Newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is granting clemency and amnesty to the 25 intransigent House Republicans who violated the formal will of the House GOP conference when they took to the House floor to block a Speakership bid from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) earlier this year.
Johnson formally declined to comment, through spokesman Raj Shah, when asked a series of in-depth questions from Breitbart News about what specific consequences would befall the 25 intransigent Republicans for the harm they caused the country in October. Breitbart News told Johnson’s team that these questions would be printed in full, with or without answers, which means the Speaker was aware when he declined to comment that this story would be published.
WATCH: Mike Johnson Receives Gavel and Is Sworn in as Speaker of the House:
U.S. House of Representatives
The specific questions that Speaker Johnson refused to answer are as follows:
1. Can you guarantee Americans that you will never support Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL), in your time as Speaker, becoming chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee?
2. Why is Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) still the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee? She is a lame duck who has announced she is not running for reelection after her intransigence against House Republicans. You’ve been Speaker for more than a month now, so why have you not yet acted in rectifying this wrong committed against the country by keeping her in this position?
3. An astounding total of 7 of the intransigent Republicans — Granger, and Reps. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Steve Womack (R-AR), John Rutherford (R-FL), Jake Ellzey (R-TX), and Tony Gonzales (R-TX) — serve on the House Appropriations Committee. That means these intransigent individuals have significant influence over the direction of the spending of Americans’ tax dollars, a truly horrifying thought after what they put the country through in October. Do you as Speaker support their removal from the Appropriations Committee?
4. Several others — Reps. Jen Kiggans (R-VA), Nick LaLota (R-NY), Carlos Gimenez (R-FL), and Don Bacon (R-NE) — serve on the House Armed Services Committee. Given the damage these intransigents did to the country, do you support for the sake of strengthening the United State military replacing these individuals off of the Armed Services Committee with Republicans who are not corrupted by the horrifying actions these people took in October?
5. What other consequences, if any, will befall the 25 intransigents who inflicted serious and massive pain upon the country with their actions?
The full list of the 25 intransigents is as follows:
- Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE)
- Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
- Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR)
- Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY)
- Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart (R-FL)
- Rep. Jake Ellzey (R-TX)
- Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA)
- Rep. Andrew Garbarino (R-NY)
- Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-FL)
- Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX)
- Rep. John James (R-MI)
- Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA)
- Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA)
- Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
- Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL)
- Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
- Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN)
- Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO)
- Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA)
- Rep. Nick LaLota (R-NY)
- Rep. Steve Womack (R-AR)
- Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY)
- Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
- Rep. Thomas Kean Jr. (R-NJ)
- Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY)
WATCH — Kevin McCarthy on Jordan Losing Third Speaker Bid: “We’re in a Very Bad Place”:
These 25 members openly violated the will of the House Republican conference in October — some of them on at least three occasions — on the floor of the House of Representatives when they voted against Jordan for Speaker when he was the official House GOP conference nominee. Jordan received more than 200 votes, but because of these intransigents Jordan was blocked from the Speakership.
Technically, there is no formal rule in the House GOP conference requiring members to vote for the conference nominee for Speaker on the floor. However, doing so usually leads to actual and real consequences for members. When conservatives did it to former Speakers John Boehner or Paul Ryan, for instance, there were real consequences — members who did so did not get golden treatment, such as service on what are known as “A Committees” like Appropriations, Armed Services, or Ways and Means, never mind getting the gavels to chair those committees.
As such, it’s particularly troubling that Johnson at this stage is formally declining to answer questions about what he plans to do with these people — if anything. A lack of answers — and a lack of action — essentially means he has forgiven them for their sins or granted them an amnesty and clemency for their actions.
A big part of why several of these big government establishment Republicans blocked Jordan is because they know Jordan would have actually changed the way things work in Congress. Johnson, while portraying himself as a change agent, really has not changed anything at all from the ways things worked back when now former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was running things. In fact, Johnson may have even taken several steps backward toward to the Ryan and Boehner days, and away from reforms conservatives were able to secure from McCarthy. The biggest piece of evidence of Johnson’s regression is the fact that he, before Thanksgiving, championed a continuing resolution to fund the federal government at the same levels for which eight Republicans — Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) is in both camps, one of the original eight against McCarthy and one of the 25 intransigents against Jordan — removed McCarthy. Johnson’s CR splits the government funding into two different deadlines in early next year, providing multiple opportunities for Democrats to pull more over on Republicans and hurt the GOP even more.
WATCH — MSNBC’s Wallace: Jordan Holdouts Implementing “Strategic Humiliation”:
It’s actually so bad, in fact, that now Johnson is literally talking about altogether abandoning the past year of House GOP efforts to move off omnibuses and CRs to individual appropriations bills. House Republicans have spilled figurative blood amongst themselves trying to pass the several appropriations bills they have passed, but now Johnson is saying publicly that the House will consider and approve a full-year-long CR early next year for the entire federal government — and perhaps most ironically House conservatives seem to say they will go along with Johnson even though they ousted McCarthy for it — which raises the question yet again about who are the people who are actually responsible for this mess. Well, those people are the people on the House Appropriations Committee — and 7 of the 25 intransigents against Jordan are on that committee.
So, if Speaker Johnson actually wanted to see real change, there would be consequences for the intransigents and their actions against the country. These people threw the House into even more chaos than already existed due to their 8 counterparts who ousted McCarthy. They had a way out, and a way for substantive change. It was Jordan, who would have gotten the House more organized weeks before Johnson — who still has failed and looks like he is heading for more failure in the coming weeks and months ahead barring a drastic change — but these people chose to plunge Congress into more chaos and uncertainty because they seem to all care more about keeping the status quo in Washington at all costs than they do about solving the nation’s problems.
Maybe for some such as Granger or Simpson it’s because they’ve been in Congress for decades and remember how great the “good ole days” were. For others, such as Rutherford — who literally also sits on the House Ethics Committee which supposedly “investigated” then “cleared” him when he bought thousands in Raytheon stock the day Russia invaded Ukraine then failed as required by the STOCK Act to lawfully report the trades — it might be because they want to keep padding those IRAs with suspicious trades on the way to retirement. But whatever the reason, the fact that these people are — thanks to Speaker Johnson, who spent Wednesday meeting yet again with Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell instead of doing something to solve this problem — getting away with this intransigence is mind-boggling to ordinary Americans nationwide.
So, Johnson and his team can claim all they want that they are “fighting” the Senate on Ukraine-and-border-whatever-nonsense-the-swamp-cooks-up-next, and they probably will claim that, but real change is again elusive for Americans desperate for Congress to stop being the nation’s gutter. Because here’s what’s coming: A CR that funds the government for a full year at Democrat levels, more Ukraine funding, no real border solution, probably a renewal of FISA/section 702 which means more government surveillance, and more kicking the can down the road forever. That’s all because Johnson thus far refuses to do anything about the real cause of the problem: The 25 intransigents and people like them. The only conclusion one can draw from the lack of action here is that Johnson does not want things to change at all.