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Anti-McCarthy GOP rebels distance themselves from push to oust Speaker Johnson

The House GOP rebels who ousted ex-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the fall are now hesitant to embrace the new push to boot current House Speaker Mike Johnson from the job.

‘I don’t think it’s a good idea. The support’s not there. I’m glad they’re getting it out of the way, but waiting another week just keeps it in the press,’ Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., said on Wednesday.

Burchett spoke with Fox News Digital hours after Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., announced she would force a House-wide vote on ousting Johnson, R-La., sometime next week via a procedural move known as a motion to vacate the chair. 

She filed her resolution in late March, but she is expected to note it as ‘privileged’ next week – meaning House leaders will have two legislative days to either call a vote on the measure itself or first try to kill it via a vote to table the resolution.

However, beyond finding impassioned support in Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Greene’s push has mostly fallen flat within the House GOP. That includes the seven remaining House Republicans out of the original eight who voted with Democrats to boot McCarthy, R-Calif., in early October.

When asked what was different about the situation now, Burchett told reporters the rebels were ‘100% sure that we’d put a Republican in.’

‘You’ve got Republicans in districts [where] Democrats won the White House by 15 points. So in an election year, anything can happen,’ he said.

Additionally, while nearly all the rebels expressed disappointment in their belief that Johnson has not fought hard enough for House GOP priorities since winning the gavel in late October, most were hesitant to say if they wanted to go through another midterm speaker election – while others outright rejected the idea.

‘I don’t support the motion to vacate. I’m still recovering from the first one,’ Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C. told Fox News Digital on Monday.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who spearheaded McCarthy’s ouster, said, ‘I’ll probably support a motion to table it.’

When asked what he thought of Greene announcing she would force the vote next week, Gaetz told Fox News Digital, ‘I think everybody’s got the weekend to think about it.’

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good, R-Va., indicated last month that he wanted a new House GOP leader but pointed out that Republicans had a thinner majority than when he and the others forced out McCarthy. He has not indicated anything about changing his position since.

‘I think there’s a lot of dissatisfaction within the Republican Party. I think the speaker guarantees himself that there will be a contest for the speaker, I hope, in November. I think that’s the wise course when you’re sitting at a 216 to 213 margin,’ Good told reporters.

Similarly, both Reps. Eli Crane, R-Ariz., and Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., expressed displeasure with Johnson’s leadership but told CNN and The Hill respectively that a Johnson ouster is not likely right now.

Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont., who is retiring at the end of this year, would not give reporters an indication of his thinking earlier this week.

‘It’s my understanding that even if she tries to move it, we’ve got, I don’t know, 48 hours to figure out what’s going to happen,’ Rosendale said. ‘So I guess I have plenty of time to think about it.’

When asked about their lukewarm reception to her push, Greene told Fox News Digital, ‘I think that’s the question you’ll have to ask them.’

‘But if they stand by the words and the statements that they made when they voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership after he basically did nothing wrong, I would think that they would be the first ones running to vote to vacate Mike Johnson,’ Greene said.

In comments to reporters alongside Greene, however, Massie said early on Wednesday evening that he anticipates more GOP support next week.

‘I’ll go out on a limb and predict there’ll be enough votes to show that Mike Johnson can’t be elected speaker in January because although he can get Democrat votes on a motion to table, it’s not a motion to table vote on January 3rd,’ Massie said, referring to closed-door House GOP leadership elections.

Both Massie and Greene were emphatically against toppling McCarthy last year.

The eighth Republican who voted to oust McCarthy, former Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., left the House in March before the end of his term.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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