Less than three months into his tenure as the party’s leader, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is already facing his first major intraparty skirmish.
Following a budget deal he struck with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) that failed to include many of the spending cuts or border security measures sought by the GOP’s conservative wing, Johnson has been pelted with a flurry of political jabs from his own side of the aisle.
Nevertheless, reports surfaced last week that the speaker had no intention of giving into the demands of Republican naysayers and planned to push ahead with the highly-criticized budget agreement.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has been among Johnson’s most outspoken critics on the issue, telling reporters: “I think it was a massive failure and we had no input into the conversations.”
Another lawmaker with a similar assessment was Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH).
“By the time we could even get back into D.C., he had negotiated the terms of our surrender on the issue,” he said.
Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) had a pithy take on the entire Congress, declaring: “This place is a joke.”
Some House Republicans, including Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, have even discussed the possibility of calling for a vote of no confidence — the same strategy that resulted in the ouster of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) last year.
Republicans Pleasing Democrats with More of the Same (Yet Again)
The House is considering a $1.7 trillion budget deal, per a deal that Speaker Mike Johnson cut with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. @RepBobGood, however, says it will increase spending by $20 billion… pic.twitter.com/jRVSVCPW5E
— Real America's Voice (RAV) (@RealAmVoice) January 9, 2024
Other Johnson critics are more willing to give him a chance to prove himself despite the unpopular budget deal.
When asked by CNN’s Manu Raju whether he still had confidence in Johnson’s ability to lead, Rep. Bob Good (R-VA) said it was a “silly question” and rejected any comparison of the current situation to that of the former speaker.
“It’s a ridiculous supposition … that someone who’s been a speaker for two and a half months, or has been the leader of our party for two and a half months, would be treated the same as someone who was in that position for years and is the reason why we needed new leadership.”
Johnson issued a brief statement on Friday that addressed some of the mounting Republican backlash.
“In keeping up with my commitment to bring members into the legislative process, I’ve spoken and received feedback this week from many members all across the Republican conference,” he claimed. “That’s a very important part of this. When I became speaker, I committed to decentralizing the speaker’s office and making this a member-driven process.”