Speaker Mike Johnson Celebrates Democrats Seizing House: ‘We’re Happy’

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) celebrated Democrats seizing the House by unprecedentedly relying on the opposition party to force President Joe Biden’s priority of Ukraine border defense funds toward a full House vote on Saturday.

“We look forward to every member voting their conscience and their desire, and that is exactly how this process is supposed to work and how the house is supposed to operate,” Johnson told reporters on Friday after passing a rules bill. “So we’re happy to provide that.”

Democrats had a reason to bail Johnson out: he’s not former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy. “McCarthy was both incompetent and dishonest,” Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) said, but “Johnson is just incompetent.”

Johnson’s inexplicable decision to work with Democrats on passing Biden’s Ukraine agenda occurred twice over the course of two days:

  • Thursday: Johnson made history by relying on Democrats on the House Rules Committee to overcome objections from the majority and advance a rule bill to the House floor.
  • Friday: Democrats seized the House and helped Johnson clear a key procedural hurdle on the rule bill to set up Saturday’s floor vote. Voting “yes” were 165 Democrats and only 151 Republicans.

“This is the best possible product that we can get under these circumstances to take care of these really important obligations,” Johnson argued.

“We introduced the loan concept for the governmental assistance party to be provided in a loan instead of a gift,” he said about funding Ukraine’s border and not the U.S. border.

“Everyone can vote their will and their constituents’ desires on the Israel aid, the Ukrainian aid, the Indo Pacific, and then our fourth national security package,” Johnson said:

Immediately after Friday’s vote, GOP Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) signed on to the motion to vacate Johnson from the speakership, becoming the third member to do so, joining Reps. Thomas Massie (R-KY) and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA).

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Rep. Paul Gosar (AP Photos/John Bazemore, Cliff Owen)

“It’s official: ⁦@SpeakerJohnson is no longer the GOP Speaker of the House, but Speaker for the Uniparty’s $1.5T deficit, warrantless spying on Americans, and a foreign aid bill with more deficit spending than Schumer’s budget buster,” Sen. Rand Paul posted on X, sharing a New York Times article. The Times’ article underscored Johnson’s decision to essentially allow Democrat House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) to take control of the Republican-controlled House.


Sen. Rand Paul (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)


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