What’s Next After the Ukraine Mistake? – The American Conservative

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Democrats could save Speaker Mike Johnson, but they once again find themselves in a can’t-lose situation.

The House has passed House Speaker Mike Johnson’s $95 billion foreign aid package.

The House took several votes on the foreign aid package. As The American Conservative has explained, Johnson chose a procedural maneuver called a MIRV to consider the foreign aid package, which meant the House passed one rule to govern the process over each part of the four-part foreign aid package. As Johnson had to rely on Democratic support on the Rules Committee to advance the package to the House floor, Johnson once again found himself relying on Democratic support.

The House passed Ukraine aid 311 to 112, with 210 Democrats and 101 Republicans supporting the legislation. One hundred twelve Republicans voted against. As for Israel aid, 173 Democrats joined 193 Republicans in voting for the legislation. The final tally was 366 to 58. Indo-Pacific aid, mostly directed towards Taiwan, was the least contentious of the bills considered, and passed 385 to 34. The final part of the legislation, the 21st Century Peace through Strength Act, passed 360 to 58.

While Democrats saved Johnson’s foreign aid package—not out of the goodness of their hearts but because it favored their priorities—it remains to be seen whether Democrats will save Johnson’s speakership. Yesterday, Rep. Paul Gosar came out in favor of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s motion to vacate. Between Green, Gosar, and Massie, Johnson’s critics could have the votes at a moment’s notice to invoke privilege and oust Johnson. Massie told the press that he does not expect the anti-Johnson operation to be taken today, but the clock is ticking as the House enters a week-long recess.

It’s a can’t-lose for Democrats.

Allowing Johnson to be ousted, once again throws the GOP into chaos, well beyond the House. Former President Donald Trump has claimed he supports Johnson and some within Trump’s orbit have reportedly said Mar-a-Lago is unhappy with the divisiveness in the House. Ousting Johnson throws Trump into conflict with some of his biggest supporters in the House. The GOP controlled House will once again seem incapable of governing, this time even closer to an election. The risk, however, is that there are enough Republicans in the conference angry enough at Johnson’s handling of appropriations, FISA, and foreign aid that they’ll replace Johnson with a more conservative speaker with a reputation for being a fighter—someone like Rep. Jim Jordan. Nevertheless, it feels unlikely; if Johnson is ousted, someone cut from the same cloth will probably replace him.

But Democrats could also save Johnson by voting against the motion to vacate at large enough margins to overcome Johnson’s conservative objectors. This also makes sense. Johnson has given Democrats almost everything they’ve asked for and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries doesn’t have a chance at becoming speaker, so why rock the boat? The question becomes: Has Johnson run out of things to give Democrats to incentivize keeping him in the House’s top spot? If so, then the last thing Johnson can give Democrats in his brief tenure is to create another crisis in Republican ranks on the way out.

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Originally found on American Conservative. Read More

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