Marjorie Taylor Greene pauses effort to oust Speaker Johnson after meeting

U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., speaks on Feb. 22 to the Greenville County Republican Women’s Club in Greenville, S.C. (Arvin Temkar/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Last week, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene said she would bring forward a motion to remove Rep. Mike Johnson as speaker when the House reconvened Monday evening, but those plans have been on hold following a series of meetings with the House leader.

Greene, R-Rome, and Johnson, who met behind closed doors for two hours Monday, sat down again Tuesday. But neither side announced a settlement to the grievances Greene has been airing for months.

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Ahead of his second meeting with Greene, Johnson shrugged off concerns that he was empowering one of his most vocal critics by engaging with her. Johnson said that as the GOP leader his door is always open to feedback from members on how to work better given their slim majority.

“It’s not a negotiation,” he said.

Greene prior to the meeting confirmed news reports that she had a four-prong list of demands for Johnson in return for abandoning her quest to have him removed.

In a post on social media, she said she hadn’t planned to discuss those publicly but decided to confirm her request since the list had leaked.

She had asked Johnson to agree not to support any more money for Ukraine and to agree to remove funding for the U.S. Department of Justice for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation into alleged criminal acts by former President Donald Trump.

Greene also demanded that Johnson not bring bills to the floor unless a majority of Republicans said they were in favor of the legislation and to include mandatory across-the-board 1% spending cuts to any future stopgap government funding bills.

“It would be a huge win for our Republican majority,” she wrote, “and most importantly a huge win for the people who gave it to us.”

If Johnson holds firm, it remains to be seen whether Greene will follow through with her threatened “motion to vacate” as members of her own party are lining up to condemn her.

The pressure campaign to get Greene to retreat from her effort has been intense and includes not only many rank-and-file House members but leaders of the national Republican Party and Trump’s campaign team. Trump himself has not publicly criticized Greene, but he has also indicated he would like Johnson to stay where he is for now.

Despite pushback from her party, Greene initially said she would not change her mind and would push forward with two fellow conservatives, Kentucky Rep. Thomas Massie and Arizona’s Paul Gosar, as her co-sponsors. But there has been, at least, a pause on her efforts.

Greene, who was a close ally of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, had been critical of Johnson ever since the Louisiana Republican was named as his replacement in October. But she didn’t file her resolution to remove him from the post until on March 22.