". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Johnson Gets Crucial Reinforcement from Trump: ‘I Stand with the Speaker’

April 14, 2024

In some ways, the two men who shared a Mar-a-Lago stage on Friday couldn’t be more different. For starters, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) made the trek to Florida with his job on the line, while Donald Trump enjoys a level of popularity that continues to perplex the liberal media. And while the former president and new speaker have butted heads on a number of issues (FISA, most recently), there seems to be a mutual respect among the two leaders that just might give Johnson the cover he needs to survive the next seven months.

“It’s past the trade deadline,” one Trump insider told Axios about Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s threat to topple Johnson. “Now [we’ve] got to win the Super Bowl with the players you got.” The former president’s allies, like Alex Bruesewitz, think that’s the former president’s way of telling the GOP’s troublemakers to stand down. “I respect people on both sides,” said Bruesewitz, in a nod to Greene’s outspoken support of Trump, “but it’s my hope that we can have this fight after November. We should all be reunited in getting President Trump back into the White House and winning as many [House] seats as possible,” he urged.

On Friday, the former president stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Louisianan and declared, “I stand with the speaker, we’ve had a very good relationship. I think he’s doing a very good job. He’s doing about as good as you’re going to do. I’m sure that Marjorie understands that,” Trump continued. “She’s a very good friend of mine, and I know she has a lot of respect for the speaker.”

Johnson, who’s been under the microscope since he became Kevin McCarthy’s surprise replacement last fall, sat down with Greene for an hour on Wednesday in hopes of talking her down from her motion to vacate. Afterward, she told reporters, “[I] explained that he is the Republican leader, that he is the leader of the opposition party against the Biden administration, and we expect him to lead that way, not to pass the Biden administration’s agenda,” Greene said upon leaving the Speaker’s office.” She also “made it clear” that “the United States border is the only border that matters, and that if he moves forward [with] funding Ukraine, that he’s going to be personally responsible for funding the continued murder of people in a foreign country that is not a NATO ally of ours.”

Another of Greene’s gripes was Johnson’s handling of Congress’s $1.2 trillion dollar spending package, which was essentially rewritten by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to include most of the far-Left’s radical earmarks and priorities. “We discussed the omnibus, and I explained all the reasons why he failed as our speaker, as the Republican Speaker of the House,” Greene said. That said, the Georgian claimed, “I did not give him a red line, and I have been very considerate of my conference, and I’m continuing to be considerate of my conference.”

House Republicans have trouble swallowing that last part, since Greene’s move has thrown their already-dysfunctional caucus into even more chaos. “It’s an impossible job,” Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) said of the speakership. “The Lord Jesus himself could not manage this conference,” he lamented to CNN. With the infighting and wafer-thin majority, Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) warned, “We don’t truly have a majority at this point. You have a loosely, aligned coalition government right now, and it’s an incredible challenge.”

So why on earth would any Republican — a half-year away from a pivotal election — give skeptical voters even more reasons to doubt the House GOP? This whole stunt is “a horrible idea,” Rep. Rick McCormick (R-Ga.) shook his head. “First of all, there’s no backup,” he pointed out on Thursday’s “Washington Watch.” “What are you going to do — come up with a new speaker? Who? We took a couple of weeks last time, and we tried to sort it out. Mike Johnson was chosen.” And at the time, people seemed relieved for all the reasons McCormick outlined.

“… I think he’s a humble man. He’s a moral man. He’s a conservative man. He was the chair of the [Republican Study Committee]. … Has he had to bring some things to the floor he didn’t want to do? … Of course. He’s got a one-vote majority. He’s trying to hold this together until we can get the Senate back. Have I voted against things he’s brought? Of course I have. But who is your backup plan? What is your backup plan? Just throwing a grenade amongst us is not going to solve a problem if you’re in a team. And we are a team.”

McCormick, who is part of the Georgia delegation with Greene, admitted, “Not everybody on the team agrees with each other. But if you’re actively tackling our quarterback, that’s not going to result in something we want. It’s just like when somebody votes against something that they don’t think is conservative enough, and you end up with a Senate bill that’s more liberal because you failed our bill.”

If there is one silver lining, Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas) explained on Wednesday’s “Washington Watch,” it’s that Greene didn’t file a privileged motion. In other words, “It doesn’t have to be acted upon. The leadership doesn’t even have to bring it to the floor. If she files it as a privileged motion, then we’ve got two legislative days to act on it. I hope to high heaven — oh, Lord, are you listening? — that she doesn’t. We’ve been cast down that road before. … Why would we want to go through two or three weeks of uncertainty with no clear output at the end?”

At the end of the day, these rogue members “are just not taking a look at what’s reality,” McCormick admonished. “When you have a one-vote majority and you don’t have the Senate, you don’t have the presidency, let’s get what we can. Let’s make an incremental change. Don’t swing for the fences and lose everything. This is a horrible idea that will result in horrible things, and it could lose us a majority if we’re not careful.” And then what? “We won’t bring anything to the table anymore,” he warned. “We’ll lose total control.”

Suzanne Bowdey serves as editorial director and senior writer at The Washington Stand.