House Republican Won’t Rule Out ‘Motion To Vacate’ Against Speaker Johnson
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) speaks during a news conference with the House Freedom Caucus on the debt limit negotiations at the U.S. Capitol Building on March 10, 2023 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) could be on the verge of facing a no-confidence vote through the same process that removed his predecessor, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), as speaker last year.

Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, said on Tuesday that he would not rule out using the “motion to vacate” mechanism against Johnson amid objections to a government spending framework released by congressional leaders over the weekend and a warning about an impending border security deal.

“I’m leaving it on the table. I’m not gonna say I’m gonna go file it tomorrow night. I’m not saying I’m not gonna file it tomorrow. I think the speaker needs to know that we’re angry about it,” Roy told BlazeTV host Steve Deace.

Concessions made during McCarthy’s rise to the speakership early last year restored the ability of a single member to trigger the “motion to vacate” process that would lead to a no-confidence vote. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) did just that in early October after the House passed a stop-gap spending measure to prevent a government shutdown. He and seven other Republicans joined with Democrats to remove McCarthy from the speakership. Since then, Johnson got elected speaker and McCathy has left Congress.

Roy said he publicly voiced opposition to the effort to rip the speaker’s gavel from McCarthy. He noted some frustrations with what transpired under the California Republican’s leadership, but also acknowledged progress with spending caps getting implemented and conservatives achieving “some success” as lawmakers began advancing individual spending bills as opposed to omnibus legislation that would combine them.

While Johnson touted a “topline” $1.59 trillion figure for the fiscal 2024 appropriations process along with “concessions” as part of an agreement with congressional Democrats, Roy suggested it ignores options devised under McCarthy that offered more financial restraints and contains “budget gimmicks” that increase spending above the $1.66 trillion fiscal 2023 omnibus spending bill negotiated under then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Roy told Deace he will reserve judgment until he sees what “policy riders” might come out of negotiations. But he isn’t getting his hopes up after a defense policy bill that included a FISA section 702 surveillance extension and “basically got rid of all of our DEI and CRT stuff,” as well as another stopgap spending measure.


Democrats warned House Republicans not to include “poison pill policy changes” in any of the fiscal 2024 spending bills or risk losing their support. President Joe Biden also released a statement that said “congressional Republicans must do their job, stop threatening to shut down the government, and fulfill their basic responsibility to fund critical domestic and national security priorities.”

The prospect of another government shutdown looms as a two-step continuing resolution (CR) passed in November funds certain federal agencies through January 19 while others would get money through February 2. Separately, lawmakers in the Senate are holding bipartisan talks on a deal to tie border security reforms to supplemental national funds for U.S. allies such as Ukraine and Israel.

“If they totally botch it — we get no policy reforms and we’re spending $1.66 trillion, I don’t know why we would keep him as speaker,” Roy said, adding later that he would fight “$60 billion on Ukraine and bull crap border security” reforms after the GOP-led House passed its own border security bill last year that the Democrat-led Senate refuses to consider.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Republican Won’t Rule Out ‘Motion To Vacate’ Against Speaker Johnson