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Greene Threatens to Oust Johnson Over Spending Bill

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Greene Threatens to Oust Johnson Over Spending Bill

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Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, Republican of Georgia, on Friday took the first step toward ousting House Speaker Mike Johnson, filing a resolution calling for his removal after he pushed through a $1.2 trillion bipartisan spending bill that enraged the hard right.

“Today I filed a motion to vacate after Speaker Johnson has betrayed our conference and broken our rules,” Ms. Greene said shortly after passage of the package, which was needed to avert a partial government shutdown after midnight.

While Ms. Greene said she would not seek an immediate vote to oust Mr. Johnson, her move was an extraordinary challenge to his leadership and the second time in less than six months that divided House Republicans have weighed firing their own speaker.

“It’s more of a warning than a pink slip,” Ms. Greene told reporters on the steps of the Capitol. “We need a new speaker.”

Ms. Greene’s resolution, filed while voting was still underway on the spending bill, set up a major test of Mr. Johnson’s leadership and was yet another tumultuous moment in the rancorous year the House has experienced under a fractured Republican majority.

Ms. Greene declined to say on Friday whether she would seek to invoke a privilege available to any member of the House to force a snap vote on removing Mr. Johnson, leaving lawmakers with a number of questions and uncertainty as they depart for a planned two-week recess. But her resolution at least held out the possibility that Mr. Johnson could become the second Republican speaker to face an ouster by his colleagues, less than six months after G.O.P. rebels jettisoned former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, making him the first ever to be booted from the job.

Before voting began on Friday, Ms. Greene rose on the House floor to attack the spending bill, calling it a win for Democrats and assailing measures that she said funded progressive policies.

“This is not a Republican bill; this is a Chuck Schumer, Democrat-controlled bill,” Ms. Greene said on the House floor on Friday morning.

She expressed outrage that in passing the measure, Mr. Johnson had violated an unwritten but sacrosanct rule among Republicans against bringing up any legislation that does not have support from the majority of their members.

Ms. Greene’s move was the culmination of months of dissatisfaction among right-wing lawmakers with the leadership of Mr. Johnson, an ultraconservative Republican who won unanimous backing to become the speaker in October but has infuriated his right flank by cutting a number of deals with Democrats to keep the government funded.

Ms. Greene told Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to the Trump administration, during his “War Room” program on Friday morning that she was weighing whether or not to call for Mr. Johnson’s ouster on a “minute-by-minute basis.”

“Our majority has been completely handed over to Democrats,” Ms. Greene said on the floor shortly before filing her motion, echoing complaints by fellow far-right members of her party that the spending packages Mr. Johnson had agreed to constituted a failure of their majority.

“This was our power. This was our leverage. This was our chance to secure the border and he didn’t do it,” Ms. Greene told reporters before leaving the Capitol on Friday. “It is a betrayal.”

Luke Broadwater contributed reporting.

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