Speaker Johnson Says House GOP Has To ‘Keep The Team Together’ Amid Dwindling Majority
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., conducts a news conference featuring remarks by college students about antisemitism on college campuses, in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Republicans have to “keep the team together” if they want to get anything done with an ever-narrowing majority in the House, according to Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).

In an interview that aired on Sunday morning, Fox News journalist Raymond Arroyo pressed Johnson on what the House GOP can accomplish after the expulsion of Rep. George Santos (R-NY) and the early retirement announcement of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), alluding to the decreasing number of defections the GOP can abide in close votes.

“We have to keep the team together and I think everybody understands the importance of the job that we have to do. We have to demonstrate we can govern well,” Johnson replied. “When we do that, I think we’ll expand the majority and we’ll be in a much better situation in the next round.”

What had been a four-vote margin by which Republicans could pass legislation is now starting to shrink. House Republicans are down to 221 members, while Democrats have 213. And the GOP’s advantage could take another hit depending on whether a Democrat wins Santos’ Long Island seat in a February special election.


Looking ahead, McCarthy said he plans to exit Congress by the end of the year. Rep. Bill Young (R-OH) is expected to follow in the coming months after he accepted a job as president of Youngstown State University. At least one Democrat, Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY), is poised to step down in February.

The GOP-led House elected Johnson as its 56th speaker in late October, ending a weeks-long stalemate after several Republicans joined with Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy as speaker.

Johnson has a daunting task in front of him as Congress grapples with spending legislation to keep the government open, a massive defense authorization bill, and a supplemental funds measure that would boost allies such as Israel and Ukraine. And, in the coming days, the House is slated to vote on whether to formalize an impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden.

One vocal member of the GOP conference, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), recently critiqued her party’s situation in the House, saying, “I can assure you Republican voters didn’t give us the majority to crash the ship.”

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