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This Week In Politics: House Chaos, Biden Visits Collapsed Bridge, RFK Jr. Continues Campaign

Finn Courtney
House Speaker Mike Johnson is facing an internal struggle, after far-right Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to vacate.

Speakership In Turmoil:

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is facing a move to oust him from his position this week.  

Following a two-week recess, the House of Representatives reconvened on Tuesday. Last month, Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) took a step towards removing Johnson from his speakership by filing a motion to vacate. If this motion were to pass, Johnson would be ejected from his leadership role in the House.  

When Greene filed this motion on the floor, she did not force a vote. She instead utilized her action as a “warning” to Johnson.  

“I do not wish to inflict pain on our conference and to throw the House in chaos,” Greene said. “But this is basically a warning.” 

Greene’s motion to remove Johnson comes after she argued that Johnson’s support for a spending bill that prevented a government shutdown showcased that he was not loyal to Republicans.  

This event comes after recent turmoil in Congress. In October, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) became the first speaker to be ousted after Rep. Matt Gaetz forced the vote on the motion to vacate.  

Even though there has been a formal motion to vacate, Greene’s action has drawn attention to the future of Johnson’s speakership.  

Biden Visits Collapsed Baltimore Bridge:  

President Joe Biden visited the site of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse on Friday.  

In the early hours of March 26, a cargo ship crashed into a pillar supporting the Francis Scott Key Bridge, causing it to collapse. It is believed that six individuals died during the tragedy.  

During his visit, President Biden announced that his administration would be taking action to ease the disruption at Baltimore’s port.  

“I’m here to say your nation has your back,” President Biden said. “The damage is devastating and our hearts are still breaking.”  

According to President Biden, the national government will be providing more than $8 million in grant funds to improve infrastructure at the port. This will allow more ships to be able to pass through and aid impacted businesses.  

The administration will also be providing grants to workers impacted by the port closure. The Small Business Administration will be offering low-interest loans to small businesses in the Baltimore area that were affected as well.  

“To the people of Baltimore, I want to say: we’re with you,” President Biden said. “We’re going to stay with you as long as it takes. And I promise: We’re not leaving.” 

RFK Jr. Continues Campaign:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) has become the most prominent third-party candidate for the 2024 presidential election. The environmental lawyer and heir to the famous Kennedy dynasty is currently gaining 8.2% of America’s vote.  

When Kennedy entered the race in April of 2023, he intended to run as a Democrat and challenge current President Joe Biden for the party’s nomination. However, he is currently running as an Independent. 

In order to qualify for debates, a candidate must gain 15% of the polling threshold. No independent candidate has been able to participate in a debate since Ross Perot in 1992.  

Since announcing his candidacy, RFK Jr. has campaigned across the country in an effort to challenge President Biden and former President Trump. 

In late March, Kennedy announced his running mate will be Nicole Shanahan, a lawyer from California who supports Kennedy’s strong anti-vaccination policies, saying she’s “not an anti-vaxxer” but has multiple times questioned the science behind vaccines. Despite posting about her participation in the Kennedy campaign on social media, Shanahan has not been present at any public events.  

Throughout the rest of April, Kennedy is expected to travel to multiple states in an effort to raise polling and qualify for a debate.  

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Finn Courtney
Finn Courtney, Co-News Editor
Finn Courtney is a freshman Communications and Political Science double major and is entering his first year as one of the Co-News editors for 2024. With a passion for politics and sports, Finn's been a writer for as long as he can remember, was a four-year editor and leader on his high school paper and as a freshman has covered a variety of stories for The Villanovan, City of Basketball Love, and has been reposted in the Philadelphia Inquirer. When he's not typing up a story or filming with Villanova Television, you can surely catch him procrastinating on something, watching a Mets game (it's their year!) or trying to just live life to the fullest.
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