Mike Johnson risks role as speaker of the House by advancing funding bill for Ukraine and Israel

The hard wing of the GOP increases the tone of its criticism against Mike Johnson, while support from conservative legislators for the impeachment motion of Marjorie Taylor Greene grows.

Mike Johnson's position as speaker is in jeopardy. The Republican legislator decided to move forward with an aid bill for Ukraine without the southern border having been secured. The hard-line wing of his own party believes a funding bill for Ukraine should not be advanced until action is taken at the border, and several conservative representatives have already increased their level of criticism. Some have even publicly announced that they will support Marjorie Taylor Greene's motion to vacate against him for having avoided a government shutdown with several continuing resolutions and for being the crutch that the Biden administration needs to continue spending out of control. The speaker managed to schedule the vote on three legislative initiatives to finance Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and a fourth to reinforce national security, totaling $95 billion.

Johnson on the hot seat

Johnson's role as speaker appears to be in danger at the moment. He is surrounded by enemies, and his days may be numbered. As happened to his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, friendly fire could take him down, this time with the help of MTG. Although they ultimately voted to depose him, Democratic legislators had doubts about the meaning of their vote on the dismissal of the former speaker of the House, who has a much more moderate profile than the current one. On this occasion, Johnson cannot expect anything from the progressive wing, which even will try to shoot down the aid package to Israel against the wishes of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and President Biden, who asked in a statement that the bills be approved as quickly as possible.

In Johnson’s own party, critical voices are growing, especially within the most conservative wing, such as the Freedom Caucus. Rep. Thomas Massie has already informed Johnson that will vote with MTG for his dismissal, so he recommends that he resign, something that Johnson ruled out last Tuesday, to be able to control the timing of the selection of the new speaker without stopping the House, as happened with McCarthy last year. Given the small minority that the GOP currently has, the rebel Republicans have more than enough capital to take down the speaker of the House.

'Biden backs Johnson's plan because Johnson's plan is Biden's plan'

In addition to Massie, other staunch conservative representatives such as Scott Perry, Chip Roy, Lauren Boebert, Dan Crenshaw, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Ralph Norman and Eli Crane raised the level of criticism after the announcement of the vote on the aid packages Saturday. Even Matt Gaetz, McCarthy's executioner, who until now had kept mostly quiet on Johnson, described the move as "surrender." Massie noted yesterday that "Biden backs Johnson's plan because Johnson's plan is Biden's plan." Several of them directly refer to Johnson as the "Democratic speaker."

'If I operated out of fear over a motion to vacate, I would never be able to do my job'

Despite being aware of his situation, Johnson decided to move forward with the proposals, although he did not do the same with a Republican-backed bill on the southern border. Several of his critics reproached him for putting Democratic priorities before those of his own party, reminding him that he voted "no" to a $300 million aid package for Ukraine when he now intends to advance a proposal for $61 billion. In a press conference, in which he appeared absolutely alone, the speaker defended the importance of carrying out the $95 billion in aid to the allies and made his position clear: "My philosophy is you do the right thing and you let the chips fall where they may. … If I operated out of fear over a motion to vacate, I would never be able to do my job."