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Bipartisan vote leaves Speaker Johnson...

Bipartisan vote leaves Speaker Johnson holding the gavel

By: Frank Corder - May 9, 2024

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks during a news conference amid threats that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, is threatening to oust Johnson from his leadership post, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, May 7, 2024. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

  • Mississippi’s three Republican Congressmen back Johnson while Democratic Congressman Thompson chose not to cast a vote.

Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to vacate the chair and oust her own party’s Speaker was swiftly thwarted on Wednesday in a resounding bipartisan vote rarely seen in Washington D.C. today.

Amid boos from members, the Georgia Republican called the motion to vacate, listing infractions against Speaker Mike Johnson (R) that she believed rose to the level of forcing him to give up the gavel.

From a negotiated spending bill that did not focus on closing the southern border to allowing a vote on more funding for Ukraine to supporting the reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, Greene told the chamber that Johnson’s leadership had been “pathetic, weak, and unacceptable.”

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Johnson’s fellow Republican from Louisiana, stood to offer a motion to table Greene’s motion to vacate. When the dust settled, only 11 Republicans and 32 Democrats voted with Greene, ending the episode by a vote of 359-43.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, a Democrat from New York, said his caucus chose to “stop Marjorie Taylor Greene from plunging the country into further chaos” as part of their commitment to solve problems.

After the vote, Speaker Johnson said he hoped it would be “the end of the personality politics.”

However, the rules still allow just one member to call for a motion to vacate at any time.

The Republican conference in the U.S. House is now down to a historically small majority. A mere five seats separate the two parties following recent resignations, meaning Republicans can only afford to lose two votes on any issue brought to the floor.

Similar drama unfolded prior to Johnon winning the gavel when a handful of Republican members – less than those who voted with Greene on Wednesday – forced out then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy. It took 15 rounds of voting in January 2023 to elect McCarthy, who has now resigned from Congress. The October episode that ultimately resulted in Johnson being chosen as Speaker took three weeks for the GOP majority to coalesce around a compromise candidate.

How Mississippi’s Delegation Voted

All three Republican Congressmen – Trent Kelly (MS 1), Michael Guest (MS 3) and Mike Ezell (MS 4) – all voted to table Greene’s motion to vacate, reaffirming their support for Speaker Johnson.

Mississippi’s 2nd District Congressman Bennie Thompson, the lone Democrat in the delegation, chose not to cast a vote, joining 10 other House Democrats as well as 10 Republicans who did not vote on the motion to table.

For a complete roll call vote, click here.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: