Tensions Rising in House Regarding $95 Billion Foreign Aid Plan

 April 19, 2024

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is about a thread away from losing whatever control he has left of the House.

As Johnson considered a massive foreign aid package that would cost the American taxpayer another $95 billion, tensions flew high on the House floor.

Talking Points…
- Johnson is warned
- Tensions flying high
- Analysis

Mr. Johnson, You Have Been Warned

Last month, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) put Speaker Johnson on notice regarding financial aid packages for foreign nations. Greene was already upset about how things were going in the House, with Johnson flooring a massive spending bill without the proper time for review that had been negotiated.

This was more or less just the final straw, however, as the Freedom Caucus had been very upset that Johnson was continuing what appeared to be business as usual in the House. This led to MTG filing a motion to vacate. She did not plan on flooring the motion, but issued it more as a warning to Johnson that he needed to change his ways or he would gone, just like McCarthy. At the time, Greene told reporters:

"This is not personal against Mike Johnson. He's a very good man. And I have respect for him as a person. But he is not doing the job. The proof is in the vote count today.

"The Republican speaker of the House handed over every ounce of negotiating power to Chuck Schumer and the Democrats and went ahead and funded the government when this was our point of leverage."

Tensions Flying High in the House

This week, things changed dramatically regarding the motion to vacate. Even with the razor-thin majority in the House, MTG would need help from other House members to successfully implement her motion, and she got that when Rep. Massie (R-KY) announced that he was joining her effort.

Massie spoke with Johnson and demanded that he announce his stepping down so the House could continue functioning with Johnson as Speaker until a replacement could be voted in. Johnson refused, which led to Massie announcing that he would back the motion to vacate.

This led to Johnson stating that he wanted to floor an aid package, even if it meant he would need Democrat help to pass it. Johnson was confronted on the floor by a group of House Republicans, which included Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Tim Burchett (R-TN). While the group was speaking, Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R-WI) approached the group and got into a heated discussion with Gaetz. Gaetz later described the conversation as "tense." Gaetz added:

"We don't want to pass his bill. The only win we've got in the House of Representatives is blocking the Senate supplemental. If we're going to throw in the towel on that, what are we doing here?"

The name-calling did not stop after that confrontation, as both Van Orden and Gaetz ran to the media to tell their side of the story. Van Order called Gaetz "a bully" and said he would not tolerate the way that he was talking to Johnson. Gaetz, in turn, told the media that Van Orden is "not a particularly intelligent individual.


In the end, Johnson floored the aid package, and it passed through the House with Democrat support. The final vote came at 316-94. Needless to say, the Freedom Caucus is not happy, and now Johnson has some Republican senators who are also coming after him, most notably Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who now supports Johnson being removed as the Speaker.

As I have stated in previous reports, I completely understand the issues with Johnson and agree with them, but we have to start thinking about the big picture here. This bickering and a possible second ouster of a GOP Speaker will not bode well when voters head to the polls in November. This caucus has to get on the same page and act like adults for the remainder of this term, or they are going to cost us not only the House but also the Senate and possibly the White House.

They need to seriously ask if posturing now is worth Biden and Democrats having another four years of unfettered control of the government to pass whatever legislation they want because that is the path we are headed down right now.

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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