If The GOP Loses Its House Majority, It’s Speaker Johnson’s Fault

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by John Daniel Davidson

And actually, we’d be better off with a Democrat-controlled Congress and an actual GOP opposition than whatever this is.

If the House GOP loses its majority next year, it might well be because Speaker Mike Johnson sold out Republican voters by failing to fund border security while working with Democrats to funnel billions more taxpayer dollars to Ukraine — after he repeatedly said he wouldn’t do precisely that.

Of course, it won’t take much to lose the Republican majority, which will narrow to 217-213 once Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., retires later this month. (Gallagher, whose last day was set for Friday, has said he’ll delay his retirement to help ensure Johnson’s Ukraine funding passes this weekend.

November is not that far off, and between President Joe Biden’s fragile health and declining mental capacity, and Donald Trump’s legal (lawfare) troubles, the presidential election is very much up in the air. It won’t take much, in one direction or the other, to tip the balance of power in the House.

But the truth is, Johnson and Republican House leaders will deserve to lose their slim majority if they go through with their plan to enact the Biden administration’s agenda and send billions to Ukraine and Israel while refusing to do anything about the ongoing border crisis.

But whatever happens next, by any measure Johnson’s tenure as speaker has been an abject failure, a profile in spinelessness. Under his speakership, the Republican House majority has already dwindled by five (when Johnson was elected speaker, he had a 222-213 majority, nine seats) and will soon dwindle by one more. This shrinking majority is made worse by his and his lieutenants’ feckless leadership and unwillingness to play hardball with Democrats and establishment Republicans. After all, what good is even a slim Republican majority if you’re going to ignore what your voters want and work instead to pass Biden’s priorities?

And make no mistake, this is exactly what Johnson has done. Five months ago, he sent a sternly worded letter to the Biden White House explaining that “supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws,” and that before more tax dollars were thrown at the Ukraine conflict, the Biden administration needed to answer questions about our objectives, accountability for what we’ve already sent there, and what a victory and “sustainable peace” will look like.

After that, Johnson more or less did nothing, and none of what he demanded came to pass. And yet Johnson is now working very hard to give Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted while getting nothing in return — and still nothing has been done about the border. (Less than nothing, actually. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democrats this week disposed of impeachment articles without a trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom the House voted to impeach over the border fiasco, signaling there will be no accountability for the Biden administration.)

At one time, not long ago, Johnson talked a big game about the border. It seemed like he cared about it. As my colleague Jordan Boyd noted Wednesday, back in May 2023, before he was speaker, Johnson opposed sending more aid to Ukraine until Congress addressed mounting problems here at home. The U.S., he said, “should not be sending another $40 billion abroad when our own border is in chaos, American mothers are struggling to find baby formula, gas prices are at record highs, and American families are struggling to make ends meet, without sufficient oversight over where the money will go.”

Once he became speaker, Johnson softened his tone on funding foreign wars but still maintained that addressing America’s problems should come first. Even as recently as November, he said additional funding for Ukraine should coincide with “changing our own border policy.” In December he called the border crisis his “top priority,” and in January he actually went and visited the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, a hotspot for mass illegal crossings.

So much for all that. The border no longer appears to be his top priority or really much of a priority at all. It ranks below funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, which are all set to get funding in an aid package — along with billions for Gaza, which is to say Hamas — that Johnson and other GOP House leaders are working with Democrats to pass over the objections of most of the Republican conference and the vast majority of Republican voters.

And they’re not even trying to make cogent or compelling arguments for what they’re doing. Speaking on Wednesday to CNN’s Jake Tapper (whose viewers, it seems, are Johnson’s actual constituency), Johnson repeated the Democrat and neocon talking point that unless we keep shoveling money into a grinding war of attrition in Ukraine, Putin will march through Europe. I’m not kidding. He said: “We are going to stand for freedom and make sure that Vladimir Putin doesn’t march through Europe.”

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He doesn’t seem to care what conservatives want. I am highly disappointed in his performance. Ever since he supposedly went to review national security concerns in a SCIF session, he has completely changed his tone and demeanor on everything. It seems that session was either to threaten him and his family with prosecution or physical harm OR they just flat out bought him. OR both. Something major is not right.

It would be the fault of Trump and his puppets.

Last edited 2 months ago by Greg