Johnson says he’s texted with Rep. Greene, plans to talk next week

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said on Sunday that he exchanged text messages with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) earlier that day and that he plans to meet with Greene early next week to discuss some of her concerns.

The meeting comes after Greene filed a motion to vacate more than a week ago against Johnson, taking the first step toward ousting the Speaker. At the time, Greene described the motion as a warning to Johnson, after he worked across the aisle on an appropriations package that averted a partial government shutdown.

“Look, Marjorie Taylor Greene filed the motion. It’s not a privilege motion so it doesn’t move automatically. It’s just hanging there. And she’s frustrated. She and I exchanged text messages even today. We’re going to talk early next week,” Johnson said in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Night in America With Trey Gowdy.”

Johnson stressed that he agrees with Greene on several issues but defended striking agreements on appropriations bills that ultimately averted a partial government shutdown. Greene cited the spending package in making her decision to file a motion to vacate.

“Marjorie’s a friend. She’s very frustrated about, for example, the last appropriations bills. Guess what? So am I, as we discussed, Trey,” Johnson said, addressing the anchor directly. “These are not the perfect pieces of legislation that you and I and Marjorie would draft if we had the ability to do it differently. But with the smallest margin in US history, we’re sometimes going to get legislation that we don’t like.”

Johnson reiterated his commitment to the GOP conference but said dissension from within works in Democrats’ favor.

“I think all of my other Republican colleagues recognize this as a distraction from our mission. Again, the mission is to save the republic. And the only way we can do that is if we grow the House majority win the Senate and win the White House. So we don’t need any dissension right now,” he said.

“And the Democrats know that when we don’t all stand together with our razor thin majority, then they have a better negotiation position. And that’s why we got some of the things we didn’t like. Now we fought like warrior poets to keep some of those Senate Appropriations or some of the senate earmarks out of the bill.

He said turmoil in the party makes it difficult for him to gain any leverage on Democrats, and he said that was the reason the appropriations package that ultimately managed to avert a partial shutdown was not perfect.

“We were successful in getting a lot of the terrible stuff out, but a few of them made it through, and that’s what Marjorie is upset about, and I am too, but I want to talk with her about reforming the budgeting and spending process going forward. That’s what Republicans are for. That’s the transformational kind of changes that we can forge if we all stand together,” Johnson said.

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