Jeffries Suggests Democrats Would Save Johnson From Removal Over Ukraine

Representative Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, said on Wednesday that he believed “a reasonable number” of lawmakers in his party would protect Speaker Mike Johnson from removal from his post if he allowed a vote on aid for Ukraine and faced a Republican mutiny as a result.

Mr. Jeffries said House Democrats had not formally discussed whether they would help save Mr. Johnson if he suffered the same fate as Kevin McCarthy, the former speaker who faced a so-called “motion to vacate” that prompted a snap vote on whether to remove him. Mr. Jeffries, a New York Democrat, also said he had not discussed the matter with the speaker.

But in a wide-ranging interview, Mr. Jeffries went as far as he has publicly in addressing what Democrats might be willing to do to protect the top leader of the opposing party if Mr. Johnson were to defy right-wing Republicans and allow a vote on a $95 billion national security spending package that includes aid to Ukraine.

“It does seem to me,” Mr. Jeffries said, “based on informal conversations, that were Speaker Johnson to do the right thing relative to meeting the significant national security needs of the American people by putting it on the floor for an up-or-down vote, there will be a reasonable number of people in the House Democratic caucus who will take the position that he should not fall as a result.”

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, the right-wing Georgia Republican, has said she would seek to depose Mr. Johnson were he to allow a vote on continuing to fund Ukraine.

Mr. Jeffries’s comments came a day after President Biden and congressional leaders, including Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, pressed Mr. Johnson to take up the aid package, which the Senate passed earlier this month and would provide military aid for both Ukraine and Israel. Mr. Johnson has so far refused to allow the legislation to come to a vote, amid fierce opposition from his conference to the money for Kyiv.

Back to top button