House Speaker Mike Johnson’s Honeymoon Period Ends | Politics
House Speaker Mike Johnson brokered a deal with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to back a funding total crucial to averting a government shutdown. The decision has caused division within the GOP, as it mirrors a previous deal by his predecessor to suspend the debt ceiling and adds $69 billion in spending without addressing border issues. Johnson defended the move, stating it was the best possible outcome in the circumstances, however, it has lead to skepticism about his leadership and criticism from hard-line conservatives who opposed the deal.
Conservative House Members React to Speaker Mike Johnson’s Deal to Prevent Government Shutdown
House Speaker Mike Johnson’s deal-making with Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer sparked discontent among hard-line conservatives. The deal backs a top-line funding amount, crucial in preventing a potential government shutdown.
Johnson’s agreement stirred controversy because it mirrored a previous spending deal, added $69 billion in spending, and failed to address immigration issues on the southern border. Furthermore, it marked a significant act of cooperation between the new GOP leader and Democrats, drawing ire from conservative colleagues.
“It was a tough negotiation,” Johnson said, “I think it’s the best deal that conservatives and Republicans could get under the circumstances.” However, Schumer’s decision to pursue a vote on a short-term resolution to keep the government open casts doubts over the completion of the funding deal.
Johnson’s decision to cooperate with Democrats on spending measures has sparked a backlash within GOP ranks. At a recent closed-door GOP House caucus, Johnson faced criticism, particularly from far-right Republicans unhappy with the funding deal.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia criticized Johnson for not prioritizing work with the GOP conference over negotiations with Chuck Schumer. Similarly, Ohio Rep. Warren Davidson expressed discontent, questioning Johnson’s suitability for his role as Speaker.
The discontent culminated in a dozen Republicans, mostly members of the House Freedom Caucus, derailing a procedural vote unrelated to the spending agreement. This was a clear signal of their displeasure with the $1.59 trillion spending total for the upcoming year, with funding due to expire on Jan. 19.
Despite internal criticism, Johnson is confident that the deal, which includes cutting $10 billion from the IRS slush fund and $6 billion in unused COVID-19 aid, aligns with the objectives of his conservative colleagues.
Currently, right-leaning GOP members, including those who ousted former Rep. Kevin McCarthy, face a diminishing influence. Experienced lawmakers are well-aware that a government shutdown rarely benefits the party in power. Additionally, there appears to be little appetite for another divisive battle for yet another speaker, particularly in an election year.
Johnson remains optimistic about his position, despite speculation and threats from Rep. Chip Roy of Texas to vacate the speakership. He believes the majority of the Republican conference will act as “the adults in the room” and govern effectively.
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