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Nandika Chatterjee

Mike Johnson may be ousted over Ukraine

Speaker Mike Johnson’s decision to move forward with long-stalled Ukraine aid has spurred a MAGA revolt, with Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky joining forces with Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to call for his removal at a closed-door GOP conference on Tuesday, Politico reported. 

Amid rising frustrations among conservatives with the speaker’s proposed aid package, Massie became the first Republican to openly embrace Greene’s effort to force a vote on Johnson's ouster sometime in the near future.

Other far-right Republicans say they are open to the idea. Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, for example, said he is willing to consider Johnson’s ouster if the supplemental passes by the end of the week. Perry said that, within the GOP ranks, “there’s always an alternative.” 

But many Republicans also fear a repeat of the Kevin McCarthy saga, when another far-right rebellion cost a House Speaker their job.

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, who has been proposed by some members of the far-right Freedom Caucus as a potential alternative to Johnson, said he does not support ousting the current speaker over his foreign aid package. “We don't need that, no way. We don't want that. We shouldn't go through that again. That's a bad idea,” Jordan said.

“You are not going to get a majority of votes for any new person,” added Rep. Garret Graves, a close ally of former Speaker McCarthy.

Those seeking to remove Johnson will ever better odds come Friday, when the GOP caucus loses Rep. Mike Gallagher to an early retirement, further reducing its narrow majority. At that point, Johnson  who has boasted of support from former President Donald Trump  might have to lean on Democrats to save his job.

During a press conference Tuesday after the GOP conference, Johnson batted down any questions about his ouster, calling the idea that he would resign “an absurd notion.”

Privately, however, Republicans are expressing concern that there will be another embarrassing fight for control over the GOP caucus.

"Folks are very discouraged," one GOP member of Congress told Politico's Olivia Beavers. "We are screwed."

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