Speaker Johnson declares ‘I am not resigning’ amid Republican revolt over Ukraine aid

(16 Apr 2024)

Washington, DC – 16 April 2024
1. House Speaker Mike Johnson listening to reporter question
2. UPSOUND (English) Reporter question:
"What is your response to Republicans who say this move should cost you your job, and that if you don’t resign, they will try to oust you?"
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House:
"I am not resigning. And it is, it is, in my view, an absurd notion that someone would bring a vacate motion when we are simply here trying to do our jobs. It is not helpful to the cause. It is not helpful to the country. It does not help the House Republicans advance our agenda, which is in the best interest of the American people here, a secure border, sound governance. And it’s not helpful to the unity that we have in the body."
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House:
"Um, look, we are in, we are in unprecedented times, okay? We’re in dangerous times, as has been articulated here around the world and here at home. We need steady leadership. We need steady hands at the wheel. Look, I regard myself as a, as a wartime speaker. I mean, in a literal sense, we are. I knew that when I took the gavel, I didn’t anticipate that this would be an easy path."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Johnson, Speaker of the House:
"We’re going to we’re going to work this out today. And we’ll have a lot more comment for you today, for you later. But I’m going to tell you that I am not concerned about this. I am going to do my job. And I think that’s what the American people expect. Thanks so much."
6. Johnson walks out of news conference
Defiant and determined, House Speaker Mike Johnson pushed back Tuesday against mounting Republican anger over his proposed U.S. aid package for Ukraine, Israel and other allies rejecting a call that he step aside or risk a vote to oust him from office.

“I am not resigning,” Johnson said after a testy morning meeting of House Republicans at the Capitol.

Johnson referred to himself as a “wartime speaker” of the House and indicated in his strongest self-defense yet he would press forward with the U.S. national security aid package, a situation that would force him to rely on Democrats to help pass it, over objections from his weakened majority.

“We are simply here trying to do our jobs,” Johnson said, calling the motion to oust him “absurd.” “It is not helpful to the cause, it is not helpful to the country, it is not helpful to the House Republicans to advance our agenda.”

Tuesday brought a definitive shift in tone from both the House Republicans and the speaker himself at a pivotal moment as the embattled leader tries, against the wishes of his majority, to marshal the stalled national security aid for overseas allies to passage.

Johnson appeared emboldened after meeting late last week with Donald Trump after the Republican presidential hopeful threw the speaker a political lifeline with a nod of support after their private talk his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.

At his own press conference Tuesday, Johnson spoke of the importance of ensuring Trump, who at his criminal trial in New York, is returned to the White House.

Johnson also spoke over the weekend with President Joe Biden and the other congressional leaders about the emerging U.S. aid package, which the speaker planned to move in separate votes for each section — with bills for Ukraine, Israel, the Indo-Pacific region. He spoke about it with Biden again late Monday.


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