Republican House member suggests Johnson may lose Speakership due to Ukraine aid situation

In a recent development, Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) acknowledged on Sunday the potential consequences Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) could face if he decides to proceed with a vote on aid to Ukraine.

During an interview on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Bacon acknowledged the possibility of Johnson losing his position over the Ukraine aid issue. He pointed out that there are a few individuals who prioritize personal recognition and social media attention over being team players.

Bacon highlighted the slim majority of the GOP, which will be further reduced to just one seat with the upcoming retirement of Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) in mid-April.

According to the speaker, the current majority in the group is quite slim, with only a one-seat advantage. However, he predicts that this majority will increase to three or four seats after a few special elections. He acknowledges that in a group of 435 individuals, a small number of people can easily shift the balance and turn the majority into a minority. Nevertheless, he believes in working together as a team and does not feel the need to achieve unanimous agreement.

During a discussion with lawmakers, Johnson expressed his intention to address the issue of providing aid to Ukraine when Congress reconvenes in mid-April after the holiday recess. It is worth noting that there are conservative spending hawks who oppose the idea of extending aid to Ukraine, despite the fact that the country has been engaged in a conflict with Russia for the past three years.

In a recent incident, the Louisiana Republican rejected the Senate-approved foreign aid package, which allocated $60 billion for Ukraine. His primary concern was the absence of border security measures in the proposal. However, he has now proposed an alternative solution, suggesting that aid to Ukraine could be provided in the form of a loan instead.

In a recent development, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) took a significant step by filing a motion to vacate the Speakership. This procedural move has the potential to trigger a vote that could result in the removal of Johnson from his position. The decision to file the motion came shortly after Johnson played a crucial role in the passage of a substantial spending package aimed at preventing a partial government shutdown. While the package received support from politicians across party lines, it drew criticism from House conservatives, leading to Greene’s motion.

Bacon expressed his belief that there will be Democrats who are not in favor of witnessing this dysfunction and may choose to vote present or refrain from attending the vote on the motion.

“After passing the Ukraine bill, there is a high possibility of a standoff with the Speaker. Personally, I hope that the Speaker prevails in this situation. He is making the right decision because it is crucial for our national security that Ukraine remains independent.”

A number of House Democrats had previously expressed their willingness to support Johnson in case there was any attempt to remove him from his position. However, their decision would ultimately depend on how he handles the issue of Ukraine aid.

On Sunday, Bacon shared that Johnson and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair, Michael McCaul (R-Texas), have assured their commitment towards introducing legislation for Ukraine aid on the floor.

“I have a positive outlook that we can complete this task within a two-week timeframe. My main concern is ensuring that it is a collaborative effort between both chambers of Congress. It is crucial that we don’t just pass a bill in the House and have it go nowhere in the Senate,” he expressed.

Last October, Johnson assumed the role of Speaker, succeeding former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who was removed from the position. McCarthy’s removal caused significant turmoil and hindered the House’s regular operations for almost three weeks. As a result, some Democrats seem more inclined to prevent a recurrence of such a situation.

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