For the moment, Washington appears to have returned to something approaching normalcy, with protests and kidney punches temporarily on pause. These days, new speaker Mike Johnson is taking meetings around the Hill to discuss the various time-sensitive legislation that Republicans urgently need to move: funding for Israel, funding for Ukraine, funding for the U.S. government, itself. Perhaps most importantly, however, Johnson has resumed the real business of the speaker’s office: shaking the money tree. After a chaotic multiweek period in which the N.R.C.C. raised just $5 million, Johnson flew to Florida on Monday to squeeze $1.4 million from donors at Rep. Vern Buchanan’s seaside mansion in Longboat Key.
Johnson has kept his right flank placated, for now, with some carefully curated shiny objects. On the Friday before Thanksgiving, the speaker announced that he would release more than 44,000 hours of raw footage from the January 6 riot—a longtime demand in MAGA land—and on Wednesday he signaled during a press conference that House Republicans are ready to push ahead with their Biden impeachment inquiry after uncovering “alarming” evidence (none of which they have yet made public).