House Freedom Caucus chair ‘can’t defend’ Johnson amid push to oust speaker

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House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, R-Va., would not say Friday whether he will support an effort to oust Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La.

After the House passed a $1.2 trillion federal funding bill to avoid a partial government shutdown, firebrand Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., declared that Johnson had “betrayed” the “confidence” of the House GOP conference and introduced a motion to vacate. Good was evasive when asked if he would support the motion in an interview. 

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

The Freedom Caucus chief ripped the spending bill passed Friday for funding policies supported by President Biden and the Democratic Party. 

HOUSE PASSES $1.2T GOVERNMENT SPENDING BILL TO AVERT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

U.S. Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), Chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, speaks alongside fellow members during a press conference on the government funding bill, at the U.S. Capitol on March 22, 2024 in Washington, DC. The Freedom Caucus chastised House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) for working with Democrats and urged their Republican colleagues not to support the funding bill while calling for a government spending reduction, increased border security and scaling back of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
(Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

“This is a performance-based business, and we’ve continued to pass all the major spending bills predominantly with Democrat votes,” he said. But he acknowledged that Johnson “has been dealt a difficult hand” with “the most narrow majority in the history of the country.” 

“That said, we could do a better job of fighting. We’re failing to do that, and I can’t defend his performance.” 

The House of Representatives narrowly passed the $1.2 trillion federal spending package on Friday, with most Republicans voting against it. The bill funds the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Education, Health & Human Services and the legislative branch.

Both Republican and Democratic negotiators walked away declaring victory on striking a deal — Johnson touted cuts to funding for non-governmental organizations, a 6% cut to overall foreign aid funds, and policies like banning the State Department from flying non-official flags at diplomatic facilities.

GOP HARDLINERS FURIOUS AT JOHNSON FOR PASSING ANOTHER SHORT-TERM SPENDING BILL WITH DEMS: ‘USUAL C–P’

Marjorie Taylor Greene and Mike Johnson split image

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, left, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, right. Greene filed a motion to vacate on Friday, starting an effort to remove Johnson as speaker after the House passed a $1.2 trillion spending bill that conservatives opposed.  (Getty Images)

Democrats cheered the exclusion of enforcement measures of the House GOP’s H.R.2 border security bill — something conservatives demanded in order to fund the Department of Homeland Security — as well as increased federal child care funding and a $1 billion increase for climate and green energy programs.

The exclusion of border security enforcement measures infuriated House conservatives, as did the timing of the bill. Lawmakers had less than 48 hours to review the legislation before they were asked to vote on it. 

Greene blasted the bill as “a dream and a wish list for Democrats and for the White House” after she filed her motion to remove Johnson from leadership.

MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE FILES MOTION TO OUST SPEAKER JOHNSON

“It’s more of a warning and a pink slip,” Greene told reporters. “There’s not a time limit on this, it doesn’t have to be forced … But I’m not saying that it won’t happen in two weeks, or it won’t happen.”

Greene did not introduce her motion as a “privileged resolution,” which means the House is not forced to act on it, as was the case when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., forced a vote to remove ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. 

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Congress began a two-week recess on Friday, so there won’t be any developments in the push to remove Johnson at least until lawmakers return to Washington. 

Johnson’s office told Fox News Digital in a statement, “Speaker Johnson always listens to the concerns of members, but is focused on governing. He will continue to push conservative legislation that secures our border, strengthens our national defense, and demonstrates how we’ll grow our majority.”

Fox News Digital’s Elizabeth Elkind contributed to this report.

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