'Insecure' House Speaker Faces Raging Divisions In GOP Congress

@alexvhenderson
Mike Johnson

Speaker Mike Johnson

After former Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted as speaker, thanks in part to a "motion to vacate" from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), the House of Representatives' small Republican majority went through weeks of chaos before confirming Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) for the position.

Johnson, after his confirmation, promised to end the chaos and run the House like a "well-oiled machine." But the chaos remains as his caucus deals with everything from GOP resignations to the possibility of a partial government shutdown.

Bloomberg News reporters Steven T. Dennis and Billy House examine Johnson's problems in an article published on February 23.

According to the journalists, "multiple senior House Republicans" who were interviewed on condition of anonymity "now portray Johnson as an insecure leader who faces a steep learning curve."

"Those GOP lawmakers complain Johnson keeps counsel mostly with an insular circle of his own staffers on even the most challenging matters — and that some senior colleagues are treated as objects of suspicion rather than allies," Dennis and House explain. "They cite two back-to-back humiliating defeats in one early February evening, when the House not only rejected an Israel-only war aid package Johnson put up for a vote, but also, a marquee Republican impeachment resolution against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas…. Johnson rallied his party the following week to impeach Mayorkas on a second try, prevailing by a single vote after Republican Steve Scalise returned from cancer treatment."

Johnson, according to Dennis and House, is coping with "a Republican majority at war with itself." And conservative Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) is warning that House Republicans will suffer politically if they drop the ball with military aid to Ukraine.

"If (Vladimir) Putin wins," the reporters quote Tillis as saying, "Republicans will lose."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

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