House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., spent Tuesday fighting off heavy criticism from conservatives in his caucus over the top-line spending deal he made with Democrats over the weekend.

   Tuesday marked the first day back from recess for the House of Representatives, and Johnson spent a good part of it playing defense, The Hill reported.

   He reached a $1.59 trillion top-line spending deal with Democrats on Sunday, saying in a “Dear Colleague” letter that the framework is a “good deal for conservatives” and “the most favorable budget agreement Republicans have achieved in over a decade.” He cited wins on accelerating clawbacks of IRS funding, as well as a $6.1 billion cut to “COVID-era slush funds.”

   But he immediately incurred wrath from conservatives, with the House Freedom Caucus calling the deal a “total failure” and “worse than we thought” in a Sunday post.

   Johnson changed his tune Tuesday, saying it’s “the best” Republicans could hope to get with a narrow majority and a Democrat-controlled Senate.

   “This is not what we all want, it’s not the best deal that we could get if we were in charge of both chambers and the White House. But it’s the best deal that we could broker under the circumstances,” Johnson told reporters Tuesday after a closed-door meeting with GOP leaders, including House Freedom Caucus Chair Bob Good, R-Va.

   With his party holding a thin 220-213 majority, Johnson can’t afford many defectors without getting help from Democrats, a no-win scenario that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., himself faced in October, days before getting axed.

   Now it’s Johnson staring down the barrel of an unhappy conservative wing.

   “The reason I think we need new leadership in Washington is that we don’t have any,” Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, told Newsmax on Tuesday. “Our Washington Republican leaders [are] blowing it.”

   And Johnson is working with a smaller majority than did McCarthy, who resigned and left early at the end of last year. Further, Republicans ousted one of their own, Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., last month, and Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., is out until next month for cancer treatment.

   Johnson tried to assuage House Republicans with a call to pursue policy changes in the upcoming appropriations bills.

   “The pedal’s to the metal. We have the top-line agreement. This allows us to fight for our policy priorities, for our policy riders now. And our appropriators are resolute on doing that,” Johnson said.

   Said Good, “Past history would not indicate that we are, that we are willing to fight for good policy or reduce spending.”

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share This