Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene threatens to depose Speaker Mike Johnson. (Part-1)

Washington — Hard-right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a petition to vacate Friday, challenging Speaker Mike Johnson's leadership during a House vote on a $1.2 trillion government funding measure.

This political dynamic toppled the last Republican speaker, Kevin McCarthy, five months ago when far-right conservatives revolted over his deal with Democrats to prevent a federal shutdown. Due to lower GOP backing, this one has tougher odds.

Johnson, of Louisiana, faces a devastating danger as the House leaves town for a two-week spring holiday without a vote on removing the speaker. The far-right side again uses the approach to make demands and leverage their own goals.

The Georgia representative announced on Capitol steps, “We’ve started the clock to start the process to elect a new speaker. Greene, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, declined to set a timeline for her next move but said she was delivering a “warning” to Johnson for the coming weeks.

The House GOP is operating as a majority in name only, with the speaker unable to deliver Republican votes, especially on government funding, and forced into compromises with Democrats.

As demonstrated in Friday's 286-134 vote to prevent a midnight shutdown, Democrats in Congress have repeatedly supplied the tally needed to govern. Over half of House Republicans opposed it.

Conservative Republicans seek deep budget cuts and are willing to shut down government to force reforms, while their colleagues oppose that and big cuts to government programs and services that constituents value. The $1.2 trillion plan adopted Friday was the final part of McCarthy's bargain with President Joe Biden a year ago, which led to his departure as speaker and now threatens Johnson.

The day's events shake Johnson's leadership, especially as he advances next to a far-right Republican-opposed Ukraine financing plan. Johnson dismissed removal threats before Friday's vote. “I don’t operate from fear,” he remarked.

After McCarthy's abrupt, shocking, and chaotic departure last autumn, the House chamber was locked down for weeks as Republicans hunted for a new speaker. McCarthy's ouster as speaker revealed severe party divides and infighting that left their new majority, in office since January, unable to prioritize. Many Republicans in Congress were ashamed. Greene's motion against Johnson found few supporters.

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