Greene Eases Off Ouster Threat Against Johnson, but Issues Four Demands

Greene Eases Off Ouster Threat Against Johnson, but Issues Four Demands

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Donald Trump may be spending much of his time in a New York courtroom these days — adult film actress Stormy Daniels took a salacious star turn testifying in the hush-money criminal case today — but the former president and presumptive 2024 Republican nominee is still managing to exert massive influence over GOP politics.

Case in point: In a phone call over the weekend, Trump reportedly urged Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to drop her ouster threat against House Speaker Mike Johnson, arguing for Republican Party unity.

Greene met with Johnson for a second straight day Tuesday and appeared to back off her pledge to force a vote this week on Johnson’s job, though she insisted the speaker only has a brief window to respond to her demands.

“Right now the ball is in Mike Johnson’s court,” Greene told reporters. “I am so done with words. For me, it’s all about actions.”

The Georgia firebrand publicly issued four key demands, including that Johnson commit to abiding by the so-called Hastert Rule, which holds that the speaker should only allow floor votes on bills supported by a majority of the majority. The Ukraine funding bill Johnson brought to a vote last month passed with bipartisan support even as more Republicans voted against it than for it. “Had he obeyed the Hastert Rule, guess what, $61 billion would not have gone to Ukraine,” Greene told Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” referring to the aid package.

Greene is also seeking to block any further funding for Ukraine, defund the Justice Department special counsel’s investigation into Trump and cut federal spending by 1% if lawmakers don’t approve 12 individual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2025. “If we don’t get our 12 separate appropriation bills, we’ll have to do a 1% cut to spending or we won’t do anything at all,” Greene told Bannon, indicating a willingness to force a government shutdown.

Greene later told reporters she did not set a deadline for Johnson to respond, “but it’s pretty short.”

For his part, Johnson reportedly insisted that the meetings with Greene were “not a negotiation” and that he was simply listening to ideas from his members. (Check out his reaction here when asked about her timeframe for a response.) But the speaker also said he was optimistic that the standoff could be resolved. Before the meeting, he expressed confidence that he would be able “to lead this conference in the future” — and again sought to emphasize his backing from the key figure in Republican politics, saying he is “glad to have the support of President Trump.”

The bottom line: It remains to be seen what concessions Johnson might make to Greene, but some Republicans are already worried that he might empower her by agreeing to some of her demands. Asked if he harbored such concerns, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise summed up the GOP’s dilemma with a historically narrow majority: “All our members are empowered right now,” he said, according to CNN. “It is a time where everybody knows we either all move in the same direction or we are not going to be able to advance our agenda for that particular week. We’ve got to stay united.”