Mike Johnson succeeded Kevin McCarthy as speaker.
The Freedom Caucus pushed the former speaker out when he compromised with Democrats.
Johnson is now facing pressure from the far right.
The Freedom Caucus has issued a warning to Johnson.
(NewsReady.com) – Once upon a time, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was considered one of the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. The lawmaker went after Democrats hard and never backed down from a fight. But the Freedom Caucus never supported him, and that became very clear when he was elected House Speaker. He went on to be the third-shortest-serving speaker in history.
McCarthy’s successor, Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), is also very conservative. When he was elected to succeed McCarthy, the Freedom Caucus didn’t object. He was even able to get a continuing resolution through the House to keep the government funded without much blowback.
However, the honeymoon is now over.
Freedom Caucus Pushes Johnson
House Republican hardliners are reportedly angry with Johnson over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The speaker agreed with the plan to drop the most contentious additions to the legislation, including transgender and abortion restrictions. President Joe Biden and Democrats have made it clear that they would not pass a bill that strips military families of abortion rights.
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), a member of the Freedom Caucus, told The Messenger that the speaker had a “full on strike two and a half—if not more,” alluding to baseball’s three strikes rule. He said it’s a sign that House leadership isn’t improving.
In an interview with Axios, Roy denied allegations that the Freedom Caucus was trying to push for goals that weren’t achievable. He said that he thinks Republicans have to “pick a fight and mean it,” and that isn’t “freaking hard.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT) confirmed to Axios that he laid out a list of demands in a meeting with Johnson. Sources previously said the demands included several “ultimatums,” including about the border and foreign aid.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) demanded Johnson release all of the video footage from the January 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. The speaker responded by telling the public that he’d be releasing the footage but wanted to first blur the faces of those involved in the attack so they wouldn’t be prosecuted. His office later walked the remark back.
In the interview with The Messenger, Roy refused to discuss possible repercussions for Johnson over the NDAA. But the GOP did change the rules so anyone could bring a motion to the floor to vacate the speaker, like Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) did to McCarthy.
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