or win a bigger majority?” asked Gowdy as he focused on the election year implications.

“I don’t think it does,” responded Johnson, “and I think all of my other Republican colleagues recognize this as a distraction from our mission. Again, the mission is to save the Republic, and the only way we can do that is if we grow the House majority, win the Senate and win the White House. So we don’t need any dissension right now.”

Reminding that Greene’s filing was “not a privileged motion” and was not required to be brought to a vote — “It’s just hanging there” — the speaker noted that messages with Greene shared over Easter had preempted plans for a broader conversation.

“We’re going to talk early next week,” he told Gowdy.

“Marjorie’s a friend, she’s very frustrated about, for example, the last appropriations bills. Guess what? So am I,” said Johnson. “As we discussed, Trey, these are not the perfect pieces of legislation that you and I and Marjorie would draft if we had the ability to do it differently. But with the smallest margin in U.S. history, we’re sometimes going to get legislation that we don’t like, and the Democrats know that when we don’t all stand together with our razor-thin majority, then they have a better negotiation position, and that’s why we got some of the things we didn’t like.”

What the speaker glossed over during his remarks was the fact that the GOP members who had aligned with him were in the minority of the House Republican Conference as 112 had voted against advancing the bloated spending package and 101 had voted in favor. Among Democrats, 22 had voted against while Johnson’s coalition handed 185 members of President Joe Biden’s party an opportunity to tout a bipartisan victory with the final total of 286 to 134.

It remains to be seen what would come of the discussion between Johnson and Greene but he expressed his intent to foster unity in the House as he told Gowdy, “I want to talk with her about reforming the budgeting and spending process going forward. That’s what Republicans are for, that’s the transformational kind of changes that we can forge if we all stand together.”

Kevin Haggerty


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles