MTG on Speaker Johnson: ‘Grace Period is Over’

By Jerry McConway, updated on January 2, 2024

It looks like Speaker Johnson (R-LA) could be on his last legs in terms of holding the gavel in the House.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has just put him on notice that his "grace period is over," and if things don't change quickly, he may find himself meeting the same fate as Kevin McCarthy.

Talking Points…

  • Johnson troubled waters
  • MTG warning
  • Analysis

Johnson Troubled Waters

Mike Johnson had the House very excited after he won the Speaker election, but that excitement was short-lived when Johnson started pushing legislation that the Freedom Caucus was against.

After Johnson pushed through partial funding that included no changes to FISA warrants, some members of the House decided to give him a pass. But they made it clear this was not acceptable, with Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), a member of the Freedom Caucus, stating:

"We want the message to be clear. We're not going to pass bills that don't address the problems that America faces."

Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.) added to the warning, stating, "The honeymoon is probably over."

MTG Warning

Johnson sent the House on recess with some very serious legislative issues still on the table, and there were quite a few members of the GOP caucus that were not happy regarding the mess they would be coming back to with very little time to fix it. This included Rep. Greene, who stated:

"So far [the appropriations process] hasn't moved forward, and that's what we're all very angry about.

"Of course, we were all giving him a little bit of grace because he got thrown into the speaker seat at a hard time [and] was not ready at all. This was a job I don't think he was prepared to do and it just happened over a three-week battle over who we were going to elect for speaker. However, it was the job he wanted, and so I think the grace period is over."

Analysis

One of the arguments against former Speaker McCarthy (R-CA) and the past role of Speaker was that everything had always been last minute, including presenting bills to House members with very little time to read and vote on.

Greene actually touched on this in her warning to Johnson, stating:

"[The spending bills] should have been done well before now, and it was extremely disappointing that we didn't even try to pass at least one of them in December."

When Johnson won the gavel, he talked about doing things differently and changing the way that Congress operated, but so far, it has been business as usual, including waiting until nearly all the sand has run out of the hourglass to pass legislation.

Even at the risk of losing the majority in the next election cycle, this GOP caucus has been adamant they will no longer stand for "business as usual" in the House. To that point, Johnson better gets himself in gear and respect the demands of the caucus, or we are going to have a repeat of what happened to McCarthy, which would all but ensure Democrats retake the House.

It's a new year, and Johnson has a clean slate, but even a single blemish will cost him his job. On the other hand, if he can get legislation passed to meet the demands of the caucus and finally get the legislative machine running like a well-oiled machine, it could lead to a dominant election cycle for Republicans. Let's hope it's the latter and not the former.

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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