Mike Johnson’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) walks out of the West Wing with (from left to right) U.S. reps Mike Turner (R-AL), Mike Rogers (R-OH), and Mike McCaul (R-TX) on January 17, 2024, in Washington, D.C.
Thankfully for Johnson, unless someone huffs glue, goes rogue, and starts drafting up a motion to vacate, the Freedom Caucus currently does not seem willing to endure the messy fallout of yet another speakerless House. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images
Tina Nguyen
January 18, 2024

Congratulations to you, Mr. Speaker: The government will remain open for a few more weeks, after more than 100 House Republicans joined together with Democrats to pass a stopgap spending bill ahead of tomorrow’s deadline. Alas, within the perpetually angry world of the Freedom Caucus, the champagne has not even been placed on ice, much less popped. 

Yes, under suspension of rules, a continuing resolution was passed in a manner that allowed Republican hardliners to voice their dissent without being held responsible for another shutdown. And Speaker Mike Johnson still has his job, for now, having promised to use the extra time to work on the agenda items that the ideologues have demanded: a border control bill separate from the budget, an end to Ukraine funding, and a budget that decreases Democrat-appropriated spending—the most difficult one for Johnson to fulfill, given the Democrats’ control of the Senate and White House.