Democratic Move to Safeguard Speaker Mike Johnson From Ousted Mirrors Kevin McCarthy’s Fate, Hinging on $95 Billion Foreign Aid Deal for Israel and Ukraine

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 15: Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) walks to the House floor at the United States Capitol on Thursday February 15, 2024 in Washington, DC.

A moderate politician has presented a plan to his colleagues to prevent the removal of Republican Speaker Mike Johnson, similar to what happened to his predecessor Kevin McCarthy.

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-N.J., is circulating a proposal that would mandate members of Democratic or Republican leadership to approve a ‘motion to vacate’ the speaker before a floor vote.

At present, a single member must submit a motion to remove the speaker in order for the measure to receive a full vote on the floor. This rule was accepted by McCarthy during negotiations with Republicans for the gavel in January.

However, the bipartisan agreement would involve expenses, as per records acquired by Axios.

The proposal to protect the speaker of the Democrats would depend on the House floor voting on the Senate’s $95 billion foreign package for Israel and Ukraine, a move that Johnson and other conservative members strongly oppose.

Rep. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., expressed support for using the motion to vacate as a tool to potentially remove Speaker Johnson due to policy disagreements.

In addition, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a prominent member of the GOP, has stated her intention to push for a vote to remove the speaker if a foreign aid bill is introduced for consideration.

McCarthy’s Ousted, Chaotic Transition, and Democratic Funding Strategy

Speaker Emeritus Kevin McCarthy is speaking during an event awarding House Clerk Cheryl L. Johnson with the 2023 Freedom Award on Tuesday, February 13, 2024.


In October 2023, a member, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., took action and compelled the House to vote on whether they wished to retain McCarthy in power, resulting in his removal from leadership.

McCarthy approved a temporary bipartisan government funding agreement shortly before being removed from his leadership position.

It took several weeks for Republicans to come together and choose a new leader in the midst of widespread chaos.

If the proposal put forward by Gottheimer is approved by Democrats, it may provide them with an advantage in a potential funding dispute if Republicans try to oust Johnson, although the likelihood of this happening is low.

The White House attributes Russian battlefield successes to House Republicans, claiming that their withholding of foreign aid has resulted in the loss of territory and lives in the embattled country.

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