Tuesday, Apr 23rd

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Republicans lash out at Greene over threat to oust Speaker Johnson

MTGHouse Republicans are lashing out at Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) over her surprise bid to remove Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) from power, warning that it threatens to divide an already warring GOP conference ahead of elections when the House is up for grabs.

Greene told reporters she is not bringing her motion to vacate resolution to the floor immediately — “I don’t have a timeline” — but the mere idea of removing another Speaker has infuriated many fellow Republicans, who are aiming their fire at Greene.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who spearheaded the successful motion to vacate against former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), told Politico “I’m not going to question her decision, I’m just not ready to support a motion to vacate.” Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.), who also voted to oust McCarthy, said he is “currently” against booting Johnson, though he echoed Greene’s frustration with Johnson’s handling of government funding.


Republican House majority to shrink as Mike Gallagher steps down

Mike Gallagher resigns

The Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is set to dwindle further with the early exit of Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, once a rising star of the party.

A former US marine who twice deployed to Iraq, Gallagher, 40, is a relatively moderate voice in party at the mercy of the far right.

He had already announced his decision to retire but in a statement on Friday he said: “After conversations with my family, I have made the decision to resign my position … effective 19 April. I’ve worked closely with House Republican leadership on this timeline.”

The announcement came shortly after Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, an extremist even in a party held hostage by its far right, responded to the passage of a Democrat-backed funding bill by filing a motion to remove Mike Johnson, the speaker from Louisiana.


Speaker Johnson: ‘There will probably be a change’ to motion to vacate next Congress

Mike JohnsonSpeaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Wednesday predicted that the House will “probably” change the rules around the motion to vacate in the next Congress, months after eight Republicans banded with Democrats to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) using the procedural maneuver.

Johnson — speaking at a kickoff press conference during the House GOP’s annual retreat in West Virginia — said he is not personally advocating for a change to the motion to vacate, but added it’s being openly discussed among lawmakers.

“The motion to vacate is something that comes up a lot amongst members and discussion. … I expect there will probably be a change to that as well. But just so you know, I’ve never advocated for that; I’m not one who’s making it into this issue, because I don’t think it is one for now,” Johnson said.


Buck to retire next week, narrowing House GOP majority

Ken Buck

Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) will retire from Congress next week, he said Tuesday, a stunning announcement that will narrow the House GOP’s razor-thin majority even further.

Buck — who has become known for breaking from his party on various issues and criticizing Republicans on election denialism — announced last year that he would depart the House at the end of his current term, but expedited that timeline Tuesday.

“It has been an honor to serve the people of Colorado’s 4th District in Congress for the past 9 years. I want to thank them for their support and encouragement throughout the years. Today, I am announcing that I will depart Congress at the end of next week. I look forward to staying involved in our political process, as well as spending more time in Colorado with my family,” he wrote in a statement.


Sex Trafficking Survivor Calls Out Sen. Britt For Inaccurate SOTU Story

karla Jacinto RomeroA sex trafficking survivor is firing back at Sen. Katie Britt’s (R-Ala.) distorted retelling of her story in a prime-time response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address last week, saying she believes her harrowing experience was used by Britt purely for political purposes.

“In fact, I hardly ever cooperate with politicians because it seems to me that they only want an image. They only want a photo, and that to me is not fair,” Karla Jacinto Romero told CNN on Sunday when asked about the Republican Alabama senator’s motive.


US government avoids shutdown after Senate approves $460bn in spending

Congress passes spending bill

The US government has narrowly avoided a partial shutdown after senators approved a $460bn package of spending bills before a midnight deadline that would have shuttered many key federal agencies.

The Senate approved the six funding bills, which passed the House on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 339-85, on Friday evening, a vote that gets lawmakers about halfway home in wrapping up their appropriations work for the 2024 budget year.

The package now goes to Joe Biden to be signed into law. Meanwhile, lawmakers are negotiating a second package of six bills, including defense, in an effort to have all federal agencies fully funded by a 22 March deadline.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 75-22, as the chamber labored to get to a final vote just hours before the midnight deadline.


TikTok users flood Congress with calls as potential ban advances in House

Tik Tok users flood Congress

Lawmakers’ offices have reportedly been flooded with calls from TikTok users speaking out against a bill that would force the platform’s parent company to divest from the app or face a US ban.

The bill, which is backed by more than a dozen representatives, passed unanimously out of the House energy and commerce committee on Thursday with a vote of 50 to 0. TikTok responded by pushing out a notification to many of its estimated 170 million US users, calling on them to contact Congress in protest. The notification included a mechanism that allows people to search for their representative’s number by inputting their zip code.

This outreach led to a deluge of calls from TikTok users, congressional staffers told the Washington Post - as many as 20 calls per minute, leading some offices to temporarily shut down their phone lines. Taylor Hulsey, a communications director for Florida congressman Vern Buchanan posted on Twitter/X that staffers were “getting a lot of calls from high schoolers asking what a Congressman is”.


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