Washington Examiner

A losing tactic: GOP’s House all-or-nothing approach backfires again

The 118th Congress has seen⁤ House Republicans marred by internal ​conflicts and dysfunction since early 2023. Issues include⁢ repeated failed attempts⁣ to elect Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, discord over aiding Ukraine, ‍and a stalled bipartisan border⁤ bill. This Congress is projected to be one of the least productive in decades, with record-low approval ratings. The 118th Congress has witnessed House Republicans embroiled in internal conflicts and ⁤disarray ⁢since the start of 2023.⁤ Challenges such as unsuccessful bids​ to appoint Kevin McCarthy as⁢ Speaker, disagreements on Ukraine support, and a blocked bipartisan border bill have‌ led to ‌expectations of this Congress being remarkably unproductive, marked by historically low approval ratings.

In the 118th Congress, House Republicans have been riddled with party infighting and chaos since being sworn into office earlier in 2023.

After 15 different votes to elect former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, disagreements over sending aid to Ukraine during Russia’s war, and a failed bipartisan border bill, this Congress is set to be the most unproductive in decades. According to a recent poll, this Congress has the lowest approval rating since 2015, with just 12% of those polled approving of how Congress is handling its job.

All-or-nothing politics have cost House Republicans, forcing them to give concessions to Democrats.

Funding the government

Last year, some House Republicans voted to oust Speaker McCarthy, the first time in U.S. history a speaker has been ousted.

The move came after McCarthy relied on Democratic votes to avoid a partial government shutdown, angering Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who filed a motion to oust him.

McCarthy was not voted into the position easily. The House engaged in 15 rounds of votes as his appointment to the position was stalled by hard-right Republicans.

Removing McCarthy left the House in shambles as there was no clear replacement. Republicans put up multiple other congressmen for a vote, including Reps. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Tom Emmer (R-MN). Ultimately, the relatively unknown Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) was voted into the position after four rounds of voting.

Democrats originally looked to save McCarthy, but ultimately voted against him after McCarthy brought forth an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

“Let them wallow in their pigsty of incompetence,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) said.

Prior to McCarthy holding the position, previous Speakers Paul Ryan and John Boehner retired from Congress after fighting with hard-right Republicans.

Foreign surveillance

On Saturday, President Joe Biden signed Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act into law after the House approved the measure last week. National security adviser Jake Sullivan said the section was “one of the United States’s most vital intelligence collection tools.”

House Republicans were critical of the legislation as former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social “Kill FISA.” The House passed a two-year authorization of the law, which could allow Trump to do away with it should he win the 2024 general election.

The final vote for FISA was 273 to 147, with support split among parties. Over 100 Republicans voted alongside Democrats in favor of the law, while 88 Republicans and 59 Democrats opposed.

“Speaker Johnson was incredibly wrong,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in a Fox News Sunday interview. “He broke the tie. He voted with the Democrats. Here we have the leader of the Republicans in the House votes with the Democrats against a warrant requirement.”

“We also have Speaker Johnson voting for the spending package once again with a majority of the Democrats. As I see it now, I’m not so sure there’s a difference between Mike Johnson being in charge and the Democrats being in charge,” Paul said.

Bipartisan border bill

Speaker Johnson and Trump essentially killed a bipartisan border deal after months of debate about the crisis unfolding at the southern border.

Republicans previously made it clear they would not support Ukraine aid should the border not be addressed by Congress. The legislation was negotiated for four months but quickly lost support from Republicans as Trump expressed his distaste toward the law.

“We had a bipartisan deal to fix the border, a very strong bill,” Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) said. “Now, the only reason we didn’t pass it is that former President Trump wanted this to be a campaign issue rather than allowing us to get a major bill done, giving the resources to the people at the border to protect our border. Congress has the responsibility to act.”

The Senate struck down the deal and Johnson vowed that the legislation would be “dead on arrival” if it should come to a vote in the House.

“I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, ‘the border never closes.’ If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival,” Johnson said in a statement on X.

“Let me be clear: The Senate Border Bill will NOT receive a vote in the House. Here’s what the people pushing this “deal” aren’t telling you: It accepts 5,000 illegal immigrants a day and gives automatic work permits to asylum recipients — a magnet for more illegal immigration,” Scalise said on X.

Democrats ultimately won as Ukraine aid was eventually passed and border legislation has yet to hit Biden’s desk.

Ukraine funding

This weekend, the House passed long-awaited aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Johnson refused to bring the legislation to the House floor for a vote as he faced opposition from within the GOP not to fund Ukraine.

Aid to Ukraine passed 311 to 112, with all Democrats voting in favor and half of Republicans against the measure. It forced Johnson, who was once a harsh critic of funding Ukraine in the early days of Russia’s war, to change his mindset.

“The world is destabilized and it is a tinderbox,” Johnson said. “I think we did our work here, and history will judge it well. Let the chips fall where they may.”


Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) threatened to oust Johnson from his position if he brought a Ukraine vote to the floor. Some House Republicans have said they have heard Russian propaganda being uttered on the House floor.

The funding measures, alongside a TikTok ban if the owner does not sell, will be bundled and sent to the Senate.

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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