McCarthy predicts Mike Johnson won't be removed

 March 25, 2024

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy predicted that efforts to remove his successor, Mike Johnson (R-La.), will fail after Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) blindsided House Republicans with a "motion to vacate."

McCarthy, who was ousted last year by an internal mutiny, told Face the Nation that a repeat is unlikely.

McCarthy gives Johnson some advice

Indeed, an appetite for another shake-up appears to have dampened in both parties.

Matt Gaetz (R-Fl.), who led the anti-McCarthy coup, has not thrown his support behind Greene's effort despite Johnson's blatant failure to cut federal spending, the main issue that triggered McCarthy's downfall.

The roles have been reversed, with Greene - a McCarthy ally - bucking Speaker Johnson over his $1.2 trillion spending deal and Gaetz pumping the brakes.

McCarthy argued that Gaetz was driven by personal motives that are likely not replicable in Johnson's case.

“The one advice I would give to the conference and to the speaker is — do not be fearful of a motion to vacate,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy had shown no fear of the motion to vacate, and it didn't end very well for him.

But it isn't just Gaetz who has changed his tune, with many of the Freedom Caucus hardliners who helped sink McCarthy dancing around Greene's motion.

Democrats to the rescue - and Gaetz?

Ultimately, Johnson's fate is in the hands of Democrats - who voted to boot McCarthy with eight Republicans joining them.

"I do not think they could do it again. That was surely based on Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) trying to stop an ethics complaint. I don’t think the Democrats would go along with it. Focus on the country, focus on the job you’re supposed to do," McCarthy added.

Although Democrats have accused Johnson of catering to the "far-right," they have offered to rescue his job in exchange for concessions.

Johnson has been blocking aid to Ukraine, infuriating Democrats and some Republicans.

Gaetz, who hailed Johnson initially as a major improvement over McCarthy, has said he is worried a Democrat would replace Johnson if he is removed.

“If we vacated this speaker, we’d end up with a Democrat.  When I vacated the last one, I made a promise to the country that we would not end up with the Democrat speaker. And I was right. I couldn’t make that promise again,” he said.

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