Johnson’s Gavel Could Be at Stake Over Spending Bill

By Jerry McConway, updated on January 9, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) just tried to pull a McCarthy on House members, and he is already facing serious criticism.

Johnson negotiated a spending bill with Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and there are members of the caucus who are not happy with him, most notably Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who stated that "sobering conversations" needed to be had regarding Johnson's future as the Speaker.

Talking Points…
- The spending bill
- Rep. Chip Roy's comments
- Analysis

The Spending Bill

Johnson revealed the agreement that he and Senator Schumer negotiated on Sunday. The number set was $1.59 trillion, with $886 billion in Defense spending and $704 billion in non-defense spending. This could and should have been an enormous win for Johnson, but it turns out it could be his undoing.

It did not help Johnson's case that Democrats took a victory lap after the bill was announced. Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) jointly stated:

"We have made clear to Speaker Mike Johnson that Democrats will not support including poison pill policy changes in any of the twelve appropriations bills put before the Congress.

"By securing the $772.7 billion for non-defense discretionary funding, we can protect key domestic priorities like veterans benefits, health care and nutrition assistance from the draconian cuts sought by right-wing extremists."

Rep. Chip Roy Upset Over Spending Bill

Roy was one of several Republicans voicing displeasure over the bill, stating:

"The speaker's office and everyone in town are trying to sell everybody a bill of goods. It's not true. The top line number for the overall size and scope of the government will be $1.659 trillion."

Roy later added:

"Let's just say there's a lot of conversations underway right now about our complete lack of confidence now and where the Republican leadership is."

Analysis

Roy is far from alone, as at least a half-dozen other members of the Republican caucus posted their displeasure over the deal on social media, which is actually part of the problem.

This shows a glaring lack of communication within the party, and I put that in Johnson's office. I cannot help but wonder why he did not meet with the caucus before announcing this deal to address any possible issues. Now, the dirty laundry of the party is being aired out on social media, and it just makes the Republicans look clueless in terms of being able to run the House, and that is not going to bode well in the upcoming election cycle.

Republicans are once again being their own worst enemy. You have a Democrat president who is reeling in the polls and an amazing opportunity to expand the majority in the House, win the White House, and take back the Senate, and they are blowing it. It is an eerie similar situation to the 2020 and 2022 cycles, where they bragged about a red wave and a red tsunami, only to get crushed on election day.

Right now, leadership in the Republican Party is pathetic, and they all need to be replaced with people who can get membership on the same page. Clearly, McCarthy, now Johnson, Senator McConnell (R-KY), and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel are incapable of doing that.

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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