House Democratic leaders announce they would save Johnson if motion to vacate comes to floor

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(WASHINGTON) — House Democratic leadership announced on Tuesday that if a motion to vacate Speaker Mike Johnson is brought to the House floor for a vote, they would vote to table the effort — effectively saving the speaker from ouster.

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair last month. Her push to remove Johnson came after a vote to fund the government to prevent a shutdown — which Johnson needed Democratic votes to pass.

“We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,” the leaders wrote in a statement.

This means Democrats have now put it on the record that they would save Johnson if a motion to vacate is brought to the floor for a vote.

Johnson reacted to the Democrats’ statement Tuesday morning, denying that he cut a deal with the Democrats to save his job.

“The first I have heard of it,” Johnson said when asked about the statement. “Look, I have to do my job.”

Johnson said “no” when asked if he spoke to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries about receiving Democratic support if a motion to vacate is brought to the floor for a vote — and if that conversation happened before allowing votes on a $95 billion foreign aid package, a move that earned him bipartisan praise.

“I’ve not requested assistance from anyone … I’m not focused on that at all. I focused on getting the job done and getting the legislation passed,” Johnson said.

“No, there’s no deals at all,” he added.

Pressed on if he would be comfortable leading Congress by having support of Democrats — a tactic that landed his predecessor Kevin McCarthy in hot water and eventually contributed to his ouster — Johnson said he aims to work with all in the House while maintaining his conservative values.

“Listen, I am the Speaker of the House — serves the whole body. I’m a conservative Republican, a lifelong conservative Republican. That’s what my philosophy is. That’s what my record is and will continue to govern on those principles. I mean, you know, you hope you have the support of everyone the entire country,” he said.

Greene has not provided a timeline or any insight into if she will make the motion to vacate resolution privileged, meaning it would force the House to take it up at some point.

On Monday, Greene posted to X that Johnson “has completely sold out the Republican voters.”

“His days as Speaker are numbered,” Greene wrote.

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