The proposed spending package announced by House Speaker Mike Johnson and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer mirrors a debt ceiling deal negotiated between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden.
This echoes a historical moment when eight conservative lawmakers voted McCarthy out of his position in October, citing dissatisfaction with the fiscal approach.
The proposed spending deal valued at around $1.66 trillion has ignited frustration among the House’s most conservative lawmakers, who argue that it falls short in trimming government funding.
Should Speaker Mike Johnson be ousted?
However, despite the brewing dissatisfaction, the conservative camp is not currently pushing for the removal of Johnson.
Asked about the possibility, leaders within the conservative ranks downplayed such a scenario. Rep. Bob Good, R-Va., who heads the ultraconservative House Freedom Caucus and participated in McCarthy’s ouster, stated, “Nobody’s talking about that.”
The aftermath of McCarthy’s removal led to a three-week tumult in the House, marked by failed attempts to find a replacement before eventually settling on Johnson.
Reflecting on that chaotic period, Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., chair of the House Rules Committee, noted, “You can take somebody down once and say you’re killing a tyrant. You do it twice, you’re becoming the same.”
While some conservative voices, like Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, have not ruled out the possibility of removing Johnson over the spending deal, the majority appears hesitant to revisit the chaos experienced during McCarthy’s ouster.
The process of removing a speaker would require a majority vote in the House, and any such move would likely face challenges, as seen in the past.
As the clock ticks with just two weeks left to avoid a government shutdown, the question of Speaker Johnson’s fate remains uncertain.
The tension within conservative ranks, coupled with the broader implications for legislative stability, adds an element of suspense to the unfolding political saga on Capitol Hill.
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