House Conservatives Tank Key Rule Vote In Blow To Mike Johnson’s Speakership

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Arjun Singh Contributor
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The House of Representatives defeated a key measure on Wednesday due to Republican defections in protest against a recent deal to fund the government negotiated by House Speaker Mike Johnson.

Johnson announced, on Sunday, a deal to fund the government for Fiscal Year 2024 that was negotiated with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders. The deal, which would appropriate $1.59 trillion in spending until Sept. 30, 2024, has been vehemently opposed by many conservative members of the House Republican Conference, who voted on Wednesday to defeat a rules package that would have allowed for the consideration of several bills. (RELATED: ‘I Am A Hardline Conservative’: Mike Johnson Responds To Chip Roy Over Threat To Remove Him From Office)

The House voted by 203 yeas to 216 nays to defeat House Resolution 947, a rule that would have provided for the consideration of bills to prohibit the federal government from maintaining “slush funds” for legal settlements as well as bills to repeal Biden administration regulations regarding employment and electric vehicles. Thirteen House Republicans voted against the bill, which was sufficient to defeat the measure in a body where the party currently has a three-seat majority.

Among the members voting against the legislation were Republican Reps. Chip Roy of Texas, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Matt Rosendale of Montana, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good of Virginia. They were joined by all Democrats to oppose the rule’s advancement.

The defeat comes at a difficult time for Johnson, who is facing threats of a motion to vacate the chair to remove him from office over the deal. “I’m leaving it on the table,” Roy said on Tuesday of a motion to vacate, which was last used to remove Kevin McCarthy as the Speaker of the House in October of 2023 after he approved a continuing resolution to avoid a government shutdown.

“What I’ve talked with him about is the reality of being in what is soon to be the smallest majority in the history of the Congress,” said Johnson on Wednesday to the DCNF about Roy’s threat. “We have a very difficult challenge.”

Johnson has emphasized that the agreement is “the best possible deal that conservatives and Republicans could get under these circumstances,” and is a “downpayment on restoring us to fiscal sanity.” House Republicans have until Jan. 19 to pass several appropriations bills to fund the government or else face a partial government shutdown, which will become a complete shutdown on Feb. 2.

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