GOP Hardliners Lose Patience With Speaker Johnson

Hardline Republican lawmakers are starting to lose patience with House Speaker Mike Johnson, who has only been in his leadership position for a few months and wasn’t even the party’s top selection for the job.

On Tuesday, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said his patience has completely run out in advance of what was, at the time, the potential of another government shutdown. Congress ended up averting a potential shutdown by passing a stopgap measure, or continuing resolution, on Thursday.

Hawley was highly critical of leadership on both sides of the political aisle in the House, saying it was “just ridiculous” that coming to an agreement on federal government funding hasn’t been settled on sooner.

President Joe Biden held a meeting with multiple leaders of Congress on Tuesday, including Johnson and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The meeting was an effort to discuss compromises on multiple legislative packages, including long-term funding for the government as well as continued foreign aid to Israel, Ukraine and others.

The Senate has already passed a foreign aid bill that would provide military aid to Israel and Ukraine, though Johnson has said he was significantly opposed to bringing it up in the House.

On Tuesday, Hawley appeared on CNN, and criticized how much time it’s taken to for Congress to come to an agreement to fund the federal government. As he said:

“This was supposed to be done in September. I mean, this is now almost March? Well, this is just ridiculous. They have agreement on the top line. They’d had it since January.

“This is why I voted against the last CR. They’ve just been kicking the can down the road. I can’t believe that they didn’t get work done over the weekend. They had months to do this stuff. … My patience has run out.”

Manu Raju, the host of the CNN show, asked Hawley who was to blame for the situation, and Hawley said that “leadership is to blame” on both sides. He said:

“They’re all to blame. I mean, at this point, it’s just absurd, I think.”

Biden has spoken a lot recently about coming together to work with politicians on both sides of the aisle. He said:

“We got a lot of work to do. We got to figure out how we’re going to figure out [how to] keep funding the government, which is an important problem and an important solution we need to find, and I think we can do that.”

Hawley has never shied away from criticizing leadership in the GOP. In early February, he slammed leadership in the GOP as a “total embarrassment” following the Senate’s failed attempt to pass a bipartisan bill to address security at the southern border with Mexico. 

The legislation also would’ve allocated funds to foreign allies such as Taiwan, Ukraine and Israel.