The shutdown is looming, and Chairman Mike Johnson has nothing

(Uncredited / Associated Press)

The shutdown is looming, and Chairman Mike Johnson has nothing

On Ed

Jackie Calmes

November 13, 2023

House Speaker Mike Johnson, the obscure former backbencher who jumped from the far-right field to Congress’ top job just over two weeks ago, told Sean Hannity that the many Americans who wonder about his worldview are simply had to pick up a Bible and read it. .

It’s funny, even though my copy says nothing about US government funding (or foreign policy, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, gun policy, and much more). And MAGA Mike, as he is affectionately known on the right, must also be having a hard time locating the relevant passage. He adjourned the House for a long weekend on Thursday, still without a financing plan that could prevent a government shutdown

next one

Friday at midnight.


Johnson’s retreat followed days of sitting behind closed doors with his difficult colleagues. (It was not mentioned whether they had consulted a Bible.) Here’s his problem, given the slim majority he supposedly leads: He may lose only a handful of Republicans on any piece of legislation, but no one wants to compromise and virtually everything is unacceptable. to one group or the other.

Some of his far-right compatriots say they will cut Johnson some slack, especially compared to former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whom they ousted last month for striking an emergency deal with Democrats and President Biden to avoid a shutdown, but their patience is limited. And now the cabal of so-called moderate, vulnerable Republicans from districts Biden won or nearly won have finally risen up against the dominant demands of the MAGA factions. “We are tired of receiving crappy votes,” said Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon.

It seems fitting that the anti-government, politically amateur Republicans in the House of Representatives, after rejecting three veteran party leaders to replace McCarthy, ultimately settled on Johnson, the least experienced speaker since the 19th century. Clearly, the MAGA disciple from Louisiana is not a serious lawmaker. Faced with his first major test atop a divided government, along with Biden and a Democratic-controlled Senate, Johnson is failing.

His majority would clearly be happier in the minority, where its members could wreak right-wing damage without having the responsibility of running the government they so despise. They are unable to make compromises essential to democracy, even with each other.

At the rate Republicans are going in the House of Representatives, voters could well free them and Johnson from their burdensome authority in a year. But for now, their incompetence is hurting the country.

Doug Heye, a Republican strategist

who is often critical of the members of the House of Representatives


last Thursday

placed under the radar AND have the most consequences.

Heye wrote just after Johnson and his leading lieutenants had done so for the second time

in this

week, thwarted plans for a vote in the House of Representatives on one of 12 annual appropriations bills to finance government agencies and operations. They didn’t have enough Republican support. One of the bills, like several others, contained an anti-abortion provision after voters

on Tuesday

Strongly supportive of abortion rights and pro-abortion rights, even in red states.

Swing District Republicans rioted. “I don’t know if these guys have cable,” one representative, John Duarte of the Central Valley, said of the party leadership. But looking at the election… the American people are pretty much fed up with abortion regulations being shoved into every aspect of their lives.”

As usual, the Republicans’ problems in the House of Representatives are of their own making. The government’s budget year began in October. 1 and they wasted the bonus time McCarthy bought for them by going to war over his replacement.

To dawn

Other than a second shutdown deadline, rookie Johnson still has no clear plan for any new relief bill he could pass, let alone the appropriations bills. And whatever Johnson and his extremist faction come up with will face bipartisan opposition in the Senate.

Johnson has angered senators from both parties by opposing more aid to Ukraine and delaying emergency aid to Israel, unnecessarily attaching a provision to the bill that he knew Democrats would reject. As for coming up with another relief bill, Johnson floated an idea that Republican Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia dismissed as confusing and difficult to administer, and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, mocked it as the craziest. , the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

Republicans in the House of Representatives are worse than the gang that can’t shoot straight. These people are shooting right in the foot. Again and again. They are a good example of Mark Twain’s warning: there is no education in the second step of a mule.

Perhaps Johnson could find a better aphorism for his plight in the Bible. Meanwhile, we have this Biblical reference from his MAGA colleague, Rep. Troy Nehls of Texas: “I don’t think the Lord Jesus himself could lead this group.”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here


Hot Topics

Related Articles