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Mike Drop

So much for Johnson’s “honeymoon” period, which lasted all of two weeks.
So much for Johnson’s “honeymoon” period, which lasted all of two weeks. Photo: Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
November 15, 2023

Tuesday was an unusually ugly day for House Republicans, even by recent standards: Rep. Tim Burchett accused former speaker Kevin McCarthy of deliberately elbowing him in the kidneys; Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and James Comer called their fellow members a “pussy” and a “Smurf,” respectively; and nearly half of the caucus voted against Speaker Mike Johnson’s status quo-maintaining continuing resolution because his “laddered C.R.”—a newly invented spending approach that keeps different parts of the government open across multiple deadlines on a rolling basis—didn’t deliver the immediate spending cuts and border security that right-wingers demanded. In the end, Johnson had to rely on 209 Democrats to pass the bill.

So much for Johnson’s “honeymoon” period, which lasted all of two weeks. On Wednesday, a coalition of 19 Republican members—including hardliners Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, Dan Bishop, and Chip Roy—ganged up to tank a simple vote that would have started debate on a relatively anodyne appropriations bill. This was, I’m told, essentially a protest vote against Johnson for forcing through a clean C.R. that advanced no conservative agenda items, that won the endorsements of Hakeem Jeffries and Chuck Schumer; that was, as TPUSA’s Charlie Kirk put it, “unacceptable.” Steve Bannon reposted Kirk’s tweet on Truth Social, adding: “Worse Than Unacceptable…Abject Surrender Without Any Coherent Plan.”