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Washington Times: Fight over foreign aid pushes House GOP to the brink of leadership chaos

  |   By Polling+ Staff

(Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Fight over foreign aid pushes House GOP to the brink of leadership chaos 

Well of course.

As the House GOP turmoil goes on, The Washington Times reports:

“Speaker Mike Johnson is attempting to stave off a mutiny after less than six months on the job, and his hold on the top leadership spot could hinge on a package of foreign aid bills the House planned to vote on this week.

Mr. Johnson, Louisiana Republican, is facing pushback from Republicans over a broad legislative plan to provide funding for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other national security priorities.

The measure could end up stalling in the House thanks to Republican opposition that is based, in part, on the lack of any provisions addressing the U.S. border security crisis. Mr. Johnson’s grasp on the gavel weakened Tuesday when Rep. Thomas Massie threw his support behind a motion by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia Republican, to eject the speaker.

Two GOP lawmakers are a tiny fraction of the conference, but thanks to the Republicans’ razor-thin majority, Mr. Massie and Ms. Greene could leverage their votes and oust Mr. Johnson if all House Democrats voted along with them, which is a distinct possibility.

Mr. Massie predicted that’s what will happen, with additional Republicans voting along with them when Ms. Greene’s motion is called up.  He said he did not know when the motion might come up for a vote, but felt sure that it would. 

“This is going to get called up and he will lose that vote,” the Kentucky Republican said. 

Mr. Massie said he asked Mr. Johnson to resign Tuesday during the GOP conference’s weekly closed-door meeting.

Mr. Johnson told reporters Tuesday he won’t resign and called Mr. Massie and Ms. Greene’s threat “an absurd notion” that does not help the GOP advance its agenda. He called on the GOP to put forward “a united front,” and said that he sees himself as “a wartime speaker” who is facing unprecedented challenges.

“I am not concerned about this,” he said. “I am going to do my job and I think that is what the American people expect me to do.”

Mr. Massie told reporters the speaker should step down because he has capitulated to the Democrat-led Senate on too many key issues — especially allowing runaway government spending, favoring the government’s warrantless surveillance law without key changes and proposing foreign aid packages without including strong provisions to stop illegal immigration.

“These are like three strikes,” Mr. Massie said. 

Some Republicans scoffed at Mr. Massie’s prediction.

“I haven’t talked to two or three people who say they would support that,” said Rep. Troy Nehls, Texas Republican.

The foreign aid package remained in limbo late Tuesday. 

As GOP leaders worked out what to include in the package, at least 20 GOP lawmakers plan to vote to block it from advancing, according to rank-and-file Republicans. Democrats, meanwhile, have not committed to providing the missing votes.

Rep. Bob Good, a Virginia Republican, said he’s trying to convince Mr. Johnson to add border security provisions to theUkraine funding aid measure. Border security had been excluded because it was not considered relevant to the bill, but that could change, he said.”

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Again, no rocket science here. The Speaker’s job is to unify his Conference. It is not to carry the day because the opposition party is helping to defeat his Conference.