GOP congressman to step down following weekend vote

 April 18, 2024

Since he was first elected late last year, Speaker Mike Johnson has struggled to preside over a narrow and deeply divided Republican majority.

 Johnson's job got even tougher last month following the bombshell announcement that one of his members is about to leave Washington.

Rep. Mike Gallagher will stay for weekend vote

According to Politico, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Mike Gallagher revealed last month that he would vacate his seat on April 19.

However, the website noted on Wednesday that Gallagher has since signaled a willingness to stay on through the weekend in order to help Johnson pass a controversial aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan.

"The congressman has the flexibility to stay and support the aid package on Saturday," a spokesperson for Gallagher told Politico.

Politico pointed out that the timing of Gallagher's departure is significant, as if he had left before April 9 then state law would have required a special election. As it stands, Gallagher's seat will remain open for the remainder of his term.

"I've worked closely with House Republican leadership on this timeline and look forward to seeing Speaker Mike Johnson appoint a new chair to carry out the important mission of the Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party," Gallagher was quoted as saying in March.

Johnson faces ongoing revolt

Gallagher's absence will come as another blow to Johnson, who is facing a revolt from some members within his own caucus.

Leading the charge is Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She made headlines earlier this month with a letter calling for Johnson's removal.

"Even with our razor-thin Republican majority, we could have at least secured the border, with it being the number one issue in the country and being the issue that is causing Biden to lose in poll after poll," Greene wrote.

House majority leader calls for unity

"Instead, Mike Johnson worked with Chuck Schumer rather than with us, and gave Joe Biden and the Democrats everything they wanted no different from how a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries would have done," the congresswoman complained.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise told reporters following news of Gallagher departure that the party will "have to work together" and "unite if we’re going get some things done."

"It’s tough, but it’s tough with a five-seat majority, it’s tough with a two-seat majority, one is going to be the same," he added.

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