House Democrats Signal Willingness to Help House Speaker Mike Johnson Keep Job Amid GOP Rebellion

Several House Democrats indicated they would be open to aiding House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., in retaining his leadership position if Republican rebels move to oust him, according to discussions with Fox News Digital.

The potential deal would involve Johnson advancing legislation on foreign aid, specifically mentioning Ukraine and Israel. However, Democrats emphasized they would follow the lead of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and other Democratic leaders.

Rep. Adam Smith, D-Wash., the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee, expressed doubt about supporting Johnson’s removal. “I think it’s unlikely I would support vacating him. We’ll see,” Smith told reporters.

Smith emphasized the urgency of providing aid to Ukraine, stating, “The big thing is, I want a vote on Ukraine. More to the point, I want Ukraine to get the aid.”

The move to challenge Johnson’s leadership was initiated by Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., who conveyed the demand to Johnson during a closed-door House GOP meeting. Massie urged Johnson to step aside after a vote on Johnson’s proposed foreign aid plan or risk losing his position.

While Democrats may not need to vote against Johnson’s removal directly, a vote to table the motion would effectively prevent his ouster. Simply abstaining from the vote would also work in Johnson’s favor.

Johnson leads a slim House GOP majority of just two seats, making him vulnerable to dissent within his party. However, he could secure his position with the support of a few Democrats.

Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., expressed openness to a deal but emphasized that Republicans must initiate it. “I think Democrats are very open to a deal, but that has to come from Republicans,” Moulton stated.

Regarding Johnson’s potential deal with Democrats, Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., indicated a path forward. “Hakeem Jeffries has made that clear a number of times. You know, I’ve said the same thing – I hate the idea of punishing Mike Johnson for doing the right thing,” Beyer remarked.

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., highlighted the importance of supporting allies through foreign aid. “At the end of the day, if my job is to make sure that we can continue the world order…if the idea is voting for a motion to table or letting [Massie and Greene] take this all down, yeah, I would vote for motion to table,” Moskowitz said.

Republicans expressed skepticism about Democrats’ support ensuring Johnson’s long-term leadership. Rep. Massie suggested that for every Democrat supporting Johnson, several more Republicans could defect.

Another GOP lawmaker raised concerns about the implications of Democrats saving Johnson during a vacate vote. “I think it’s a different conference then,” the lawmaker noted. “If I’m the Democrats and I get asked to do that, the quid pro quo on that would make it enormously difficult to lead the conference.”