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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene says she will force a vote to oust Speaker Mike Johnson next week

Democrats have pledged to vote to kill Greene's motion to vacate and save the GOP speaker's job after he pushed through a $95 billion package with aid for Ukraine.
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WASHINGTON — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., said Wednesday she will force a vote next week to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson, daring Democrats and Johnson's GOP allies to step in and save his job.

Wearing a red "MAGA" hat, Greene accused Johnson, R-La., of betraying the GOP and going against conservative wishes on government funding bills, passing Ukraine aid and reauthorizing the foreign intelligence surveillance program without new warrant requirements, among other issues.

"So next week, I am going to be calling this motion to vacate. Absolutely calling it," Greene said at a news conference outside the Capitol. "I can’t wait to see Democrats go out and support a Republican speaker and have to go home to their primaries and have to run for Congress again.”

Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York and his Democratic leadership team issued a rare statement Tuesday announcing that Democrats would band together to protect Johnson by voting to "table," or kill, a motion by Greene to oust him to promote bipartisan cooperation and return to normalcy.

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Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene outside the Capitol on Wednesday. Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

"House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that. At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction," the Democratic leaders said in their statement Tuesday.

"We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed," they said.

Even some of Johnson’s other conservative critics have opposed Greene’s push to depose Johnson and say it will go nowhere. She has just two co-sponsors.

Moments after Greene's news conference, Johnson released a terse statement: “This motion is wrong for the Republican Conference, wrong for the institution, and wrong for the country.”

Greene has been threatening to move against Johnson for months, warning him not to pass emergency foreign aid for Ukraine while thousands of migrants cross the southern border. But last month, Johnson, after negotiations with the White House, pushed through a $95 billion national security package that included aid for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, along with a potential ban on the social media app TikTok. President Joe Biden quickly signed it into law.

"Now we have Hakeem Jeffries and the Democrats coming out, embracing Mike Johnson with a warm hug and a big, wet, sloppy kiss. And they are ready — they have endorsed him, they are ready to support him as speaker," Greene said. "They want to keep it going, keep the band together. Why? Because Mike Johnson is giving them everything they want.”

Greene labeled Johnson a member of the "uniparty," a term hard-right Republicans use to disparage Republicans who work with Democrats to pass bipartisan measures. Behind Greene was a large poster of a photo of Johnson and Jeffries, with Jeffries passing the speaker's gavel to Johnson. A hat sat on top of the poster with the acronym "MUGA," which Greene said stands for "Make Ukraine Great Again."

The dynamic was much different with Johnson’s predecessor as speaker, Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. Last fall, Democrats decided to join with just eight House conservatives to make McCarthy the first speaker in history to be removed by a vote in the middle of the congressional term.

Had Democrats decided to do the same thing this time, Greene would have had enough GOP support to topple Johnson given the GOP’s razor-thin, two-seat advantage. Democrats’ decision to stand by Johnson undermines Greene’s efforts while at the same time giving her more political ammunition against Johnson and his allies.

Both Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., have signed on to Greene's motion. On Wednesday, Massie stood next to Greene and defended her from charges that she wasn't behaving like a serious lawmaker.

"She's the most serious representative up here," Massie said.

Asked by NBC News whom she has in mind to replace Johnson as speaker, Greene replied: "I'm not naming names, but I think we have people that are capable."

"Anybody that's willing to fight for our agenda. Anyone that refuses to share the power with Hakeem Jeffries," she said.