Marjorie Taylor Greene holds motion to vacate over Johnson’s head as he considers Ukraine aid

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) is looking to back House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) into a corner by threatening an ouster of his own if he doesn’t comply with GOP demands — but the Georgia Republican hasn’t determined what could push her to pull the trigger. 

Johnson is planning to move forward with advancing some sort of Ukraine aid bill when the House returns to session next week. That could spark ire among some of his GOP colleagues, such as Greene, who have repeatedly rejected any sort of assistance to the wartorn country. 

Meanwhile, Johnson must also contend with the threat of the motion to vacate filed by Greene before lawmakers left for recess last month hanging over his head. Johnson has pushed back on the threat, decrying the move as a “distraction” in an interview with Fox News on Sunday. 

“We’re going to talk early next week,” Johnson said in reference to Greene, noting the two had exchanged text messages last week. 

However, it’s not clear when that meeting could be. Greene told the Washington Examiner that although the two had exchanged messages, they had not scheduled a specific meeting time. 

“All I did was text him back and say, you know, enjoy Easter weekend with your family and I hope he gets some rest and maybe we talk next week,” she said. Aside from that, and another text from the speaker on Easter wishing a happy holiday, “that’s the only communication we’ve exchanged,” Greene added.

In that same interview with Fox News, Johnson laid out the provisions he would like to see in any emerging Ukraine aid proposal, which the speaker called “important innovations.”

Johnson laid out the three main components he said should be included in the legislation, including a bipartisan proposal known as the REPO Act. If included, the provision would seek to seize frozen Russian assets and transfer them to the Ukrainian government to fight against the Kremlin — a move that Johnson said would be “pure poetry.”

Another proposal would be to provide assistance to Ukraine as a loan payment that could be repaid once the war is over. Greene balked at that idea, calling it a “bridge to nowhere.”

“It’s the most outrageous — that is the biggest lie,” Greene said. “And the only people that believe that lie are in Washington, D.C., because the American people know it’s a lie. The American people know that Ukraine is not going to pay us back any money.”

But a vote on a Ukraine aid bill might not be enough to trigger any motion to vacate, according to Greene, who said she has not made any decisions on what would be her redline. That’s partially because the plan to move forward with Ukraine aid has been in the cards for weeks, she said. 

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“This was already planned,” Greene said. “They had been talking about this, so everybody knew this was coming.”

Johnson has felt pressure from all sides to bring some sort of foreign aid proposal to the floor, including from his Republican colleagues in the upper chamber. The speaker has indicated he will move forward in some fashion to advance Ukraine aid when lawmakers return from recess next week.

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