AOC Predicts Jeffries Will Take Over Speakership

Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said on CNN’s State of the Union that she thinks House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries could become speaker in the wake of a move to vacate a resolution filed against House Speaker Mike Johnson. According to her, the likelihood of this happening is growing.

Republican Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene moved to remove Johnson from leadership on Friday. This followed a vote he presided over on a measure to avoid a government shutdown and fund existing programs, which was opposed by the most extreme members of the Republican party.

She accused Johnson of forsaking Republican supporters, and according to Greene, her actions were more of a warning message.

The Republican majority lost five members due to Representative Ken Buck’s retirement from Colorado on Friday, followed by Greene’s motion. As things stand, 218 people identify as Republicans and 213 as Democrats. Johnson could only afford two defections before he had to court Democrats, who may try to get him to compromise on issues like the foreign assistance bill if a vote were to occur.

It was pretty evident in Sunday’s conversation that Ocasio-Cortez would not be voting for Johnson.

In an interview with NBC News on Friday, Representative Matt Gaetz (R–FL), who was instrumental in ousting Representative Kevin McCarthy (R–CA) from the speakership in October, voiced his worry that appointing a Democrat as speaker could be the consequence of Johnson’s removal from office.

However, one Democratic lawmaker has hinted that he would support Johnson’s rescue with a vote.

Ohio Democrat Marcy Kaptur has also stated her intention to maintain some leeway in her decision-making.

Johnson is now faced with a major decision: whether to move forward with a vote on a plan to increase financing for American allies abroad, including Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Greene opposes the plan and thinks the money would be better spent on border security between the United States and Mexico. If he chooses to submit that bill to a vote, Greene may also suggest that her resolution be put to a vote.

Given the razor-thin Republican majority in the House, Johnson may need Democratic backing to maintain his speakership in such a scenario. Whether or not a sizable group of Democrats is prepared to back Johnson’s bid for speakership is an open question.