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House rejects motion to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, but chaos lingers



House rejects motion to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, but chaos lingers

WASHINGTON (AP) — It was Donald Trump who bestowed the “MAGA Mike Johnson” nickname on the Home speaker the day he gained the gavel.

It’s the Republican speaker himself who’s proving whether or not it sticks.

Johnson survived an ouster vote this week by one in all Trump’s greatest supporters in Congress, far-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, his job secured solely after Home Democrats turned out in pressure to place an finish to the GOP chaos, for now.

However the outsized position Trump performed in propping up Johnson can’t be understated — or relied upon to save lots of the speaker once more.

In actual fact, the indicted former president who has been recognized to flip his pals into foes warned that whereas Republicans shouldn’t be voting to take away Johnson, “In some unspecified time in the future, we could very effectively be, however this isn’t the time.”

The end result places on show the fragility of the sudden however strategically useful alliance that Trump and Johnson have fashioned forward of the November election when each hope to be returned to energy — the Republican president within the White Home and the loyal foot soldier in Congress.

“Looks as if they’re on the identical web page, and I believe that’s nice,” mentioned lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who was a key determine in Trump’s efforts to problem the 2020 election.

Johnson has labored diligently to align himself with the previous president, the conservative Christian setting apart his as soon as essential views of the presidential contender to current himself as a chief implementer of the Trump Republican Get together’s Make America Nice Once more agenda on Capitol Hill.

Barely six months on the job, since Johnson changed the ousted then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the brand new chief has dashed a number of instances to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, securing essential help, together with at a glitzy Republican Nationwide Committee gala this previous weekend.

When Trump invited Johnson to the stage to say a number of phrases, the speaker praised the previous president because the “strongman” the nation wants within the White Home. Trump and Johnson are cordial, in keeping with an individual with data of their relationship, and granted anonymity to debate it.

“He’s doing a fantastic job,” Trump mentioned alongside Johnson after one other go to final month, forward of the Home vote to approve a nationwide safety bundle with Ukraine funding that Greene warned would result in a vote on Johnson’s ouster.

In return for his seal of approval, Trump is more and more in a position to depend on the speaker’s high-profile standing to legitimize his relentless assaults on the U.S. election course of, the judicial system and the a number of felony instances in opposition to him, together with the federal indictment for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election forward of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol assault.

“All these instances must be dropped,” says Johnson, a constitutional lawyer, who because the Home speaker is second within the line of presidential succession. “President Trump has completed nothing mistaken. … It has to cease.”

Trump is already pre-emptively contesting the 2024 election as doubtlessly rigged earlier than the primary ballots are solid, and Johnson, who helped lead authorized challenges to Joe Biden’s 2020 election victory, is in a robust place to once more query the legitimacy of the end result.

Requested this week if he believed the 2020 election was respectable and if he would stand by the brand new state-certified outcomes this fall, Johnson shook his head in frustration, and demurred. “What we’re speaking about immediately is the 2024 election, no one can return and relitigate what occurred in 2020,” he mentioned.

The three way partnership between Trump and Johnson was in clear focus Wednesday forward of the Home motion when the speaker, flanked on the Capitol steps by a who’s who of the previous president’s advisers, introduced new laws that may require proof of citizenship earlier than Individuals are eligible to vote.

Johnson had promised Trump a voting-citizenship invoice throughout one of many Mar-a-Lago visits, and the revealing of it alongside Mitchell, Stephen Miller, the architect of Trump’s hardline immigration insurance policies, and others confirmed simply how embedded the previous president’s Make America Nice Once more motion has turn into within the Home speaker’s agenda.

Election consultants mentioned there’s scant proof that non-citizens vote in U.S. elections, and previous evaluations together with one pursued by the Trump administration haven’t produced important instances of wrongdoing.

Nonetheless, Johnson and the others argued with out proof that immigrants are being introduced into the U.S. to illegally vote. The laws may be seen as groundwork for the challenges Trump could pose within the aftermath of the November election.

“If this invoice doesn’t turn into regulation, then Joe Biden and Democrats can have engineered one of many best interferences in any democratic nation within the historical past of the world,” Miller mentioned outdoors the Capitol.

Nonetheless, the legislative push didn’t placate Greene, who hours later tried and did not take away the speaker from workplace.

Colleagues booed in protest. An awesome majority, 359-43, stored Johnson in his job, for now.

“I’m happy with what I did immediately,” Greene mentioned afterward on the Capitol steps.

It’s the second time in a matter of months that Republicans have labored to oust their very own speaker, an unparalleled stage of get together upheaval with a transfer not often seen in U.S. historical past.

With out Democratic assist, Johnson would have actually confronted a extra dismal final result. All instructed, 196 and 163 Democrats voted to desk Greene’s movement. However 11 Republicans voted to proceed with the hassle, greater than it took to take away McCarthy final fall, a primary in U.S. historical past.

Democrats have additionally made clear their assist was for this second alone, and never a promise of an everlasting partnership for Johnson’s survival.

“Our determination to cease Marjorie Taylor Greene from plunging the nation into additional chaos is rooted in our dedication to resolve issues,” mentioned Minority Chief Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., after the vote.

“The one factor we ask of our Home Republican colleagues is for conventional Republicans to additional isolate the intense MAGA Republican wing of the GOP,” mentioned Jeffries, who’s in line to turn into speaker if Democrats win management of the Home within the fall. “We’d like extra widespread sense and fewer chaos.”

Requested a few future movement to vacate the speaker, Jeffries mentioned, “Haven’t given it a thought.”

By counting on Democratic backing, Johnson dangers inciting extra criticism that he’s insufficiently loyal to the get together.

And the risk nonetheless lingers — any single lawmaker can name up the movement to vacate the speaker.


Related Press writers Kevin Freking, Michelle Worth, Stephen Groves, Mary Clare Jalonick and Farnoush Amiri contributed to this report.

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