GOP members urge Johnson to swiftly change rules over vacating speakership | CNN Politics

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Speaker Mike Johnson is being lobbied by his members to raise the threshold required to trigger the procedure to oust the speaker, according to multiple GOP sources – a move that would help ensure the Louisiana Republican can pass foreign aid bills and still keep his job without needing to rely on Democrats to bail him out.

It’s unclear what Johnson will do, but members believe he is considering the change to the process known as the motion to vacate the chair, which would be a significant move by Johnson.

In recent days, rank-and-file House Republicans have privately encouraged Johnson to insert language into the text of a rule for the foreign aid bills to alter the motion to vacate and make it harder for any single member to use.

Currently, any single member can force a floor vote on the motion to vacate — part of the deal Kevin McCarthy made to become speaker last year.

News that Johnson was being lobbied to raise the threshold was first reported by Punchbowl News.

The House Rules Committee is meeting Thursday morning to begin considering the foreign aid bills. Text of the rule will be unveiled after the committee approves it, which is expected later in the day.

Democrats will be needed in that committee vote and on the floor to advance the rule, as the House Democratic Caucus is still weighing how to proceed as Johnson’s job is on the line and as the critical three-part supplemental aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan hangs in the balance.

Democrats are still divided on the question, with some arguing it’s imperative the party overcomes the bitter partisanship that has been a hallmark of this Congress to deliver critical aid to Ukraine and others arguing it’s up to Republicans to pass their own rules.

“I mean, it’s just another layer for sure,” Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, a Democrat told CNN, adding, “It’s a ridiculous rule, which, you know, whether or not it’s doing the right thing in this moment where we have a global security challenge, we ought to be trying to bail them out of their politics is another question.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, a Washington state Democrat, said she wouldn’t support a Republican rule regardless of whether it included changes to the motion to vacate.

“I mean, I think they need to pass the rule on their own, but I’ve thought from the beginning that Kevin McCarthy never should have agreed to that,” Jayapal said. “He sold his soul early on and he thought he could control everybody.”

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley said he was inclined to back the rule and would think about even supporting it if it included a change to how the motion to vacate functioned.

“I think dysfunction is everybody’s problem. And I’d be open to whatever it takes so that we can function appropriately,” Quigley said.

Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz said leadership needed to weigh in before he decided whether to support such a change.

One thing that is hanging over discussions is that many Democrats view Johnson as a more honest broker than McCarthy. Despite the fact they don’t agree with him on many issues, they also believe that he’s been a fair partner at a critical moment to pass government funding and now this aid to Ukraine.

This story has been updated with additional developments.

CNN’s Haley Talbot contributed to this report.

Read More: GOP members urge Johnson to swiftly change rules over vacating speakership | CNN Politics

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