Motion to oust House Speaker Mike Johnson gets co-sponsor over Ukraine aid

House Speaker Mike Johnson slipped into deeper political peril Tuesday as a second GOP lawmaker backed an effort to oust him over his support for aid to embattled Ukraine.

Rep. Thomas Massie, an archconservative from Kentucky, said he would co-sponsor a measure introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, that could end Johnson’s tumultuous speakership after just a few months.

“He should pre-announce his resignation ... so we can pick a new Speaker,” Massie tweeted.

“It’s time for a new Speaker,” Greene chimed in.

Johnson wasted little time hitting back at the growing right-wing rebellion against his leadership, calling it “absurd” and vowing he would not step down.

“It is not helpful to the cause. It is not helpful to the country. It is not helpful to the House Republicans,” Johnson said.

Republicans hold only a five-vote majority in the House, an edge that will be reduced to just four on Friday when Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher’s resignation becomes effective.

Losing two Republican votes could be enough to prevent Johnson from winning a required vote to keep him in the speaker post if all Democrats were to vote against him.

The House would then be plunged back into chaos with no leader until a majority can unite behind a new speaker.

Massie said he had warned Johnson he would lose more than the eight votes ex-Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., lost last year, ending his own grip on the speaker’s gavel.

Massie, Greene and some other far-right-wing lawmakers were already fuming over Johnson’s cooperation with Democrats to pass a spending deal that averted a government shutdown and a separate move to authorize a warrantless surveillance practice that is considered crucial to national security.

They have vowed not to allow him to move forward with more aid to Ukraine, which desperately needs U.S. assistance to battle a Russian invasion.

Johnson announced Monday that he would permit separate votes on aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan in an effort to break a monthslong logjam.

A wide majority of the entire House supports aid for Ukraine, but majority Republicans are split down the middle, with many supporters of former President Donald Trump backing his call to cut off aid to Kyiv.

The Senate passed a bill that combines the aid in a single package. But Johnson has refused to permit a vote on that measure. He instead hopes to push each bill separately.

Greene launched a one-woman effort to oust Johnson last month, but it was effectively stalled while other far-right-wing lawmakers mulled their options.

The push to help Ukraine apparently was the final straw for Massie.

A wild card in the dispute could be Democrats. They could save Johnson by taking the rare step of supporting the Republican speaker’s effort to bring the aid bills to the floor.

They could also sit out a vote to oust Johnson, effectively permitting him to remain as leader of the House.

A handful of Democrats say they wouldn’t rule out bailing out Johnson, but House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-Broooklyn, would almost certainly insist that Johnson make painful concessions before permitting such a move.