Rapid Fire

Speaker Johnson on the Hot Seat!

Drama is building in the House as lawmakers return to work on Tuesday waiting to see if Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) will follow through on her threat to force a vote to unseat Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.).

Greene unveiled a motion to vacate, the same procedural tool used in October to end former Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) reign, just before the House went on a two-week recess.

It’s unclear whether Greene, who has a flair for political theater, is ready to force a vote or wants to use the threat for leverage. She’s likely under pressure herself from some lawmakers to not force a vote given the chaos it would cause in the House months before an election.

Johnson and Greene exchanged text messages over the two-week recess, and the pair was supposed to speak Friday, but that plan fell through, according to a source familiar.

The new Speaker is under pressure from members of his own conference and GOP senators to move another round of Ukraine aid through his rebellious conference.

He’s made clear that his first priority will be to consider more military assistance to Kyiv’s beleaguered forces, along with new funding for Israel, Taiwan and efforts to bolster security at the U.S.-Mexico border.

But the Ukraine portion of that package risks a direct confrontation with Greene, who has all but dared the Speaker to put such a measure on the floor, warning it would lead to his ouster.

It all sets up a crucial work period for the embattled Johnson, who has only been the Speaker for nearly six months. How he manages the debate could determine not only Ukraine’s fate, but his own.

“This is not an easy job right now,” Johnson acknowledged in an interview with Fox News during the recess. president by supporting more Ukraine aid — and Greene, a staunch isolationist who argues that helping Kyiv’s defenses will only prolong the war at the expense of countless lives and the prospect of a negotiated peace

The Ukraine debate has exposed the deep fissures in the GOP conference, where veteran institutionalists supportive of muscular foreign interventions — especially in the face of Russian aggression — are squaring off against a newer strain of conservatism, championed by former President Trump, that wants to avoid overseas conflicts and focus Washington’s resources more squarely on domestic problems.

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