Rep. Bob Good noncommittal on voting to oust Speaker Johnson

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House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good (R-Va.) was noncommittal Friday when asked if he would vote to oust Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) following an introduction of a motion to vacate.

“Well, he serves the pleasure of 218 members, I can’t make a defense for him as Speaker,” Good said when asked on “The Hill on NewsNation” if Johnson deserves to be removed from the leadership role.

Good provided some criticism for Johnson, being unhappy with the spending levels included in the bipartisan spending package — which was passed by the House Friday. But, he acknowledged that the Speaker was put in a difficult position with a narrow GOP majority. 

“Mike Johnson admittedly has been dealt a difficult hand and has the most narrow majority in the history of the country,” Good said. “That said, we could do a better job of fighting. We’re failing to do that, and I can’t defend his performance.” 

His remarks come after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — who was booted from the Freedom Caucus last summer — filed the motion to vacate Johnson Friday. This is the same procedural move that ended former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) tenure as leader of the House less than 6 months ago.

She introduced the proposal as the House was racing to vote on the six-bill spending package to avert a partial government shutdown. 

Greene said “this is basically a warning,” adding that she didn’t “have a timeline” for forcing a vote on the motion. Since the resolution is not privileged, it won’t be considered until after the Easter recess. 

“I respect our conference; I paid all my dues to my conference; I’m a member in good standing, and I do not wish to inflict pain on our conference and to throw the House in chaos,” she said Friday.

“But this is basically a warning, and it’s time for us to go through the process, take our time, and find a new Speaker of the House that will stand with Republicans in our Republican majority instead of standing with the Democrats,” Greene, who has been one of Johnson’s most vocal critics, added.

Her move alienated both some moderate and hard-right GOP members. Rep. Mike Lawler, a moderate Republican in a swing district, called the move “idiotic.” 

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.), a member of the Freedom Caucus, called the move a “mistake” and stood in defense of the Speaker. 

“I consider Marjorie Taylor Greene to be my friend. She’s still my friend. But she just made a big mistake,” Higgins said in a video Friday. “To think that one of our Republican colleagues would call for his ouster right now — it’s really, it’s abhorrent to me and I oppose it.”

Right before voting on the spending package Friday, Good brushed off the idea when asked about forcing the vote to remove Johnson. 

“You guys ask us every day about the status of the Speaker, but I don’t think anybody here talked so cavalierly or flippantly about the Speaker a year ago,” he said.

“We focused on policy, we focused on actions, we focused on performance, or lack thereof.,” Good added. “And we’re doing the same thing today.”

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