New House Speaker Mike Johnson may already be losing his first big clash with the hard-right lawmakers who are making the Republican majority and the nation ungovernable as time races down to yet another federal funding cut-off.
The Louisiana conservative, who was just lifted from obscurity to second in line to the presidency, may soon find himself in the position that doomed his predecessor Rep. Kevin McCarthy — needing Democratic votes to keep the government open.
A funding deadline of Friday night means Washington again faces a wild ride of shutdown brinkmanship caused by extreme GOP lawmakers who either cannot or don’t want to help run the country. The imbroglio is not just harming America’s image as a functioning democracy abroad. It has already wasted every week of the House majority party’s term since the summer and threatens to further weaken the key swing-district members critical to the GOP’s hopes of keeping the gavel in next year’s election.