Buyer's Remorse? House Speaker Mike Johnson Faces Internal Revolt As GOP Members Question Leadership Strategy

By Lisa Pelgin | Thursday, 15 February 2024 11:10 PM
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House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is facing criticism from members of his own party following a recent special election defeat.

GOP insiders, as reported by Politico, are expressing "buyer's remorse" and view Johnson as lacking a clear plan.

Comparisons have been made between Johnson and former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), with one senior Republican lawmaker stating, "Kevin would have a strategy, he’d shop it around, then he’d make a play call. The more I’m around Johnson, the more it’s clear to me he doesn’t have a plan."

According to a senior GOP aide, Johnson appears to be shifting positions in an attempt to avoid facing a vote to vacate the chair by rebellious Republican members. The aide expressed confusion about Johnson's intentions, stating, "I’m as confused as ever about what he wants... I think right now he’s in survival mode."

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Critics argue that Johnson lacks a trusted group of advisers who can keep the rest of the conference informed about his thinking. This has resulted in many members being left in the dark about his actual plans until they are announced publicly.

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In response to the criticism, an aide for Johnson defended his approach, suggesting that the speaker is keeping his cards close to his vest due to leaks from his critics. The aide stated, "They’re left in the dark because they leak."

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Johnson's predecessor, Kevin McCarthy, who is no longer in Congress, offered some advice to Johnson, urging him to make decisions and not be afraid of potential challenges. McCarthy said, "Make a decision and go... You can’t be afraid of someone trying to throw you out."

As House Speaker, Johnson will need to address the concerns raised by his fellow Republicans and demonstrate a clear and effective leadership strategy to regain the confidence of his party.

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