Mike Johnson Still House Speaker for Just One Reason, Former GOP Rep Says

Amid a failed vote to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the striking down of a bipartisan U.S.-Mexico border security bill, Mike Johnson is still House speaker because “nobody else wants his job,” former Republican Representative David Jolly said on Saturday.

On Tuesday, the GOP-led House failed to impeach Mayorkas, who Republicans have accused of violating his oath of office regarding the U.S.-Mexico border as an influx of migrants cross into the U.S. The impeachment charges failed to pass on a 214-216 vote as four Republicans sided with Democrats to vote against the impeachment.

Meanwhile, following tensions over the U.S-Mexico border, text of the much-hyped bill was released last week, introducing what would be the most substantial border security reform in years, alongside aid packages for Ukraine and Israel among their ongoing wars with Russia and Hamas respectively. The $118 billion deal would address key concerns at the southern border, however, the GOP-led House struck down the bill in the Senate on Wednesday, as conservative hardliners argue the bill does not go far enough to end illegal immigration into the U.S. At least 60 “yes” votes were required to advance the bill to the House, where Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, had already declared the legislation “dead on arrival.”

In an interview with MSNBC on Saturday, Jolly, who served Florida’s 13th Congressional District from 2014 to 2017 and is now a political analyst for the network, discussed the ongoing criticism Johnson has been facing.

“Mike Johnson ran for speaker saying he would expect responsibility, so he doesn’t get to pass it off to the rest of his caucus. The only thing that’s saving Mike Johnson right now is nobody else wants his job. Because nobody, everybody knows that they couldn’t do it either,” Jolly said, who left the Republican Party in 2018.

He added: “You do have a responsibility to govern, to keep the government open, to address crises, both internationally, and on our border. And because of the inability of Republicans to govern, this is a reflection of where we are.”

While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Johnson rejected blame when he was asked how he would respond to critics that the current state of Congress is because of his “inexperience.”

“I don’t think that this is a reflection on the leader, I think this is a reflection on the body itself,” he said. “The nation is divided, we lament that. The difference is the chasm between the two parties right now is wider than it’s ever been and there’s lots of emotions. The process is messy sometimes, but the job will be done.”

Newsweek has reached out to Jolly and Johnson via email for comment.

This comes after Republican leadership in the House has lost five votes since Johnson became speaker in October 2023, official roll calls show, despite retaining a majority.

Additionally, to avoid a government shutdown, Johnson had to rely on the support of Democrats to get a continuing resolution passed, further exposing the GOP division in Congress.

House Republicans have struggled to get enough votes on their legislative priorities given their razor-thin majority. The GOP can only afford to lose three votes on any party-line measure, assuming full attendance.

Uncommon Knowledge

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

The post Mike Johnson Still House Speaker for Just One Reason, Former GOP Rep Says appeared first on Newsweek.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top