Darrell Ehrlick

(Daily Montanan) As the hours ticked away while Congress rushed to finish completing part of the massive federal budget “omnibus” bill that avoided a partial government shutdown, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Georgia, filed paperwork that could oust Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, a fellow Republican from Louisiana.

While the “motion to vacate” — the technical motion to remove the Speaker — will loom until Congress gets back from a break, momentum to oust the speaker, who replaced former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, seems to be picking up as one of Montana’s Congressmen, Rep. Matt Rosendale, a fellow Republican who often aligns with the far-right Freedom Caucus, gave a blistering speech after the budget passed.

Rosendale, who is a lame-duck two-term Congressman from Glendive and represents the eastern part of the state, had previously supported Johnson, after several other Republican candidates tried unsuccessfully to secure the leadership position after members of the Freedom Caucus ousted McCarthy.

Rosendale had been a firm supporter of Johnson, posing for selfies with the little-known Republican who now holds just a one-vote majority in the lower chamber of Congress. However, that support appears to have diminished after Johnson threw his support to Republican Senate candidate Tim Sheehy over Rosendale, when the Congressman filed briefly to challenge Sheehy, the political newcomer, in a race that would determine which Republican candidate would face sitting U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat.

Calling the federal budget deal a “Johnson-Schumer-Biden” “swamp omnibus,” Rosendale railed against the leadership, which he said had reneged on its deal to have discussion, debate and advanced notice before passing any budget deal.

“You’ve got the leadership and the White House making decisions about how the entire country is supposed to be run, which leaves the majority of members outside of the discussion, and that’s not what the American people asked for, and that’s not what the American people elected,” Rosendale said at the news conference.

Rosendale didn’t call out Johnson by name, but ticked off many issues that were similar, if not identical, to the reasons he supported removing McCarthy. McCarthy, a former Congressman from California, had been removed after Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, filed a motion to vacate, which Rosendale supported. Gaetz had campaigned briefly with Rosendale in Montana in the lead up to the six-day Senate run of Rosendale.

McCarthy had just enough members of the far-right in his own party combine with deep Democrat dissatisfaction to lead to his ouster. Despite holding an even more narrow lead in the nearly deadlocked House, it’s unclear whether Democrats would vote to remove Johnson.

“We fought to get 72 hours’ notice for any legislation. That is why we fought to make sure that we had single-subject legislation instead of these monstrous bills that contain so many titles and subjects and issue that people don’t have the ability to separate out and let each one be considered on its own merits, and that is why we fought to have an open rule system so that we could have discussion, debate, collaboration and amendments not only in committee but on the House floor,” Rosendale said. “All of that has been thrown out the window.”

He said that 450 people were kept outside the process in “uniparty fashion,” a term that some Freedom Caucus members use to refer to members of both parties when they agree. He also criticized Republican leaders for passing more spending measures than former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat.

In an interview with the conservative news outlet Real America’s Voice, Rosendale also appeared supportive of a government shutdown.

“Everything is going to be fine if government bureaucrats go home for a few days isn’t it,” asked one of the hosts on the program.

“It absolutely is,” Rosendale responded. “We’ve already identified that really on a government shutdown only about 15% of government gets shut down. Social Security checks still go out. Medicare checks still go out and veterans’ benefits continue to be provided.”

Various groups and news organizations have reported the economic impact of a federal government shutdown. Those estimates range from $1 billion to $6 billion per week.