Mike Johnson’s tenure as House Speaker is already facing right-wing resistance.
The vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ Republican just shepherded through a spending bill with Democratic support, exactly like his disgraced predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.
While Johnson isn’t facing any calls for his job (yet), the peanut gallery is upset.
Conservative Texas Rep. Chip Roy ripped leadership on the House Floor for its cooperation with Democrats.
“I’m sick and tired of it,” he said. “I didn’t come here for second place. I didn’t come here for more excuses. I didn’t come here to have the Speaker of the House assume that position and in 17 days passing a continuing resolution of the floor of this House through suspension of the rules.”
Politico, meanwhile, says House Republicans are “fuming” about Johnson’s capitulation. The spending bill, which passed the Senate Wednesday night, keeps funding at levels set in 2022, when Nancy Pelosi was in charge of the House.
“They’re not looking to oust Johnson over it. But some conservatives are privately entertaining other ways to retaliate,” Politico writes.
Uh-oh! Johnson better get down on his knees… and start praying! 🙏 🙏 🙏
Rep. Chip Roy has an epiphany about the House Republican Conference.— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) November 15, 2023
Chip Roy making ads for the @BidenHQ campaign really easy. Don't even have to edit this one, just let it run raw.— AD_Twindad (@AdTwindad) November 15, 2023
Johnson, who was previously a little-known backbencher, is the most right-wing House Speaker in decades. His unrelenting attacks on LGBTQ+ folx are downright alarming.
In newspaper editorials, he’s called homosexuality an “inherently unnatural” and “dangerous lifestyle” that would lead to legalized pedophilia and possibly even destroy “the entire democratic system.”
In another, he rails against anti-discrimination laws, saying “we don’t give special protections for every person’s bizarre choices.”
Prior to joining Congress, Johnson partnered with a group that pushed anti-gay conversion therapy. Back in the mid-2000s, he argued that gay marriage “is the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.”
As a congressman, the Louisiana Republican has championed a national version of Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. He says the “Democrat Party and their cultural allies are on a misguided crusade to immerse young children in sexual imagery and radical gender ideology.”
What a nice, Southern gentleman!
Johnson’s far-right colleagues, who view him as one of their own, aren’t cutting him much slack. Politico reports they’re thinking of holding the House floor hostage by tanking procedural votes.
Outside of Congress, Johnson is also facing pressure over his finances. A grassroots group is accusing him of “repeated violations” while filing his financial disclosure forms.
As of now, Johnson is still enjoying a (slight) grace period. It’s apparent his GOP colleagues don’t abhor him, unlike McCarthy, who sent Congress into chaos this week with his elbow from behind.
“As I’ve stated many times, he’s a bully with $17 million and a security detail,” said Tennessee rep. Tim Burchett, the victim of McCarthy’s flying elbow. “He’s the type of guy who when you were a kid, would throw a rock over the fence and run home and hide behind his mama’s skirt.”
To keep the analogy going: House Republicans are the kinds of guys who will push you overboard, and then blame you for falling.
Johnson is already learning that.