Speaker Johnson Suggests Move to Remove ‘Motion to Vacate’ Rule

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) has opened the door to removing the “motion to vacate” rule that led to the historic ouster of his predecessor.

Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) agreed to lower the threshold to trigger a “motion to vacate” during his marathon battle for the speakership.

The battle saw conservatives withhold their votes in exchange for concessions empowering rank-and-file members.

Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) ultimately triggered a motion to vacate over McCarthy’s failure to cut spending.

McCarthy was then booted from the speakership with eight Republicans voting against him.

Democrats and moderate Republicans have complained that the current rules on vacating the chair have made it difficult to govern.

Johnson, who has faced recurring threats of removal from his right, said members want a more “normal process.”

He revealed that the rules will “probably” change in the future.

“I just think it’s something that a lot of members on both sides of the aisle talk about openly that they have a desire for [a] more normal process on the House floor again,” he said.

Raising the bar for a motion to vacate would be a triumph for the establishment GOP after the successful mutiny against McCarthy.

The move was hailed by Gaetz and others as the start of a new chapter in Washington D.C.

Since taking over, Johnson has prioritized keeping the government open and running, shepherding a $460 billion spending package to Democrat President Joe Biden’s desk last week.

The bill is one-half of a larger framework that is expected to cost $1.6 trillion.

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Johnson has argued that the GOP’s narrow majority in one house of Congress doesn’t provide enough leverage to secure deeper cuts.

After months of pressure from Democrats, Johnson has also signaled he will bring up aid to Ukraine, a move that is certain to face criticism from Republicans.

Conservatives argue that America’s Southern Border is a bigger concern than an endless foreign war.

While House conservatives have championed the current motion to vacate as a tool for holding leadership accountable, it’s also not clear that they have any desire to re-live the drama that followed McCarthy’s ouster.

“I have never wanted to go down that road,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) said.

“I didn’t want to go down that road with Kevin, I don’t want to go down that road with Mike.

“But you are correct, it is a tool at our disposal.”

In the media, Johnson has often been portrayed as the hapless captive of the “far-right.”

But it looks like Johnson may be getting the upper hand after all.

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By Nick R. Hamilton

Nick has a broad background in journalism, business, and technology. He covers news on cryptocurrency, traditional assets, and economic markets.

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