Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks to reporters after her attempt to remove Mike Johnson (R-La.) from Speaker’s position fails, Washington on May 8, 2024.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaks to reporters after her attempt to remove Mike Johnson (R-La.) from Speaker’s position fails, Washington on May 8, 2024. (Allison Bailey, AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

House Republicans delivered a much-needed, no-holds-barred rejection of Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s power grab on Wednesday, briskly voting down her attempt to oust Speaker Mike Johnson.

Her public shaming was far too long in coming. And it united a fractious GOP caucus who, with the aid of Democrats, had promised they would be in Johnson’s corner. In the end, only 11 Republicans stuck with Greene. Another 196 Republicans, aided by 32 Democrats, voted to table Greene’s motion to vacate, putting an end to her latest stunt.

Johnson had tried to reconcile his differences with Greene in meetings on Monday and Tuesday, but she responded by treating him like her lackey. She then sent out a fundraising letter on Wednesday accusing House Republicans of being hypocrites. When she brought up a motion she hadn’t bothered alerting them to in advance, her colleagues heartily booed her — prompting her to dismiss their taunts as mere naysaying from “the Uniparty.”

Republicans, speaking to a reporter on the Capitol steps before the vote, had already excoriated Greene. “Moscow Marjorie has clearly gone off the deep end,” New York Rep. Mike Lawler said. “It may be the result of a space laser. This type of tantrum is absolutely unacceptable.” (Lawler was referring to Greene’s claim that a Jewish cabal ignited the 2018 California wildfires using space lasers.)

Greene has been a self-aggrandizing agent of chaos ever since she assumed office about three years ago. After cozying up to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted last October, she appeared determined to force Johnson to toe her line on such issues as blocking budget bills and ending Ukraine aid. She ingratiated herself to former President Donald Trump, professing her loyalty while also claiming to have an “in” with him.

But Trump sided with Johnson in this fight, making his preference clear at a recent event at Mar-a-Lago. “I stand with the Speaker,” he said, noting that Johnson was “doing a really good job under very tough circumstances.” And that was after Johnson pushed through an aid package to Ukraine that Greene opposed.

There was mounting evidence that Trump may have been losing patience with Greene. He reportedly called her and suggested she back off. The Washington Post obtained audio from a donor luncheon in which Trump could be heard praising Johnson for “doing a very good job” and advising others to “leave him alone.”

Greene should be a spent force at this point. She was booted from the House Freedom Caucus last summer for attacking fellow Republicans. Her working relationships with most Republicans are in tatters, including in the Senate. North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis recently called her a “waste of time” and a “horrible leader.”

She has also alienated many in the broader Republican conference through her continued disregard for preserving a slim GOP majority in the House and her indifference to protecting her party’s vulnerable swing state members.

Greene’s humiliation on Wednesday should remind House Republicans that they can unify and put down agitators within their ranks when needed. The truce that brought the GOP and key Democrats together won’t last, of course. They stand on opposite sides on nearly everything. But they did come together against a common foe when it mattered, prioritizing the need for an orderly House. Both parties aren’t likely to forget that, at least.

Johnson should now fully assume the reins of power, bolstered by his support from a majority of the chamber. And his fruitless meetings and pointless run-ins with Greene should make him hesitant about trying to appease his party’s anarchists.

As Republican Rep. Kevin Hern of Oklahoma put it, “I don’t have a problem with him listening, but what I will have a problem with, and we had this problem with Speaker McCarthy, is when you start making special deals and hidden deals. And then people, not just conservatives, but moderates and everybody else, says ‘Where’s my deal?’ ”

Patricia Lopez is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering politics and policy. She is a former member of the editorial board at the Minneapolis Star Tribune, where she also worked as a senior political editor and reporter.

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