US House Democrats Vow to Save Speaker Johnson From Ouster

(Bloomberg) -- House Democratic leaders said the party would work to save House Speaker Mike Johnson from any ouster effort launched by Republican hardliners.

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Ultra-conservative Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene and two fellow hardliners have threatened to seek Johnson’s removal as speaker because he worked with Democrats to approve a $95 billion foreign aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

The rebellion was stalling amid apathy from ultra-conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus. But Greene suggested she would force a vote.

“I’m a big believer in recorded votes,” she said in a posting on X after Democratic leaders issued a joint statement saying the party would join Johnson’s Republican supporters to block her effort.

“The time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction,” House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and other party leaders said in the statement. “If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed.”

Johnson told reporters shortly after the statement was issued that he hadn’t asked Democrats for help maintaining his leadership position.

“I never requested assistance from anyone.” he said, adding that the Democratic leaders’ statement was “the first I heard of” their commitment.

Thomas Massie of Kentucky, who supported Greene’s move, also blasted Johnson in a posting on X.

“Hakeem Jeffries vows to save Mike Johnson’s Speakership,” Massie said. “Why wouldn’t he? Johnson has given the Democrats everything they want.”

Jeffries during Ukraine aid talks had publicly signaled that some Democrats would move to save Johnson if hardliners tried to oust the speaker. Johnson also worked with Democrats to avoid a government shutdown and to reauthorize federal warrantless surveillance powers.

A handful of moderate Democrats including Representative Tom Suozzi of New York publicly committed to do so.

The statement for the first time makes clear Democratic leaders would join in blocking a coup against Johnson.

(Updates with Greene starting in third paragraph)

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