GOP Representative: Ukraine Aid Could Cost Johnson the Gavel

By Jerry McConway, updated on April 1, 2024

Last week, Speaker Johnson (R-LA) more or less dismissed the concerns of a huge block of the GOP caucus to pass a funding bill that will kick the can down the road and allow the government to remain operational through September.

The caucus is now upset with Johnson, and more than just the Freedom Caucus is considering removing him as Speaker.

Talking Points…
- Johnson passes spending bill
- GOP caucus starting to revolt
- Analysis

Johnson Passes Spending Bill

When Johnson passed that bill, it barely made it with the margin needed for approval. The vote came down 286-134, with more Democrats supporting the bill than Republicans and barely making it over the two-thirds threshold needed for the budget to pass. Roughly 70% of the $1.2 trillion budget was going for defense.

That resulted in Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) announcing a motion to vacate against Johnson. Greene had no intention of putting the motion on the floor for a vote before the House broke for Easter recess, but she stated that if things continued in this manner, she would try to have Johnson removed.

Greene started to take some heat from members of the caucus for possibly giving Democrats the majority during this term, but she just brushed it off her shoulders. She deflected the blame to Republicans, such as Reps. Buck and Gallagher, who were leaving office before their terms were over. She stated:

“I am not going to be responsible for Hakeem Jeffries being Speaker of the House.

“I am not going to be responsible for a Democratic majority taking over our Republican majority that lies squarely rarely on the shoulders of these Republicans that are leaving early because they don’t have the intestinal fortitude to handle the real fight and the responsibility that comes with leadership and the end of our republic when our country is nearly destroyed.”

GOP Caucus Revolting

Speaker Johnson has been adamant that he will bring a Ukraine aid bill to the floor, and that is starting to create some stress within the GOP caucus because they believe that could be the final straw for many Republicans in the House. While all Democrats voted in favor of ousting McCarthy as the Speaker, there is now speculation that if the GOP does revolt against Johnson, Democrats could come to his aid to keep him. The general belief is that the very things that are creating the issues among his caucus are pieces of legislation that Democrats want to see passed. At the top of this list would be Ukraine aid, as Democrats want to make sure that Ukraine does not fall with Biden in the White House. Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) confirmed that this will be at the top of Johnson's mind when the House returns from its break. He stated:

“[Johnson’s] committed to making this the top priority when we return back to Washington, DC.

“We have some people that if they don’t get 100%, want to bring the house down, and it makes us dysfunctional. It is very likely that after this Ukraine bill, we may have a standoff with the speaker.”

Bacon was not alone on this issue, as Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) also confirmed that he believed that Johnson would put the bill on the floor when they return, as well as this possibly creating a standoff over the gavel for Johnson. On a possible motion to vacate against Johnson, Rep. Bacon stated:

“I do think there’ll be Democrats though, who do not want to see this dysfunction. And I think they’ll probably vote present or maybe not be there for a vote.

“I hope the speaker prevails. He’s doing the right thing. It’s in our national security interest that Ukraine remain independent.”

Analysis

The biggest issue I see in Congress right now is that everyone has moved to an all-or-nothing stance, which is present on both sides of the aisle. Compromise has become a dirty word, which is not good for business. Not only that, the turmoil in the House is leading to frustrated voters and if the GOP cannot show American voters that they can be the adults in the room, regardless of what happens in the presidential election, they may move away from Republicans in the House, which would be an absolute disaster for Trump if he wins this election.

Johnson has to figure out a way to calm things down and get the entire caucus behind him because if he does not, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) will hold the gavel next session, and you better believe he will block every piece of legislation that Trump wants to pass.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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