Thomas Massie exposes Mike Johnson’s three big betrayals

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) joined me on my show earlier this week for a lively chat about House Speaker Mike Johnson’s three disastrous betrayals to the Republican Party and why he needs to resign. Here is an edited transcript of our discussion.

Thomas Massie: Let’s talk about the three big betrayals that we’ve seen in the last few weeks. The first was the omnibus. It was bigger than any omnibus that Nancy Pelosi passed. It got a majority of Democrats and got only a minority of Republicans on the roll call. It didn’t fund the border. It was atrocious. Yet, it sailed through, and Mike Johnson pushed it through. That’s the first betrayal.

You cannot let a man like Mike Johnson, who has betrayed us three times in a row in just a few weeks, stay in power.

Let’s go to the second betrayal, where, again, people say, “Mike’s got such a slim majority. It’s too hard to get anything. We just had to take what we could get.” That story doesn’t work on FISA because FISA was going to get reauthorized. … We had reformed it. We had a warrant provision. If you want to put Americans’ names into the database and search through their private records that you’ve collected, you should have to get a warrant. The stars were lined up, and Mike Johnson supported the warrant provision until he became speaker.

People will argue that Johnson wasn’t the tiebreaker and the deciding vote, but I will argue that he was, and I’ll tell you why: The speaker doesn’t often vote on bills or amendments. In fact, he didn’t vote on the other amendments that were on the floor for FISA that day. He went out of his way to do something that he doesn’t frequently do. He voted on an amendment, and he voted against a Republican amendment. The vote ended up being 212-212.

I took a picture of the tie vote and noted that he’s the one who broke the tie.

A majority of Republicans voted for the warrant requirement, and a majority of Democrats voted with Mike Johnson against the warrant requirement. That’s how we ended up with a tie vote, and it failed. Don’t tell me, “Oh, poor Mike Johnson. He’s such a religious conservative man, and he’s got such a slim majority. It’s hard to get anything done.” That’s his excuse, because ideologically, he was for the warrant requirement before he became speaker. It wasn’t some slim majority that kept us from getting the FISA warrant requirement. It was Mike Johnson himself.

Daniel Horowitz: So, now, it’s a values issue.

Massie: Yes, his values are against the majority of the conference.

So, now on to the third betrayal, which just happened. They spent $100 billion on the foreign aid package. The foreign aid supplemental started out as HR 815 in the House of Representatives, and it passed with unanimous support because it expanded eligibility for veterans to get reimbursement for emergency care. … It went to the Senate, and the Senate stripped every word out of it and put their foreign aid supplemental into it. The irony is, they’re bringing us to the brink of war in places around the globe by the vehicle they’re using that started out as a veterans’ benefits bill.

Now, here’s what happened Saturday that most of my colleagues didn’t realize. My staff told me, “Boss, we think you’re not going to believe this. We think Mike Johnson is actually in the room. He’s going to take up the Senate bill. He’s trying to say he’s doing a different set of four bills and sending them to the Senate, but he’s actually just taking up the Senate bill.”

That’s what we did. We pretended to vote on four separate bills that were going to go to the Senate. But the rules committee I serve on voted against this rule because I saw what was going on. They said that as soon as these four bills pass, we’re going to deem them as amendments to the Senate bill that they sent us.

Other members were like, “Mr. Speaker, please don’t make us go back to our constituents and tell them that we just sent $100 billion overseas and did nothing on the border.”

Mike Johnson wanted Ukraine as fervently as the left, but a majority of Republicans did not want Ukraine. He’s kind of the cause and the symptom at the same time. But he’s at the center of this problem. We’re doing nothing to show our constituents that we really are working for them.

Horowitz: So, looking forward, you cosigned the motion to vacate.

Massie: I think there is value in exposing the uni-party. I hope people can see it now, and they can see that Mike Johnson is part of it. But there’s no better way than to force the vote to vacate the chair and see where folks line up.

We’re trying to convince the speaker to resign, and that’s why we’re cosponsoring the motion to vacate. If five or six people would additionally cosponsor the motion to vacate, then it’s obvious that Johnson doesn’t have the votes without Democrats. The honorable thing for him to do would be to resign.

That’s if Johnson cared about this country, if he cared about our conference. I’m convinced he doesn’t at this point. But if he did, he would do the honorable thing. He’s got to taste the power. He can’t let go, even though he’s incompetent at the job. You know, he’s gone into every negotiation and given Democrats what they want with extra special features. He’s gotten nothing for conservatives. You cannot let a man like Mike Johnson, who has betrayed us three times in a row in the course of just a few weeks, stay in power.

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