Speaker Johnson Infuriates Fellow Republicans With Shocking Sudden Move

Speaker Johnson Infuriates Fellow Republicans With Shocking Sudden Move

In the wake of Kevin McCarthy's removal as Speaker, which sparked controversy among the most conservative factions of the party due to unmet expectations, Mike Johnson assumed the role of House Speaker in late October with significant support from his colleagues. Yet, Johnson's position seems to be at risk too.

House Speaker Mike Johnson is navigating troubled waters with his plan to pass the annual defense spending bill, which he hoped would include a temporary extension of a crucial government surveillance tool.

Despite Johnson's efforts, this move has faced staunch opposition, particularly from the House Freedom Caucus, as reported by the Washington Examiner.

Johnson, after oscillating in his approach regarding the renewal of section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, decided to propose a straightforward extension until April 19, 2024, within the National Defense Authorization Act—contrary to his earlier stance. This decision has not only displeased the most conservative members but also centrists within the Republican Party.

The House Freedom Caucus issued a firm statement, insisting, "Any reauthorization of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) must be considered only with significant reforms and as a standalone measure," vehemently opposing its attachment to critical legislation like the NDAA. They also vowed to exert all their influence to oppose the legislation without leaving for the holiday break in defeat.

This stance has led to criticism of the defense bill from various political perspectives, with both conservatives and centrists expressing dissatisfaction. For instance, Rep. Mike Garcia (R-Calif.), a centrist, criticized the inclusion of the FISA extension in the NDAA, aligning with the broader party sentiment.

The anticipated path forward involves a vote on the NDAA under a suspended rule, which requires a two-thirds majority for passage. Despite this challenging scenario and opposition from figures like Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), who has been vocal against the NDAA and the leadership's strategy, confidence remains within the party leadership about securing the needed votes.

Upon his election as Speaker, Johnson prioritized passing a bill to ensure continuous federal government funding, labeling it as an immediate focus in discussions with Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures." He highlighted the completion of an energy and water appropriations package just a day after his tenure began and expressed a commitment to meet the funding deadline.

Johnson also mentioned the possibility of a stopgap measure if necessary to avoid a deadline breach, emphasizing the meticulous nature and time requirement of the legislative process.

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