GOP Is “Out To Destroy the Constitution”: Speaker Mike Johnson Repeats Action That Led to Kevin McCarthy’s Ouster, Yet Avoids Hard Right’s Censure


The Republican-controlled House of Representatives recently passed a temporary funding bill. This bill attracted more votes from Democrats than Republicans and sparked controversy within the party. This event echoes the situation that led to the end of Kevin McCarthy’s speakership in October.

Echoes of McCarthy’s Leadership Crisis

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The situation is similar to when Kevin McCarthy narrowly avoided a government shutdown. He proposed a continuing resolution devoid of conservative policy priorities. Similar to the current bill’s passage, this move reflects a recurring pattern of internal party disagreements impacting legislative decisions.


Gaetz’s Rebellion Against McCarthy

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Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida played a pivotal role in challenging McCarthy’s leadership by initiating a vote to remove him. This action was supported by a faction of Republicans and all Democrats. It marks a significant moment of interparty dissent and strategic politicking.


Johnson’s “Laddered CR” Strategy

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The bill introduced by Johnson passed with a 335-93 vote. However, it lacks conservative desired spending cuts. It introduces a novel “laddered CR” approach with dual deadlines, an attempt to appease the House Freedom Caucus. However, this strategy has not fully satisfied the hard right’s concerns.


Hard Right’s Continued Dissatisfaction

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Despite efforts by Johnson to bridge gaps, hard-right Republicans see the bill as allowing policies they fundamentally oppose. One hard-right critic bluntly stated, “[This bill] perpetuates the very system my constituents sent me here to oppose.” This sentiment echoes a broader frustration among conservatives who feel their core principles are being sidelined.


Johnson’s Leadership Remains Secure

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Despite facing opposition from within his party, notably from hard-right members, Johnson has managed to maintain his position. This resilience suggests a shift in the party’s internal politics. Johnson’s approach, despite controversies, has not yet triggered the same level of backlash or calls for a replacement that McCarthy faced.


Burchett’s Reluctant Support and Critique of McCarthy

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Rep. Tim Burchett expressed a degree of support for Johnson but also criticized former Speaker McCarthy. He noted, “I think we have a speaker that legitimately wants to pass a budget and not just take care of his lobbyist friends.” This statement shows his call for leadership prioritizing fiscal responsibility over special interests.


Ogles’ Perspective on Leadership Changes

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Rep. Andy Ogles, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, stresses the delicacy of leadership changes during critical legislative times. He said, “As much of a disaster that [the appropriations process] was, it would be even worse now to try to remove the speaker.” This perspective highlights the complex balance between political ideals and practical governance.


Push for Regular Order in Funding Bills

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Currently, conservatives are pushing for processing individual government funding bills through regular order. This represents a significant shift from the tradition of consolidating them into a single large package. This approach, championed since the beginning of the year, aims to increase transparency and allow for more detailed scrutiny of each bill. 


Optimism and Skepticism Among Conservatives

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Hard-right Republicans, including Rep. Tom Tiffany, have mixed feelings toward the temporary funding bill. Tiffany expressed a tempered optimism, saying, “In terms of the aspiration, I think that’s good.” Yet, he remains skeptical about the actual implementation, reflecting a broader sentiment among conservatives who are cautiously hopeful but realistic about the challenges.


Anticipation of Changes in January

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Lawmakers, including those who opposed the bill, are bracing for new circumstances that could reshape strategies and decisions. This anticipation shows the fluidity and unpredictability in the current political climate. Many eyes are looking towards the upcoming quarter for indications of change.


Democrats Critique the “Laddered CR”

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The “laddered CR” approach has not gone without criticism from Democrats. Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Patty Murray referred to it as “the craziest, stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of.” Despite such strong objections, Democrats ultimately supported the bill, prioritizing avoiding a government shutdown over their ideological reservations. 


Avoiding a Shutdown Before Holidays

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The Democrats’ strategy in supporting the funding bill, despite their critiques, was heavily influenced by the timing of upcoming holidays. Their decision to back the bill was driven by a desire to prevent a government shutdown before Thanksgiving. This consideration balances political principles with the practicalities and public optics of holiday season governance.


Senate Likely to Pass the Bill

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With the House’s approval of the funding bill, its passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate appears likely. This development marks a rare moment of bipartisan cooperation. In a political landscape often defined by division, this movement toward a shared goal shows common interests across party lines, even with disagreements.


Shutdown Threats and Political Posturing

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Some users directly criticized the Republican Party. One user said, “They are going to shut the country down because the dumpster told them to.” Another member echoed this idea: “Imagine a world where one group is childishly impossible to work with… we’re there.” This clearly shows some people’s frustration with the uncompromising attitudes within the party.


Constitutional Concerns Among Republicans

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There is growing unease among some Republicans about the apparent threat to the Constitution from within their ranks. One user said, “The radical right-wing extremists of the Republican Party are out to destroy the American Constitution.” There appears to be a deepening rift between traditional conservative values and emerging extremist tendencies.


Speaker’s Stability in Question

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Another user asked, “Say goodbye to another speaker of the House. Wonder when they will start the vote against him?” This comment reflects the growing unpredictability in the House’s leadership roles. Some argue that the stability of the Speaker’s position is continually questioned due to shifting political alliances and power struggles.


Congressional Breaks Influencing Decisions

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The influence of Congressional breaks on legislative decision-making is a point of discussion. A party member pointed out, “The Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks for Congress have much to do with that. They don’t want to work or be blamed for stopping their vacations.” This observation suggests that the timing of legislative sessions around holiday periods may impact the urgency and nature of decision-making.


Personal Motives in Political Moves

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Allegations of personal vendettas affecting political decisions within the Republican Party are coming to light. A remark from a party insider states, “That is because Gaetz had a grudge. But not against Johnson.” Such comments indicate that individual rivalries and personal grievances might significantly shape political strategies and actions.


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