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January 10, 2024 03:16 PM UTC

Conservatives Inevitably Revolt Against Mike Johnson

  • by: Colorado Pols
House Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep. Lauren Boebert.

As CNN’s Lauren Fox reports, Republican Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is facing a revolt from conservative lawmakers, incensed that America’s “First MAGA Speaker” has cut a spending deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that will not fulfill the Freedom Caucus’ impossible vision of drowning the federal government in the bathtub:

Johnson…faced backlash during a private conference meeting Wednesday morning, the first opportunity the full conference had to discuss spending since Johnson announced a deal Sunday that would fund the government at $1.59 trillion, but would also reprogram roughly $70 billion to fund non-defense programs.

“We need more communication in our conference. Mike Johnson doesn’t work for (Senate Majority Leader) Chuck Schumer and the White House,” GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia said. “He needs to work with our conference on deals that he’s making.”

During the meeting, Rep. Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican and chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, engaged in a back and forth with the speaker about why he’d agreed to allowing a so-called “side deal” and why he hadn’t insisted that $1.59 trillion was the ceiling. Jordan also insisted that a one-year continuing resolution would have put them in a better position because of automatic cuts that would have kicked in to save money.

Conservative media outlets like the Daily Caller are softening the ground for the next logical step, the call for Mike Johnson’s head on a metaphorical pike:

The defeat comes at a difficult time for Johnson, who is facing threats of a motion to vacate the chair to remove him from office over the deal. “I’m leaving it on the table,” Roy said on Tuesday of a motion to vacate, [Pols emphasis] which was last used to remove Kevin McCarthy as the Speaker of the House in October of 2023 after he approved a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.


“Before we could even get together, he announced the terms of the surrender,” Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) said after leaving the GOP conference meeting. Davidson was a staunch supporter of Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) bid for Speaker.

Davidson said Johnson “should have never been hired” when asked if Johnson should lose his position as Speaker. [Pols emphasis]

Today as The Hill reports, the dissatisfaction went on the record as a faction of Freedom Caucus Republicans flipped a procedural vote to protest Johnson’s spending deal:

The final tally was 203-216. Republican leadership canceled an afternoon vote series following the revolt.

The show of opposition came days after Johnson unveiled a deal on top-line spending numbers for the remainder of fiscal 2024. Conservatives have railed against the deal for not cutting spending enough…

“We’re making a statement that what the deal, as has been announced, that doesn’t secure the border and that doesn’t cut our spending, and that’s gonna be passed apparently under suspension of the rules with predominantly Democrat votes is unacceptable,” Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.), the newly minted chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told reporters.

The thirteen Republicans who joined in this protest vote did not include either of Colorado’s Freedom Caucus members Lauren Boebert or Ken Buck. Even though this deal would appear to violate all of Boebert’s stated principles we don’t expect her to turn on Johnson, whose support Boebert is counting on after Boebert’s desperate switch to the crowded CD-4 GOP primary. If Johnson is ousted, that support could become yet another albatross around Boebert’s neck. Ken Buck will no doubt vote against Johnson’s spending deal like basically every spending deal ever put before him, but we don’t think Buck will vote to plunge the House majority into chaos once again on his way out the door like he did last year to Kevin McCarthy.

But it doesn’t really matter. The margin of survival is so narrow, and the task of pleasing a faction of his tiny majority too far detached from reality to please sufficiently impossible, that Colorado’s compromised conservatives in Congress won’t have to take part in bringing Johnson down.

This fate was predictable for Johnson from the moment he took the job.


10 thoughts on “Conservatives Inevitably Revolt Against Mike Johnson

  1. Another case where N-dimensional chess skills would help.  Dems can be strategic in supporting Johnson to avoid another Speaker-ousting just before the shutdown deadlines strike.  But if we give him "too much" support, without a quiet agreement with the few remaining "sane" Republicans, Johnson becomes a "Democrat Speaker" and loses most or all of his GOP support in the house, saddling us with him.

    Not many good choices in threading this needle in these perilous times, foreign and domestically.

    1. Another needle the Democrats need to thread is the risk that by working with him too closely they normalize him.  And so merely by the MAGAts being upset with him, he comes off as a moderate.

      1. I don't think for a minute he's a moderate, but I applaud him for working to get things done. It's a sad day when the Speaker of the House is threatened to lose his job, for, well, doing his job. Irony on steriods. 

      2. Agreed.  We need to be tactical and transactional.  We can save his job as long as we need him, but keep the anvil over his head, until dropping it at a time of our choosing.

  2. Mike Johnson sees himself as chosen, a new Moses. 

    I assumed the Lord was going to choose a new Moses. And “Oh, thank you, Lord: You’re going to allow me to be Aaron to Moses.” [In the Hebrew Bible, Aaron is Moses’ brother and a priest who aids him.]

    I worked to get Steve Scalise elected. And then Jim Jordan. And Tom Emmer. Thirteen people ran for the post. The Lord kept telling me to wait. And I waited and waited. And it came to the end, and the Lord said, “Now, step forward.” “Me? I’m supposed to be Aaron.”

    He's convinced he is like Moses, getting the Hebrews past the Red Sea and to Mount Sinai. 

    My Sunday school lessons were a long time ago, but I seem to recall

    • Moses was given the tablets with the Commandments, and returned to find the Hebrews had made and were worshipping a golden calf.  He shattered the tablets. 
    • He commanded the golden calf would be melted down and those who worshipped it would be eliminated by eating the metal.
    • He then led the faithful remnant until they were intimidated by reports of giants in the land, and some wanted to go back to Egypt. 
    • Moses then continued to lead the faithful for 40 years in the desert. 

    So, maybe Johnson CAN be Moses. Maybe the Republican Golden Calf will have a melt down., and those who worshipped it will be eliminated.  Maybe the Republicans DO have a plan that results in them wandering in a desert for the next 40 years. 

    Exegesis of God's lessons demands discernment.


    1. I'm hoping that Johnson will be quickly raptured away, but sadly, all that mythology ain't gonna help us in this reality.  So we gotta figure out how to keep the governemnt open. 

  3. Maga Mike is Boobs Boebert’s new pimp….she dumped ted cruz…and during the foreplay between two consulting and disgusting adults, cops were called…

    it is not every day one gets to watch sex in the streets while dining…

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