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‘Psy-op’: Conservatives skeptical of House Dems’ motives in protecting Johnson

House conservatives are warily watching their Democratic counterparts after House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., led a statement promising to protect Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., from a GOP-led ouster threat.

‘Some people are wondering if this isn’t like a psy-op, where the Dems are saying we’re going to publicly support you because they want, at the end of the day, for him to be vacated?’ Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., told Fox News Digital on Tuesday.

House Democratic leaders released a joint statement on Tuesday declaring they would block a House-wide vote on ousting Johnson by voting to table the measure, known as a motion to vacate the chair. It’s a procedural hurdle that takes place before the main vote which, if successful, would block the House from voting on the motion itself.

Greene leading effort

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., is leading GOP rebel threats to trigger a vote on removing Johnson from House leadership in protest of his bipartisan efforts on government funding and foreign aid.

Several more lawmakers who spoke with Fox News Digital wondered aloud whether Democrats’ announcement was a ploy to goad Greene into forcing the vote.

‘In some ways, it’s almost like they’re just trying to push her to do it, and I don’t know if that’s the best thing,’ Rep. Barry Moore, R-Ala., said.

‘Just strange’

Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., said when asked if Democrats were trying to goad Greene, ‘That’s what I’ve heard. That’s the rumor on the Hill, that’s what it’s about.’

‘I mean it’s just strange. What role do they play? Why?…They didn’t come for [former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.] but they’re coming to keep [Johnson]? They’re going to have to answer for that,’ Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., told reporters, referencing the fact that all House Democrats voted to oust McCarthy in October.

Both Mace and Norman also pointed out they themselves were against ousting Johnson.

Since Greene filed the resolution nearly 40 days ago, it has earned two co-sponsors in Reps. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., and Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., after the House passed a $61 billion aid package for Ukraine this month. But for the most part, it has fallen flat within the GOP.

Even Johnson’s critics in the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus have distanced themselves from the push to oust Johnson, signaling little appetite for the three weeks of chaos that followed the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., last fall.

‘Privileged’

Greene would have to declare her resolution as ‘privileged’ on the House floor to force leaders to take it up within two legislative days, though she has not yet indicated what she’ll do.

She and Massie are holding a press conference responding to House Democrats’ announcement on Wednesday morning.

Jeffries said in the joint statement with House Minority Whip Katherine Clark, D-Mass., and Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., ‘From the very beginning of this Congress, House Democrats have put people over politics and found bipartisan common ground with traditional Republicans in order to deliver real results. At the same time, House Democrats have aggressively pushed back against MAGA extremism. We will continue to do just that.’

‘At this moment, upon completion of our national security work, the time has come to turn the page on this chapter of Pro-Putin Republican obstruction. We will vote to table Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Motion to Vacate the Chair. If she invokes the motion, it will not succeed,’ they said.

The announcement came during Johnson’s regular weekly press conference and seemingly caught the speaker unaware.

‘First I’ve heard of it,’ he said when asked by a reporter. ‘Look, I have to do my job. We have to do what we believe to be the right thing. What the country needs right now is a functioning Congress.’

Greene posted on X in response to Democrats’ statement, ‘Every day, I fight the Democrat agenda destroying America and I fight for an America First Republican agenda. Mike Johnson is officially the Democrat Speaker of the House. Here is their official endorsement of his Speakership. What slimy back room deal did Johnson make for the Democrats’ support?’

Fox News Digital reached out to Greene and Jeffries’ offices for comment.

This post appeared first on FOX NEWS

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