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Marjorie Taylor Green renews threat to oust Speaker Mike Johnson

Should Johnson worry about MTG ouster threat?
Should House Speaker Johnson be worried about ouster threat? 09:10

Washington — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Tuesday renewed her threat to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, writing a blistering letter that condemned his leadership as she tries to gain support among her Republican colleagues for his potential removal. 

The five-page letter does not indicate if or when she plans to force a floor vote on Johnson's removal, according to a copy shared with CBS News. But it comes as lawmakers return from a two-week recess and Johnson faces increasing pressure to move on Ukraine aid, which Greene adamantly opposes. 

"Mike Johnson is publicly saying funding Ukraine is now his top priority when less than 7 months ago he was against it," the Georgia Republican wrote. "The American people disagree — they believe our border is the only border worth fighting a war over, and I agree with them." 

Greene laid the groundwork last month for Johnson's potential ouster after he worked with Democrats to push through a $1.2 trillion spending bill to avert a partial government shutdown and end a monthslong spending fight. Greene said at the time that the resolution calling for the Louisiana Republican's removal was "more of a warning" and that she did not plan to immediately force a floor vote that would throw the Republican-led House into further chaos. 

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to the media on the House steps of the Capitol after filing her motion to vacate targeting Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Friday, March 22, 2024.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene speaks to the media on the House steps of the Capitol after filing her motion to vacate targeting Speaker of the House Mike Johnson on Friday, March 22, 2024. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The letter offers a searing rebuke of Johnson's short tenure leading the GOP conference, with Greene arguing he has failed to live up to his promises by negotiating with Democrats and breaking procedural rules to pass major legislation. 

"That is why I will not tolerate our elected Republican Speaker Mike Johnson serving the Democrats and the Biden administration and helping them achieve their policies that are destroying our country," she wrote. "He is throwing our own razor-thin majority into chaos by not serving his own GOP conference that elected him." 

She said Johnson's actions have "angered our Republican base so much and given them very little reason to vote for a Republican House majority." 

"I will not tolerate this type of Republican 'leadership,'" she warned. "As a matter of fact, if we win the House this fall, it will only be because President Trump is on the ballot, not because we have earned it." 

But Greene's Republican colleagues have so far shown little appetite for ousting another speaker. Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California was removed from the role in October in a historic vote that engulfed Republicans in chaos for weeks as they struggled to coalesce around a new leader. 

Since then, their majority has narrowed, forcing Johnson to turn to Democrats to get legislation across the finish line amid fractures in his own party. 

Johnson, meanwhile, has tried to downplay the tension. In a statement last week, the GOP leader said he respects the Georgia congresswoman, but they "have honest differences on strategy sometimes." 

"She will always have an open door to the Speaker's office," he said. 

Greene also criticized Johnson in a town hall in Georgia on Monday night, noting it's been a "tough year" for Republicans amid "bitter battles with one another." 

"Am I angry? Yes," she told constituents at the town hall. "My question to you is, are you angry?" 

Ellis Kim and Jaala Brown contributed reporting. 

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