Democrats Seize Control of House: For First Time in Recorded History, Speaker Mike Johnson Relies on Minority Party Votes to Advance Foreign Aid Plan

Mike Johnson
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) made history Thursday night just before midnight by essentially surrendering Republican majority control to Democrats.

For the first time in recorded history — since the House began keeping records — the House Rules Committee relied on minority party votes to overcome objections from the majority and advance a rule bill to the House floor.

The committee voted nine to three, with all four Democrats on the committee voting with five Republicans to move a rule to the House floor, which, if passed with Democrat support as expected, would allow votes on Johnson’s foreign aid package, including a bill that includes tens of billions to fund Ukraine.

Conservative Reps. Chip Roy (R-TX), Thomas Massie (R-KY), and Ralph Norman (R-SC) voted no.

The powerful House Rules Committee, known for generations as “the Speaker’s committee” for the control the Speaker of the House possesses over the committee and its reputation as a rubber stamp for the Speaker’s agenda, sets the floor agenda for the House through what are known as rules.

Rules do not simply allow votes on bills. The complicated, convoluted language of the eight-page rule, as with many rules, intentionally deflects from what the rule does.

For example, after questioning from Massie, Chairman Michael Burgess (R-TX) acknowledged the rule contains language that merges the four bills together, sending the different components together as one package to the Senate as part of Johnson’s complicated scheme to exploit the urgency to pass aid to Israel to ensure Ukraine funding can pass Congress.

“The four bills that we’ve heard testimony on today will be transmitted to the senate as an amendment to the underlying bill,” Burgess said, acknowledging the underlying bill itself was an unrelated “veterans bill.”

Bradley Jaye is a Capitol Hill Correspondent for Breitbart News. Follow him on X/Twitter at @BradleyAJaye.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.