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‘Strike one and two’: House Republicans express frustration with Mike Johnson, GOP leadership over stopgap spending bill

by

Daily Caller News Foundation

  • Many House Republicans are furious that the body passed a continuing resolution to fund the government after Nov. 17 without significant spending cuts, with their anger being directed at House Speaker Mike Johnson.
  • The passage of a continuing resolution without spending cuts on Sept. 30 prompted the removal of Kevin McCarthy as the speaker of the House.
  • “It’s sort of like strike one and two…and the speaker needs to know that,” said Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas.

Several House Republicans are disappointed with House Speaker Mike Johnson’s leadership of their conference following the passage of a continuing resolution to fund the government on Tuesday.

The House and Senate passed a continuing resolution (CR) on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, that would avoid a government shutdown after Nov. 17 by extending funding for some agencies until Jan. 19 and the remainder till Feb. 2, with President Joe Biden signing the bill into law on Thursday. While the bill was supported by House Republican leaders, it was opposed by 93 members of the House Republican Conference, many of whom believe that it reflects poorly on Johnson’s short tenure as speaker.

“It’s sort of like strike one and two…and the speaker needs to know that. Republican voters are tired of promises to fight. We want to actually see change,” said Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus that opposed the CR, to reporters on Wednesday. In a charged speech on the House floor after the CR was passed, Roy further accused House Republican leaders of flawed priorities, particularly after the House adjourned for two weeks for a Thanksgiving recess without dealing with significant legislative priorities.

“If this body were serious we wouldn’t leave town without ensuring we were secure!” Roy exclaimed, referring to the long-held Republican priority of border security that had been insisted upon in previous financial bills, but was not included in the CR. “We would not leave town without forcing Chuck Schumer and Joe Biden to the table because Republicans control this chamber, or at least they say they’re Republicans. For the life of me, I do not understand.”

The CR passed on Wednesday did not include any cuts to government spending, akin to a prior CR passed on Sept. 30, which prompted some Republicans to revolt against their conference leadership and vote to remove Kevin McCarthy as the speaker of the House. Some members believed that spending cuts were essential Republican priorities that should have been included.

“It’s extremely concerning to me and it’s a big disappointment. This is not what we should have been doing. At the minimum, there should have been a C.R. with a 1% cut. I’m also concerned about where we’re going,” said Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene to reporters on Wednesday.

Some conservative Republicans have indicated that their confidence in Johnson will depend on his ability to pass all 12 appropriations bills individually through the House before the next shutdown deadline. So far, the House has passed seven of them, with several being pulled from the floor prior to Tuesday’s adjournment amid a lack of support from moderate Republicans.

“Mike Johnson and Kevin McCarthy both promised us a path to single-subject spending bills. In seven months of Kevin McCarthy being speaker, he only delivered one of them,” said Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, who spearheaded the ousting of McCarthy in October, on CNN. He added that “if Mike Johnson is only able to deliver one [appropriations bill] over seven months, then he would likely face a motion to vacate.”

Under current House rules, a single member may call a motion to vacate the chair, which requires 218 votes to pass. House Republicans have a four-seat majority in the chamber, meaning that a few Republican members may join all Democrats to remove the speaker from office.

Johnson’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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