EXCLUSIVE: GOP Reps Who Ousted McCarthy Stand By Speaker Johnson Despite His Support For Ukraine Funding

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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The House Republicans who voted to oust former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy are standing by his replacement, Speaker Mike Johnson, despite Johnson being open to the idea of sending more aid to Ukraine.

The Daily Caller contacted all eight House Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy to get a sense of their current support for the new speaker. None of the lawmakers criticized Johnson or expressed concern about him being open to providing more aid to Ukraine in the future. Only one lawmaker did not respond by the Caller’s deadline.

Johnson on Nov. 1 told Senate Republicans he supports aiding Ukraine, but he “drew a hard line against combining it with money for Israel,” Politico reported.

While many of the eight lawmakers are against additional funding for Ukraine, a majority of them praised Johnson and said they believe he has done a good job thus far as speaker and believe he will continue to do so.

“I was proud to vote for Mike Johnson for speaker. I think he’s a good man who cares about this country. However, I don’t support sending more American dollars to Ukraine,” Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett told the Caller.

“The vote to vacate wasn’t about Ukraine,” South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace said. “The vote was about an issue of trust and promises not being kept. Like the American people, I want to change Washington, and the only way to do that is to change who is leading Washington.”

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 25: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) casts his vote as the House of Representatives holds an election for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. After a contentious nominating period that has seen four candidates over a three-week period, the House GOP conference selected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) as their most recent nominee to succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was ousted on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 25: U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) casts his vote as the House of Representatives holds an election for a new Speaker of the House at the U.S. Capitol on October 25, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who led the motion for McCarthy to vacate the chair, did not name Johnson explicitly but said, “I do not support more funding for Ukraine.” (RELATED: McCarthy Addresses Media After Being Ousted As Speaker, Says He Will Not Run Again)

However, Republicans such as Montana Rep. Matt Rosendale, Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs and Virginia Rep. Bob Good all praised Johnson and did not show concern about his leadership.

“Speaker Johnson put the D.C. cartel on notice since he got sworn in by ending the swampy back-room deals that have sold the American people short for decades,” Rosendale told the Caller. “Instead, he has been working with the conference and delivering on his promise to bring forward single-subject legislation, as demonstrated with the aid package to Israel last week. Moreover, Speaker Johnson is delivering on his promise to pass the appropriations bills ahead of the November funding deadline so we can fund government in a responsible and transparent manner.” (RELATED: House Passes Two-Step Continuing Resolution To Avert Government Shutdown)

Biggs said although he likely would not support more funding for Ukraine, he is happy with the job Johnson has done so far and believes people will be happy they chose Johnson to be speaker.

“Yeah, I think he’s doing a good job,” Biggs told the Caller. “I think one thing that’s really been helpful is he’s very transparent with the members, he says what we can do, what we think we can do. He’s looking as hard as conservative, so he’s looking for conservative responses to every question, which has been good. And he knows that not everybody is as conservative, and so he’s trying to ameliorate with both sides. But I think he’s done a good job, and I think people are gonna be happy that he’s there.” (RELATED: Here’s What You Need To Know About GOP Speaker Nominee Mike Johnson)

Good also said he opposes more funding for Ukraine, but he did not express any concerns about Johnson’s leadership.

“I’m pleased to have Speaker Johnson in his position,” Good told the Caller. “And he’s the kind of individual that we were starting to look for a year ago, when we began to challenge then-Minority Leader McCarthy and announced that, you know, some of us weren’t going to support him, and then we went through that 15-vote series back in January. Now Speaker Johnson is a kind of person that we had in mind. That’s not to say we were targeting him directly, but someone like him that represented a conservative center of the conference. And Mike Johnson does that. He is a humble servant leader.”

“He’s not a big-ego guy who’s been seeking to become speaker — he was encouraged by others to run for speaker, and he answered the call and ran,” Good continued. “He’s well-respected across the conference, admired for his character, his integrity, his honesty — which is [in] short supply in Washington, it seems — and he is a genuine conservative [who] will be a partner in trying to advance the conservative agenda.”

Colorado Rep. Ken Buck’s office told the Caller that Buck has “historically supported sending aid to Ukraine; therefore, he supports Johnson on this front.”

Arizona Rep. Eli Crane was the only one of the eight members who voted to oust McCarthy who did not respond to the Caller’s inquiry by the deadline provided.

The Caller contacted Johnson’s office regarding his support for more taxpayer dollars going to Ukraine. “Speaker Johnson has long said that the Biden administration must directly address Congress’ concerns about the need for a clear strategy and meaningful oversight of taxpayer dollars before sending more aid to Ukraine,” said the speaker’s deputy chief for communications and spokesperson, Raj Shah. “Also, the speaker believes the White House must get serious about overcoming the policy failures that have opened our southern border.”