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Marjorie Taylor Greene Says She’ll Pull Trigger On Mike Johnson Ouster Next Week

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump loyalist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said she’ll force a referendum on House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) — but not until next week.

Greene has been dangling her ouster motion against Johnson since last month. At a press conference on Wednesday morning, HuffPost asked why she wanted to wait another week.

“Everybody needs the weekend to prepare,” Greene said.

Greene’s initial threat against Johnson last month failed to deter him from letting the House pass bipartisan legislation reauthorizing the government’s wiretapping powers and funding aid to Ukraine and other U.S. allies. And it’s only become clearer with time that the motion will fail, with few Republicans backing Greene and Democrats more than willing to bail him out.

The extended delay does one thing, however – it maximizes attention on Greene, with even more reporters chasing her across the Capitol grounds than normal.

Greene cast her hesitation as responsible rather than self-aggrandizing.

“I’m not irresponsible. I care about my conference. I have been measured,” she said. “I have given this time. I have given warning after warning after warning. And that’s why we don’t have to rush. We can do it next week.”

Acknowledging her motion would fail, Greene said it would be useful to force the vote so that voters could see Democrats back Johnson, whom she described as little more than a puppet for Democratic leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).

“I find it very satisfying that they are ready to vote for Mike Johnson,” she said. “I want to see it happen.”

Johnson, for his part, put out a forceful statement after Greene’s press conference: “This motion is wrong for the Republican conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country.”

As Johnson explained at a press conference last month, Greene’s demands that he refuse to cooperate with Democrats on legislation would only result in gridlock, not victories for Republicans, because Democrats control the Senate and the White House, meaning they have a legitimate say in the legislative process.

Greene’s Republican colleagues, too, have seemed to tire of her antics. Only two lawmakers have publicly backed her stand against Johnson, and only one of them, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), came to her press conference on Wednesday. (Greene said the other one, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), had a scheduling conflict.)

“There just isn’t the will amongst the conference to do something that drastic,” Rep. Kat Cammack (R-Fla.) told HuffPost on Tuesday.

Republicans threw out their previous speaker, former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), after he allowed bipartisan votes last fall. They had no alternative and went three weeks before finding Johnson after rejecting high-profile alternatives such as Reps. Steve Scalise (La.), Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Tom Emmer (Minn.). It’s even less clear now who Republicans could turn to next.

The most recent items Greene and other far-right Republicans are upset about, a spying authority known as Section 702 and the Ukraine bill, passed with overwhelming bipartisan margins.

The spying bill got 273 votes, with 126 from Republicans, while the Ukraine bill got 311 votes, with 101 from Republicans. It only takes 218 votes to pass something in a full House.

A deal to avoid a government shutdown and fund the government through September also received broad bipartisan support, even as it angered Greene and others.

Trump, meanwhile, has said he backs Johnson. A reporter asked Greene why she’s working against her leader’s apparent preference. Greene immediately put on a red MAGA hat.

“I’m the biggest supporter of President Trump and that’s why I proudly wear this hat,” she said. “I fight for his agenda every single day. And that’s why I’m fighting here against my own Republican conference to fight harder against the Democrats.”

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