With eight days left before the federal government runs out of funding, House Republicans are once again in a state of disarray. GOP lawmakers are openly discussing whether to remove Speaker of the House Mike Johnson a little more than two months into his tenure over a nascent deal he has reached with Senate Democrats to avoid a shutdown.
Johnson announced on Sunday that he reached a $1.7 trillion deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to fund the government through the rest of the fiscal year, Politico reported on Jan. 7. It’s a number mostly in line with the levels former Speaker Kevin McCarthy negotiated with President Joe Biden last fall, a deal that led to McCarthy’s ouster as speaker by right-wing Republicans who were angry that they hadn’t extracted deeper spending cuts.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH) said Johnson’s presentation at the meeting was filled with drivel and added that Johnson should never have been hired as speaker in the first place, according to Bloomberg News’ Erik Wasson.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) went as far as floating the idea of getting rid of Johnson as speaker over the funding deal.
“Speaker Johnson is doing all the same stupid crap that we opposed,” Roy told a Fox News reporter in Iowa, which he was visiting ahead of the state’s upcoming Republican presidential caucuses.
Meanwhile, as time ticks down to the deadline for funding the government, Republicans are focused on political retribution against the Biden administration, holding hearings on whether to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and whether to cite Hunter Biden for contempt of Congress.
Even some Republicans and their allies say such efforts are without merit.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor who has made many media appearances in defense of former President Donald Trump, wrote in an op-ed in the Daily Beast that there is “no current evidence that [Mayorkas] is corrupt or committed an impeachable offense.”
As for Hunter Biden, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing Wednesday on whether to hold him in contempt for not complying with a subpoena to testify to the committee behind closed doors. Biden had shown up on Capitol Hill on the day of his scheduled testimony to say he would only testify in public. He also showed up at Wednesday’s hearing, where his attorney repeated that he does not want to testify behind closed doors and have his words subsequently misrepresented to the public.
“The Republican chairs today, then, are commandeering an unprecedented resolution to hold someone in contempt who has offered to publicly answer all their proper questions,” said Abbe Lowell, Hunter Biden’s attorney.
“Let me tell you why nobody wants to talk to you behind closed doors — because y’all lie,” Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-TX) said at the hearing.