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Greg Nash

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) leaves the House Chamber following the last votes of the week on Wednesday, March 13, 2024.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) said Wednesday that Democrats’ pledge to shut down a motion to vacate against Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) won’t become a habit, warning that the party could still remove him from the role in the future.

Democratic leadership in the House said the party will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) motion to vacate in a vote expected next week, effectively saving Johnson’s job. The move comes after the Speaker passed a bipartisan foreign aid spending bill, a months-long priority of Democrats.

Jayapal, in an interview Wednesday with MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, said much of the party will not vote to save Johnson again.

“I will say that Leader Jeffries has been clear, and I’ve been clear to him and many of our members have been clear to him, that we are not going to consistently save the speaker who is anti-choice, anti-immigrant, anti-democracy,” she told Wagner. “Went down to Mar-a-Lago to kiss Donald Trump’s ring and talk about how — you know, all these lies about how people are voting that shouldn’t be voting, anti-LGBTQ, and really using division, hatred, xenophobia to drive a political agenda.” 

“I don’t think we can be part of doing that again,” Jayapal continued. “But I do understand that this is a one-time opportunity to make sure that we continue the work of the House.”

She added that despite the promise from Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), some Democrats will still vote to uphold Greene’s motion to vacate resolution, including her.

“I’m not going to be voting to table that motion, Alex, but I know that there will be some in our party and Leader Jeffries has said we should feel free to vote our conscience,” she said.

Despite opposition from both parties, Greene said Wednesday she will move ahead with the motion, intent on a roll call vote protecting Johnson that can hurt those who stick by him. Only two other GOP lawmakers — Reps. Thomas Massie (Ky.) and Paul Gosar (Ariz.) — have backed her effort to oust him.

“Every member of Congress needs to take that vote,” she said. “I can’t wait to see Democrats go out and support a Republican Speaker and have to go home to their primaries. … And I also can’t wait to see my Republican conference show their cards and show who we are.

Greene added, “Are they willing to actually fight? Or are they going to just keep going along to get along?”

In an interview that aired Wednesday on NewsNation’s “The Hill,” Johnson shot back at the Georgia Republican’s attacks.

“I don’t think she is proving to be, no,” Johnson said in the interview, which was taped Tuesday night, when asked if he thinks Greene is a “serious lawmaker.”

“I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about her,” the Speaker continued. “I got to do my job, and we do the right thing, and we let the chips fall where they may. That is my philosophy. That is how we are governing.”

He also suggested that he would be willing to remain in the leadership position in the next Congress.

NewsNation is owned by Nexstar Media Group, which also owns The Hill.


foreign aid bill

Hakeem Jeffries

Marjorie Taylor Greene

Mike Johnson

motion to vacate

Pramila Jayapal


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