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If The GOP Loses Its House Majority, It’s Speaker Johnson’s Fault

In fact, it would be preferable to have a Congress controlled by Democrats and a genuine GOP opposition rather than the current situation.

If the House GOP loses its majority next year, it might well be because Speaker Mike Johnson sold out Republican voters by failing to fund border security while working with Democrats to funnel billions more taxpayer dollars to Ukraine — after he repeatedly said he wouldn’t do precisely that.

Of course, it won’t take much to lose the Republican majority, which will narrow to 217-213 once Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Wis., retires later this month. (Gallagher, whose last day was set for Friday, has said he’ll delay his retirement to help ensure Johnson’s Ukraine funding passes this weekend.)

November is not that far off, and between President Joe Biden’s fragile health and declining mental capacity, and Donald Trump’s legal (lawfare) troubles, the presidential election is very much up in the air. It won’t take much, in one direction or the other, to tip the balance of power in the House.

But the truth is, Johnson and Republican House leaders will deserve to lose their slim majority if they go through with their plan to enact the Biden administration’s agenda and send billions to Ukraine and Israel while refusing to do anything about the ongoing border crisis.

Whatever happens next, by any measure Johnson’s tenure as speaker has been an abject failure, a profile in spinelessness. Under his speakership, the Republican House majority has already dwindled by five (when Johnson was elected speaker, he had a 222-213 majority, nine seats) and will soon dwindle by one more. This shrinking majority is made worse by his and his lieutenants’ feckless leadership and unwillingness to play hardball with Democrats and establishment Republicans. After all, what good is even a slim Republican majority if you’re going to ignore what your voters want and work instead to pass Biden’s priorities?

And make no mistake, this is exactly what Johnson has done. Five months ago, he sent a sternly worded letter to the Biden White House explaining that “supplemental Ukraine funding is dependent upon enactment of transformative change to our nation’s border security laws,” and that before more tax dollars were thrown at the Ukraine conflict, the Biden administration needed to answer questions about our objectives, establish accountability for what we’ve already sent there, and define what a victory and “sustainable peace” will look like.

After that, Johnson more or less did nothing, and none of what he demanded came to pass. And yet Johnson is now working very hard to give Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted while getting zero in return — and still nothing has been done about the border. (Less than nothing, actually. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and his Democrats this week disposed of impeachment articles without a trial for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, whom the House voted to impeach over the border fiasco. Senate Dems, who enjoy an even slimmer majority in their chamber, made it clear there will be no accountability for the Biden administration over the border.)

At one time, not long ago, Johnson talked a big game about the border. It seemed like he cared about it. As my colleague Jordan Boyd noticed on Wednesday, in May 2023, before he became speaker, Johnson disagreed with sending more help to Ukraine until Congress dealt with growing issues in the United States. He said that the U.S. should focus on domestic problems like the chaotic border, struggles of American mothers to find baby formula, high gas prices, and families struggling financially, and that there should be better oversight on where the money would go.

After becoming speaker, Johnson changed his tone on funding for foreign conflicts but still believed that solving America's problems should take precedence. Even as recently as November, he said he suggested that extra funding for Ukraine should be linked to changing the U.S. border policy. In December he called he made the border crisis his main focus, and in January he actually went to visit the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, a hot spot for large illegal crossings.

However, it seems that the border is no longer his primary concern, or much of a concern at all. It is now less important than funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific, all of which are set to receive funding in an aid package — along with billions for Gaza, and Johnson and other GOP House leaders are working with Democrats to pass this despite objections from much of the Republican conference and the majority of Republican voters.

They are not even making clear or persuasive arguments for their actions. When speaking on Wednesday to Jake Tapper from CNN (who, it seems, is Johnson’s actual supporters), Johnson repeated the Democrat and neocon argument that unless we keep giving money for the ongoing war in Ukraine, Putin will invade Europe. He said, “We are going to stand for freedom and make sure that Vladimir Putin doesn’t march through Europe.”

The idea that Putin will invade Europe was ridiculous when it was first mentioned over two years ago, and today it is unjustifiable, a tired neocon argument that not even those who repeat it like Johnson, truly believe. Moscow, which has yet to secure the areas of eastern Ukraine it claims to have annexed, has no capability to threaten Europe militarily. Even if it could, Russia has a unique strategic interest in Ukraine that it does not have in Poland or other NATO member countries, let alone the entirety of Europe.

However, Johnson is not going to let the facts interfere with his tired establishment narrative — or rather the Democrat narrative. As Will Chamberlain stated on X, “We effectively replaced Kevin McCarthy with Chuck Schumer as speaker of the house.”

The obvious fact is that Speaker Johnson is a pathetic tool of the Washington uniparty, and the sooner he loses his position, the better off the country will be — even if it means Democrats regain a House majority. It is better to have a coherent and united opposition party than a GOP majority under Johnson that is complicit, compliant, and completely compromised. This is especially true if impeaching Biden is off the table, as it clearly is, then what is the purpose of continuing to operate in this manner?

Indeed, if Republicans no longer have the majority in the House after November, it can be attributed to Johnson. Ultimately, it would benefit everyone in the long term.

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