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Third Republican endorses push to oust Johnson

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A third Republican is now on board for ousting Speaker Mike Johnson: Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar.

The conservative signed on to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s (R-Ga.) proposal to remove Johnson on Friday after Democrats provided the necessary votes to start debate on a multi-part foreign aid plan, infuriating conservatives.

Gosar follows Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) in supporting Greene, though it’s still not clear when she might force a vote on toppling Johnson. If she does, the speaker will need Democrats to help him keep the gavel — a precarious position for a GOP leader.

In a press release explaining his position, Gosar noted his opposition to sending more money to Ukraine while arguing there’s still a high level of illegal crossings on the southern border that he likened to an “invasion.”

“Rather than spending the resources to secure our southern border and combating the invasion of 11 million illegals and despite repeated promises there would be no additional money going to Ukraine without first securing our border, the United States House of Representatives, under the direction of the Speaker, is on the verge of sending another $61 billion to further draw America into an endless and purposeless war in Ukraine,” Gosar wrote. “I have added my name in support of the motion to vacate the Speaker. Our border cannot be an afterthought.”

Gosar was sitting next to Greene on the House floor during the procedural vote to advance foreign aid, which infuriated Johnson’s right flank.

Other Republicans like Rep. Eli Crane (R-Ariz.) have signaled they may be open to backing the ouster effort, potentially doubling down on the type of House-busting vote that was unprecedented before this Congress.

Greene has not said when she plans to pull the trigger on the motion to boot Johnson, but some of her colleagues believe she is waiting for a bigger group to rally around her efforts.

Even if only three Republicans opt to terminate his speakership, Johnson would need Democratic support to keep his gavel if the vote happens anytime soon, given his incredibly narrow margin. That help looks possible, after he greenlit Ukraine aid coming to the House floor.

Centrist Democrats, who were eager to see the foreign aid package pass a series of procedural hurdles — with a passage vote scheduled Saturday — have previously said they would be open to discussions about saving Johnson.

“I would be one of the first to raise my hand and say that I want to be part of that conversation, to see if we can really govern together or be in a position where he’s able to govern and bring those bipartisan bills,” Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Ohio) said in an interview. “I have said over and over that bringing us bipartisan bills is such a huge part of this role as speaker right now, and that those bills will pass. We just need them.”

That could significantly hurt him in other ways. Some Republicans have already warned that leaning on Democrats for survival is untenable — and conservatives could continue pushing votes to boot Johnson absent a rules change.

Daniella Diaz contributed to this report.