House votes to block Greene’s effort to oust Johnson from speakership

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The House voted swiftly Wednesday evening to kill Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson from his leadership post.

The resounding vote in Johnson’s favor – which came with the help of Democrats – brings to an end the most serious challenge to the speakership the Louisiana Republican has faced, at least for now.

As he navigates a razor-thin majority, the failed ouster effort gives Johnson the opportunity to argue it is time to move on to other issues, though support from Democrats may open him up to more criticism from his right flank.

Johnson spoke briefly with reporters following the vote, calling Greene’s campaign against him “misguided” and thanking colleagues for a “show of confidence” in his leadership.

“I want to say that I appreciate the show of confidence for my colleagues to defeat this misguided effort,” he said. “I’ve made clear here every day, I intend to do my job, I intend to do what I believe to be the right thing, which I was elected to do. And I’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

Greene had dangled the threat of triggering a vote against the speaker for weeks, a push that reopened bitter divisions within the House GOP conference as many members opposed ousting Johnson.

Johnson was elected speaker last year after conservative hardliners voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a historic and unprecedented vote that sparked a tumultuous period of infighting as Republicans struggled to unify around a new leader before eventually coalescing around the Louisiana Republican.

The House on Wednesday voted to table – or kill – Greene’s push to remove Johnson by a tally of 359 to 43. Eleven Republicans voted against tabling.

In the wake of Johnson’s push to pass a major foreign aid package over the objections of hardline conservatives, House Democratic leadership had announced that Democrats would help Johnson keep his job by voting to table.

On Wednesday evening, Greene did not rule out forcing another vote against Johnson in the future and suggested that a statement from former President Donald Trump on Truth Social supports the potential for a motion to vacate at some point – despite the fact that he urged members to vote to kill her resolution.

Pressed by CNN’s Manu Raju on whether she would trigger a vote again this Congress, Greene did not answer directly but said she is “thankful” for Trump’s support and pointed to the fact that he said on Truth Social that “at some point” Republicans may be in a position of voting on a motion to vacate.

“He also said in that statement that we may have to vacate and that’s something that I think people need to pay attention to,” Greene said.

Asked whether she believes Trump was wrong to urge members to vote to table, the congresswoman said, “I stand with President Trump. I support President Trump. I’ve talked to him every day about this.”

House Republicans caught off guard

Greene and Johnson – as well as Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky – met over several days earlier this week, where Greene outlined her concerns with Johnson’s leadership and her priorities. The House was on the verge of recessing for the week when Greene pulled up her motion to vacate the chair, which started a two-legislative-day clock for GOP leaders to hold a vote on her measure.

House Republicans were completely caught off guard by Greene’s decision to trigger her motion, multiple Republican sources told CNN. GOP leadership did not see this coming and thought after the two productive meetings between Johnson and Greene that there was at least more time before any next steps were taken, the sources added.

“I was shocked,” GOP Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia told CNN.

CNN’s Haley Talbot contributed to this report.

This headline and story have been updated with additional developments.

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