Speaker Johnson: ‘I intend to lead this conference in the future’

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said Tuesday that he intends to remain in his position going forward, dismissing suggestions that his job could be at risk after the November election.

“I intend to lead this conference in the future,” Johnson said at a press conference. “And the most important thing that we have to do right now is govern the country well — show the American people that we will, and that we are, as we’ve been doing.”

Johnson said his “number one job and responsibility” at the moment is winning in November and growing the House majority, saying, “That’s my singular focus right now.”

“We have plans for the next Congress, and we’ve been outlining a lot of that. But right now, it’s all hands on deck, all hands on the wheel and steering the ship of state, so to speak, so I’m honored to be able to do that,” he said. “I expect I’ll be doing that in the future.”

Johnson’s confidence comes amid heightened tensions in the House GOP conference, as many conservatives have been furious with his leadership style and with certain legislative compromises he has struck with Democrats, including on Ukraine aid and a sweeping government funding bill.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) has long dangled the threat of an ouster vote over Johnson, and last week said she would force a floor vote this week on her motion to vacate resolution. Greene has not said whether she intends to proceed with that plan after a two-hour meeting with Johnson on Monday and plans to meet again on Tuesday.

Greene’s resolution has not gained much momentum among fellow hard-liners, with only Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) backing the effort publicly, but many conservatives still say they agree with many of Greene’s concerns.

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the chair of the Freedom Caucus, has said now is not the time to remove the Speaker, but he suggested a competitive race will take place after the November elections to select a new GOP leader.

“The prudent thing is to do as much as we can to influence the best possible outcomes over the next six months to the election and then have a contest in November for Speaker,” Good told reporters last month.

Those supporting Greene’s resolution have been even more explicit about Johnson’s leadership future.

“We know that Mike Johnson can’t get a majority of Republicans in January,” Massie said last week. “Even our colleagues who aren’t co-sponsors of this have privately admitted there is no way in hell they’re gonna vote for Mike Johnson to be Speaker in January.”

Greene said something similar last month, telling reporters Johnson is “definitely not going to be Speaker next Congress if we’re lucky enough to have the majority.”

Johnson, however, has been defiant even amid fierce backlash from some in his conference.

On Tuesday, he nodded to the support he has from former President Trump and said that party leaders are united in their vision.

“I’m glad I have the support of President Trump. I was down with him most recently this weekend,” Johnson said at the press conference. “And all of our, the leaders of our party, we’re united in this in this cause because our objective and our mission is to save the country.”

During an interview last week with “The Hill” on NewsNation, Johnson suggested he wanted to remain in his post.

“I’m doing my duty, as I’ve been called by my colleagues to do. I’ll continue to do it as long as we’re effective — and I think we have been — and I have big plans for the Congress and for the country,” Johnson said when asked if he wants to be Speaker again in 2025.

“I think Donald Trump’s gonna win the White House. I think … Republicans will retake the Senate. And I’m convinced we’re gonna grow the House majority,” he continued. “We have a lot of important work to do, and I’ll serve in whatever capacity my colleagues think is appropriate.”

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