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Colorado House members join vote to save Speaker Mike Johnson

Only Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette voted to move forward on effort to oust Johnson
Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, right, looks on as Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks after he was chosen as the Republicans latest nominee for House speaker at a Republican caucus meeting Oct. 24 at the Capitol in Washington. (Jose Luis Magana/Associated Press file)

Colorado’s U.S. representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, overwhelmingly voted to keep Speaker Mike Johnson in his job leading the chamber.

After weeks of threatening to trigger a motion to vacate, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene finally made her move late Wednesday afternoon. But the drama ended swiftly, as the House voted 359-43 to table the motion, effectively saving Johnson and killing Greene’s attempt.

In Colorado’s delegation, only Democratic Rep. Diana DeGette voted against tabling. DeGette, who represents Colorado’s bluest district, admitted that Johnson was “being punished by the most extreme members of his party for doing the bare minimum.”


But in a statement, she said, “I could not vote to save a Speaker who does not reflect the values my constituents and I hold dear and has proven to be an ineffective leader who must be up against the wall to do the right thing.”

GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn said the outcome was a strong showing for Johnson.

“It’s a good vote because he deserves to be supported because he’s doing an excellent job,” he told CPR News.

Democratic Rep. Jason Crow said he was glad Greene’s motion failed.

“I’m no longer willing to allow Marjorie Taylor Greene to hold the country hostage and to take up our time and our energy, I’m over it,” he told CPR News. “We’ve got to move on. We’ve got to govern.”

Other Democrats also focused on keeping the chamber functioning, especially after the House floor spent three weeks frozen in paralysis after ousting former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

“We might not agree on many things, but (Johnson) actually did the right thing on the bipartisan (national security) package that was brought and he has kept his word,” Democratic Rep. Brittany Pettersen told CPR News. “I’m interested in pulling away the power for the most extreme here in Congress and focusing on governing. So, as long as he’s willing to do that, I’ll support a motion to table.”

Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert has been a vocal critic of Johnson’s leadership, but on Wednesday she still voted to table.

“He’s governing in a way that benefits Democrats and puts America last and it’s really unfortunate,” she told CPR News, adding she hopes this vote leads to some changes. “I hope that Speaker Johnson realizes that he needs to do a 180 on how he’s running the House.”

Before and after the vote, several House Republicans came up to Johnson while he was on the floor to shake his hand or give him a pat on the back.

“Hopefully, this is the end of the personality politics and the frivolous character assassination that has defined the 118th Congress,” he told reporters. “The Speaker of the House serves the whole House. That’s the job, everyone.”

Greene’s attempt was expected to fail, especially after House Democratic leaders signaled last week that they would help block any attempt to oust Johnson.

Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters his caucus is operating on the premise of more common sense, and less chaos.

“As long as House Democrats continue to solve problems for everyday Americans and deliver real results, the American people are going to vacate the extreme MAGA Republican majority in November,” he told reporters.

To read more stories from Colorado Public Radio, visit www.cpr.org.