• May 19, 2024

Mike Johnson Promises Not to Slip ‘Motion to Vacate’ Repeal into Ukrainian Bill

(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) Mike Johnson, R-La., pledged on Thursday not to cunningly amend the powerful tool that empowers one Republican to threaten his role as House speaker. 

Johnson clarified his stance following media reports hinting at the possibility of him introducing an amendment to the House rule, commonly referred to as the “motion to vacate,” within contentious foreign funding bills. 

In a Twitter statement, Johnson acknowledged that some Republicans have called for a repeal of the “motion to vacate,” but affirmed his apparent commitment to adhere to current rules. 

“Since the beginning of the 118th Congress, the House rule allowing a Motion to Vacate from a single member has harmed this office and our House majority,” Johnson claimed. 

The House speaker, currently facing Republican turmoil over his funding of President Joe Biden’s administration and endorsement of Ukrainian aid, stated that amending the rule would require a GOP majority. 

“While I understand the importance of that idea, any rule change requires a majority of the full House, which we do not have,” he said. “We will continue to govern under the existing rules.” 

The House GOP is currently divided, with many stating that if Johnson amends the motion to vacate the rule, they would immediately file the same motion, thus removing him from the speakership. 

The plans to change the motion to vacate partly originated from the House Main Street Caucus, considered more centrist and pragmatic than hardline GOPers. Politico said the more moderate Republicans proposed changing the House rules to empower him. 

The plan involved removing Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky.; Chip Roy, R-Texas; and Ralph Norman, R-S.C., from the House Rules panel. The latter two Republicans are members of the House Freedom Caucus. Such a removal would make bringing legislation to the House floor easier. 

The second part of the plan aimed to increase the threshold, making it harder to remove a speaker. Politico reported that adding such a rule to the foreign bill was not their idea. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., the Republican leading the threats to oust Johnson, insisted that the speaker must meet with the GOP conference before changing the rule. 

“This has never happened in history. And it’s completely wrong. He owes our conference the truth and he owes Republicans answers,” Greene said. “He’s going to prove exactly what I’ve been saying correct. He is the Democrat’s speaker.” 

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who expressed a lack of confidence in Johnson, warned that changing the motion to vacate would be fatal for Johnson’s speakership. 

“I told [Johnson] changing the threshold of the motion to vacate – that’s been my red line this entire Congress,” Boebert said. “It’s my red line then, it’s my red line now. I told [him] there’s nothing that will get you to a motion to vacate faster than changing the threshold.”


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