Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Moderate Democrats say they’d save Speaker Mike Johnson if the right tries to oust him

By 37ci3 Jan 12, 2024



WASHINGTON — A handful of moderate Democrats say they’re ready to bail on the new Republican House speaker. Mike Johnsonif hardliners move to remove him from power as they did to his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.

“Yes, we will support it,” said a senior moderate House Democrat speaking to colleagues in his party.

“I probably would [support Johnson]. We can’t another three week layoff. As it is, we have no business in the 118th Congress,” said another moderate Democratic lawmaker facing a tough re-election in November. “Look, he’s not my favorite person in the world, but on the other hand, this is a terrible and difficult job in this Congress.”

If conservatives force a vote to remove him as speaker, “I would be very surprised if there weren’t a number of Democrats who would support Johnson because I think we’re just too tired of it,” the Democrat said. “Whom ‘frontman,’ I wouldn’t want to be accused by people of slowing things down.

It’s the opposite of how Democrats handled the McCarthy situation last fall. After a closed-door debate on October 3, all Democrats joined with 8 conservatives in a dramatic vote to remove McCarthy, D-Calif., from the speakership—the first move in history to remove a member of the House legislature. speaker in the middle of a congressional term.

A pledge of anonymous support from moderate Democrats means Johnson’s presidency is on firmer footing than previously known, despite fresh threats from far-right thugs. $1.59 trillion major spending contract Louisiana Republican Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer cut off, DN.Y.

Both houses of Congress must pass something by the end of next week to avert a government shutdown that will begin on Jan. 19 for some federal programs and Feb. 2 for the rest.

After Johnson announced the bipartisan spending deal last weekend, some of the bomb-throwers in his party motion to vacate — a tool any lawmaker can use to force a vote to remove the speaker from office. It’s an option “on the table,” ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, said Tuesday on BlazeTV’s “The Steve Deace Show.”

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who strongly opposed McCarthy’s ouster, also threatened to remove Johnson from office if the Senate supported a potential border deal. Military aid to Ukraine.

“No more funding for Ukraine,” Greene said. “Here I am completely different from the speaker at my conference and others. “If he wants to trade America’s border security for $60 billion in a deal with the Democrats, then he’s going to be in deep trouble.”

Greene and other conservatives at a meeting in the speaker’s office Thursday He pressured Johnson to renege on his contract with Schumer. But a day later, Johnson dismissed those critics and announced that he was sticking to the deal.

“Our basic agreement remains,” he told reporters on Friday.

Because of the GOP’s razor-thin majority, it’s unclear exactly how many Republicans will be able to vote to remove Johnson from office nearly two and a half months after filling the vacant speaker role. Liberty Caucus Chairman Bob Goode of Virginia, one of eight Republicans who voted for McCarthy last year, said it was a “ridiculous possibility” to consider removing Johnson from office after such a short time in office.

“Mike did a great job. You can trust him. I have no criticism of Mike,” Ralph Norman of the RSC’s Freedom Caucus, who was part of the group that met with Johnson, said Thursday. “They keep talking about this MTV” or move to loosen up. “It’s not going to happen.”

But if someone forces a vote on Johnson’s future, and GOP challengers are few, there will be few Democrats who can save the relatively new speaker.

Before any vote to discharge, Democrats will meet behind closed doors to discuss their options, as they did when McCarthy’s job was on the line. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., said he would consult with Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York before making any decision on Johnson, but added that he would be inclined to support the speaker to avoid further dysfunction in Congress.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the country or the House of Representatives to have the chaos going on right now,” Beyer said in an interview Friday. “I hate the idea of ​​him being dumped by the Freedom Caucus because he’s willing to find a middle ground.

“So it’s a bad thing to fire him again because he’s willing to work with us,” Beyer said. “But I won’t be wandering off the reservation alone either.”




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