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Marjorie Taylor Greene and President Johnson meet for day two

Marjorie Taylor Greene and President Johnson meet for day two

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker in trouble Mike Johnson and the far-right representative. Marjorie Taylor Greene gathered for a second day at the Capitol on Tuesday, with political adversaries trying to find a way out of the growing impasse over his threatened vote to oust him from office.

The stakes are high for both.

Republican Johnson hopes to avoid a difficult political outcome in which he keeps his job, but only after count on the democrats who pledged their support to save him, at least this time.

Greene, a leading ally of Donald Trumpfaces her own potentially embarrassing setback if she motion to leave the speaker fizzles, as expected.

“Right now, the ball is in Mike Johnson’s court,” said Greene, R-Ga. “I’m so done with words. For me, it’s all about actions.

In a brazen move, Greene forced his way to the negotiating table and presented four demands, including stopping funding for the project. Ukraine versus Russia and the end of the Justice Department’s special counsel’s prosecution of indicted former President Trump.

Throughout this session of Congress, Johnson has attempted to present himself, six months in office since the ouster of then-President Kevin McCarthy, as in control of the situation and not beholden to the far-right forces that sowed chaos throughout this session of Congress.

“Look, these discussions have been very productive. that’s what I’ll say,” Johnson, R-La., said after Tuesday’s 90-minute meeting.

Johnson downplayed the idea that a deal could be reached, saying the meetings were simply part of his open-door policy to hear ideas from fellow Republican lawmakers, as is his practice as the new leader.

“This is not a negotiation,” Johnson said.

But it’s clear whether or not Greene goes ahead with her plan to call the vote this week — or lets the moment pass — the threat of impeachment will drag on during the president’s term and force him to consider concessions to far-right forces to satisfy members. .

Greene said she had “high expectations” from the speaker.

“This is what people across the country are calling for,” Greene said Tuesday on Steve Bannon’s “War Room” podcast. “They want to see this vote.”

Another radical congressman, Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, joined the meetings and warned Johnson not to make a decision.

“If his plan is to drag this out so that the pressure is off, and to drag this out for weeks or even days, without making any movement in our direction, then it would just be much better for him to hold this vote and get behind him,” Massie said.

Efforts to oust Johnson were criticized by Trump, who threw his support behind the president, and failed to gain traction among Republicans, leaving Greene almost alone with only a few colleagues at her side.

But Greene’s demands are mostly popular among Republicans and could be difficult for Johnson to ignore.

In a sign of what’s to come, Johnson attacked special prosecutor Jack Smith’s two Justice Department cases against Trump — for mishandling classified documents as well as for efforts to overturn the 2020 election. January 6, 2021 is approaching. Attack on the Capitol.

Johnson, echoing Greene’s sham trial allegations, called the Justice Department’s prosecution of Trump “election interference” that “must stop” since the former president is the party’s presumptive nominee in the presidential race. White House in 2024.

“President Trump did nothing wrong here,” said Johnson, who led one of the defeated president’s legal efforts to try to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory before the bloody siege of the Capitol.

Johnson said the House would examine the flow of federal funds to the Justice Department and oversight of the special prosecutor’s office. “Stay tuned,” he said.

Greene also demands that Johnson follow the Hastert Rule, named after another former Republican president, which requires leaders to vote on bills only when they have the support of a majority of their members.

Relying on the Hastert rule could have weakened Congressional support for Ukraine since the recently approved $61 million foreign aid package did not have the support of most Republicans. It passed with Democratic support.

Greene also wants to emphasize the federal spending cuts championed by Massie, which would require a 1% across-the-board cut if Congress fails to pass regular appropriations bills before the Sept. 30 deadline for the end of the fiscal year.

Other Republicans, while on board with some of the ideas proposed, are wary of Johnson making deals with a select few.

“I have no problem with him listening, but what I will have a problem with, and we had this problem with President McCarthy, is when you start making special deals and backdoor deals.” , said Rep. Kevin Hern, R. -Okay. “And then people, not just conservatives, but moderates and everyone, say where’s my deal?”

The speaker is working to show that he controls the House and is not run by Democrats, who are in the minority but have outsized influence because they have provided the votes for most of the important issues in this Congress .

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, has become an authorized speaker-in-waiting, if Democrats take control of the party in November. He and his leadership team promised to vote to table Greene’s motion, saving Johnson’s job.