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Tags: speaker | mike johnson | gop | conservatives | moderates | ukraine | immigration

Speaker Johnson Faces Internal GOP Issues

By    |   Wednesday, 27 December 2023 10:57 AM EST

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will return to Washington, D.C., in the new year facing several challenges.

Lawmakers will face two government-shutdown deadlines and continue efforts to write one piece of legislation that will both fund Ukraine's defense against Russia and slow the flow of migrants through the U.S.-Mexico border.

Among the biggest issues facing Johnson, though, will be his relationship within his Republican conference.

Conservatives offered the speaker a bit of a honeymoon period after he replaced the ousted Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in October, but are signaling their patience is running thin.

"I realize it's a game of numbers. But I'm ready to start taking some stands," said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, The Hill reported.

Other Republicans, though, are bothered by Johnson's moves to appease party hardliners.

Rep. Max Miller, R-Ohio, one of two Jewish Republicans in the House, slammed Johnson for tying Israel aid to IRS funding cuts. Miller called the move "disgusting" and a "gimmick," Jewish Insider reported at the time.

Moderate GOP members have expressed frustration at hardliners' pushes for socially conservative policies.

"When they try to put abortion riders in financial service [spending] bills, you're not going to get a whole lot of support for that," Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said, The Hill reported.

Some House Republicans also expressed their displeasure with Johnson after he delayed votes on legislation involving government surveillance and funding.

The House pushed votes to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on the Federal Aviation Agency, and on government funding. Some GOP members pointed to Johnson's about-face, including on a short-term FISA extension in the National Defense Authorization Act, which he had previously opposed.

"It's upsetting to me," Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., told the Washington Examiner. "You can see the kind of trickery of D.C. where they try and attach FISA to the NDAA. That way, they can put you into that situation where if you vote against it, 'Oh, you hate our military.' Or if you vote for it, 'Oh, you hate individual privacy.' So these [are] poison pills."

Many Republicans want to avoid internal squabbles in a presidential election year.

"Most of the people who are complaining about what we did or did not do [on spending bills] aren't going to be part of that anyway, they're not going to be voting for the bill," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., a senior appropriator, leadership ally and chair of the powerful Rules Committee.

"There's no way we can go to where they want to go and be able to attract the Democratic support that you need. … We've got to find a way to piece together enough Democrats and Republicans to actually move stuff."

Reuters contributed to this story.

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy, a writer/editor at Newsmax, has nearly 40 years of experience covering news, sports, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., will return to Washington, D.C., in the new year facing several challenges.
speaker, mike johnson, gop, conservatives, moderates, ukraine, immigration, funding
Wednesday, 27 December 2023 10:57 AM
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