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Another Republican joins the effort to impeach Johnson, putting the speaker in grave danger

WASHINGTON — A third House Republican has signed on to an effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson from power, giving his opponents the votes they need to oust the Republican leader unless Democrats step in to oust him. to rescue.

Rep. Paul Gosarof Arizona, signed the “motion to vacate” written by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia, both Republicans said Friday. If brought up as a privileged resolution, it would force a vote within two legislative days on whether Johnson should be removed as speaker. A simple majority of votes would be required to pass.

Rep. Thomas Massieof Kentucky joined the motion to leave earlier this week but has said he does not want to force a vote on it and instead push for Johnson’s resignation. The three Republicans and other far-right members of the conference are furious with the speaker for casting votes to provide aid to Ukraine, especially without U.S. border security provisions attached.

“We need a president who will put America first, instead of bowing to the reckless demands of the warmongers, neo-conservatives and the military-industrial complex that makes billions from a costly and endless war halfway around the world.” , Gosar said in a statement on Friday.

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If given the floor, those three Republican votes would be enough to remove Johnson as chairman if all Democrats vote against him. Some Democrats have indicated they would intervene to save Johnson, but the minority leader Hakeem JeffriesDN.Y. said Friday that “the condition for the conversation” about bailing out Johnson is that the foreign aid bills are passed “in their entirety.”

The addition of a third Republican to the exit bill is a huge blow to Johnson, increasing the likelihood that he will be removed from power or bailed out by Democrats, which could further undermine him within the conference.

“Johnson is done,” said one Republican who supports the speaker. “It’s sad.”

Greene “has the votes,” said another Republican. The member said they believe Democrats will vote to bail out Johnson — especially given the way the relief packages were structured, which angered some conservatives.

Massie said the intention is not to force a vote to impeach Johnson, but to show their numbers and have the speaker himself resign. That would avoid weeks of chaos on the floor, where the House must hold back-to-back votes to install a speaker, and instead allow Republicans to meet behind closed doors and choose a new leader before Johnson voluntarily resigns. leaves seat, Massie told reporters.

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“The strategy has always been to ask the speaker to resign in some way John Boehner resigned, where John Boehner cleaned out the shed and said, ‘I’m leaving and you have plenty of time to replace me,'” Massie said. “So under that circumstance we didn’t get to the speaker… less house. … Just like when you quit your job, you give two weeks’ notice, we’re looking for Mike’s notice.”

Massie suggested that a vote to impeach Johnson could leave Republicans in the minority; The balance of power in the House of Representatives is so close that it wouldn’t take much movement to elect Jeffries as speaker. Voting to impeach Johnson would result in the House holding vote after vote “sometimes twice, three times a day,” Massie noted. So voting for Jeffries just to end the chaos might seem attractive to a handful of Republicans.

“If Johnson did it the way John Boehner did it, there’s no chance of being in the minority because it won’t be fought on the floor. … Jeffries is not on the ballot if we do this in conference,” Massie emphasized. “And so that’s the goal.”

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He added that he had 12 people in mind who could do a better job than Johnson.

Greene has not indicated if or when she will try to force a vote on the eviction motion.

Gosar announced he had joined the effort to impeach Johnson just after the House of Representatives voted to advance the package of four foreign aid bills — one for Ukraine, one for Israel, another for Taiwan and a fourth that seeks to counter China by providing a path abroad. ban TikTok in the US and other national security priorities.

Johnson called the House foreign aid package “the best possible product we can get under these circumstances,” noting that Democrats control the Senate and the White House.

He said a Democrats’ discharge request to force the House of Representatives to take up a Senate-passed foreign aid package “would have happened immediately” if the House had not acted.

“The reality here is that if the House had not done this … we would have had to eat the Senate supplemental bill,” he told reporters.

This article was originally published on NBCNews.com

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