House Republican leaders failed to pass two of their major policy bills Tuesday night, a blowup so massive it left GOP lawmakers irritated upon leaving Washington for a long weekend Wednesday morning.
“Some people are frustrated. Very few people are surprised,” Rep. Jack Bergman, R-Mich., said.
The House GOP conference, dealing with highly divided factions and a razor-thin majority, is again at odds after narrowly failing to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. It was followed by the defeat of a standalone Israel aid bill that Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., had announced over the weekend.
“An unmitigated disaster” was how Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., described the situation to Fox News Digital. “I don’t think either of those votes moved our party or our country forward.”
He argued that ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., would not have brought the bills to the floor if he was uncertain of their passage.
“I don’t think we would have had that vote on Israel. I mean, what did it accomplish? And then I think it was embarrassing to lose the vote on Mayorkas. And I think [under McCarthy] we would have either had the votes for it or we wouldn’t have voted on it,” Massie said.
Some have blamed Johnson for bringing the bills to the floor, while others attacked the three House Republicans who voted against impeaching Mayorkas.
“Are we in the majority? I’m not sure. Because it doesn’t seem like it. We’re not acting like it,” Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, told Fox News Digital. “You’ve gotta know how to count votes, I guess. But, hey, listen, I know that [Johnson] wanted the job. He can have the job.”
Republicans were poised to impeach Mayorkas Tuesday night until Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, who was recovering from surgery, made a surprise appearance still wearing hospital clothing to tie the vote. It seemed to catch GOP leaders and even some Democrats by surprise.
Meanwhile, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust McCarthy, warned Johnson he was following a similar path as the ex-leader by putting an Israel aid bill up for a vote without offsetting its cost with spending cuts elsewhere.
The House previously passed a $14 billion Israel aid bill that would’ve been offset by cuts to IRS spending, but the measure was never taken up by the Senate.
“The best thing I thought the speaker did was the Israel funding with a pay-for, because that had a chance to break what I call a suboptimal path that we’ve been locked into for decades here,” Biggs said. “I thought, what a shame it is that you had this big victory, you know, which actually made you different than McCarthy, and then you reverted back to this last night.”
Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., who also voted to oust McCarthy, said her frustration was with the Republicans who were not on board with impeachment.
“This is a defining moment for our nation, and we have the policies to fix this dire situation, and you’re going against those policies? I don’t know how you go home with that,” Mace said. “I made the right vote. … I’m voting the will of the people. The people who voted against that, Democrats and Republicans alike, they have to take that home.”
Freshman Rep. Mike Collins, R-Ga., fumed over the Mayorkas impeachment’s failure.
“We should’ve taken that sorry rascal out,” he said.
But Collins said he did not see a difference between House Republicans’ status under McCarthy versus Johnson.
“It’s basically the same. And, to Johnson’s credit, man, you know, he was voted in, and he was already behind the eight ball,” Collins said. “So, he’s gonna have to take a few shots to get back into position.”
Fox News Digital has reached out to Johnson’s office for comment.