Third GOP lawmaker says he will support effort to oust Mike Johnson from speakership

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WASHINGTON – A third House Republican is supporting an effort to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson from his post in a sign of growing momentum against the speaker for advancing a foreign aid spending plan.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a hard-right lawmaker, announced on Friday that he would be co-sponsoring conservative rabble-rouser Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s, R-Ga., motion to vacate against the speaker, a procedural tool that if passed would force Johnson out of the speakership.

Gosar’s announcement came shortly after the House voted on a bipartisan basis to advance the process for a set of foreign aid bills providing funds for Ukraine, Israel and the Indo-Pacific region. A number of ultraconservative lawmakers have railed against Johnson for not tying strict GOP-backed border and immigration policy changes to foreign aid.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., during the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on border and immigration issues on February 7, 2023 in Washington.
Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., during the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing on border and immigration issues on February 7, 2023 in Washington.

“I have added my name in support of the motion to vacate the Speaker.  Our border cannot be an afterthought,” Gosar said in a statement. “We need a Speaker who puts America first rather than bending to the reckless demands of the warmongers, neo-cons and the military industrial complex making billions from a costly and endless war half a world away.”

Gosar joins Greene along with Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., in the push to topple the speaker. Massie has urged Johnson to resign in the face of the removal threat, claiming that there are several other Republicans willing to oust the speaker if a vote is called on the floor.

Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., told reporters on Friday he was open to supporting a motion to vacate as well, saying he senses "there's a souring to Republican leadership" and "that the speaker should take that seriously."

Greene at a moment's notice can call up a vote to remove Johnson by noticing her motion to vacate as "privileged," a procedure that forces the House to consider her resolution within two legislative days. She has promised she'll make that move but so far has declined to offer a timeline.

The House is scheduled to begin a week-long recess after lawmakers leave Washington on Saturday

Democrats have signaled they are willing to rescue Johnson from a conservative rebellion for advancing foreign aid but several Republicans have doubts about the sustainability of Johnson surviving with Democratic support.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mike Johnson's speaker job in doubt as third Republican backs ouster