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Kemp to House Republicans on Infighting: “Enough is Enough”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently voiced his support for House Speaker Mike Johnson amidst ongoing internal conflicts among House Republicans. On a social media post, Kemp emphasized the need for unity and focus within the Republican party, criticizing the continuous infighting and its potential to inadvertently grant Democrats more influence in the House. He stressed that Republicans should concentrate on legislative duties and address the significant issues the country faces, expressing his unequivocal support for Speaker Johnson.

This endorsement came as a direct response to Representative Thomas Massie’s public backing of Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene’s proposal to remove Johnson from his leadership position. Massie’s support for Greene’s motion arose shortly after Johnson announced his intention to facilitate the passage of foreign aid through four separate bills, which would benefit Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and address other national security concerns. Notably, Johnson’s proposal excluded border security enhancements—a previous stipulation demanded by many in the GOP for any Ukraine aid, marking a significant policy shift.

Massie justified his decision by pointing to Johnson’s approach to handling not only the Ukraine aid but also government funding and the reauthorization of the U.S.’s warrantless surveillance authority. The timing for triggering a motion-to-vacate resolution remains uncertain, but given the GOP’s slim majority, Johnson might need Democratic support to retain his position. Recent statements from some Democrats suggest a willingness to support Johnson if he prioritizes Ukraine aid.

On the same day, various Republican lawmakers criticized the move to oust the Speaker, doubting its success if brought to a vote. Representative Garrett Graves remarked on the fractured state of the GOP majority, suggesting that it’s unlikely a new leader could garner majority support at this juncture. Meanwhile, Representative Jim Jordan, who previously contested for the Speaker’s role, dismissed the motion to vacate as unnecessary and disruptive, arguing that it detracts from the party’s governance responsibilities and its commitment to the electorate.

These internal party dynamics surface only months after former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from his position due to disagreements over government funding and other policy issues, which led to a leadership void in the House for nearly three weeks. The ongoing disputes highlight the challenges the GOP faces in maintaining cohesion and effectiveness in governance.