Apr 21, 2024 - Politics & Policy

House Republicans blame Greene and Freedom Caucus for lack of border wins

(Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

House Speaker Mike Johnson and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

A growing number of House Republicans are accusing their conservative colleagues of enabling Democratic wins, especially after this weekend's foreign aid votes.

Why it matters: Multiple members believe they could have gotten concessions from Democrats on border policy in exchange for Ukraine funding, only to be blown up by backlash from conservatives.

Zoom in: "If you were a true conservative, you would actually advance border security, but what they want to do is they want to blow up border security," Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) told Axios.

  • "[T]he members who scream the loudest about border security were actively and knowingly preventing us from getting it done," another member said.
  • "They're making us the most bipartisan Congress ever," a third member told Axios. "Because they are unwilling to compromise just a little bit in a divided government, they force us to make bigger concessions and deals with the Dems."

The other side: Conservatives who advocate for blocking procedural motions argue it's necessary to light a fire under GOP leadership to demand more.

  • Multiple conservatives said they expected more out of Speaker Mike Johnson than former Speaker Kevin McCarthy due to his record as a rank-and-file member.
  • "Republicans have control of the House and we should be leveraging it to secure our border, unfortunately the Uniparty is working to secure the borders of Ukraine instead of our own border," Rep. Eric Burlison (R-Mo.) tweeted.
  • "[T]he problem is [Johnson's] gotten nothing on anything. Right? They roll him every time," Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) — who is pushing the motion to vacate — told reporters on Saturday.

Between the lines: Republicans left town yesterday without Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) pulling the trigger on her motion to vacate.

  • Johnson "needs to do the right thing, to resign and allow us to move forward in a controlled process. If he doesn't do so, he will be vacated," Greene said on Fox News.

The big picture: Johnson has faced some of the most tumultuous weeks of his speakership, with his longevity in the role remaining in question.

  • But the Louisiana Republican has asserted that he won't cave to threats to his speakership and feels rules changes should be made in the next Congress to tamp down on the unprecedented level of chaos.
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