Speaker Johnson Stands By Schumer Deal Despite Republican Opposition

House Speaker Mike Johnson announced on Friday that he is standing firm on the spending deal he negotiated with Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). This decision is disappointing to staunch conservatives who have been urging him to abandon the agreement, highlighting the ongoing challenges the speaker faces in making critical decisions.

The announcement will support the bipartisan efforts to fund the government, but it also has the potential to further upset the more conservative faction.

The pressure on Johnson has become evident in private meetings this week, with sources revealing a moment of frustration during a House Republican leadership meeting on Tuesday. Johnson engaged with House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), seeking clarity on how to avoid a government shutdown if necessary.

CNN’s chief congressional correspondent, Manu Raju, commented on Johnson’s decision to uphold the spending deal with Schumer, despite pressure from hard-right GOP members, on Friday.

Raju said, “Yeah, I just spoke to the House Freedom Caucus Chairman Bob Good.”

Raju approached Good on the Capitol steps and inquired whether he had lost confidence in Johnson for standing by the $1.66 trillion deal.

Good replied, “That’s a silly question.”

Raju replied, “Why? I mean, you voted to oust the last speaker. A very similar agreement. Would you vote to oust him now?”

Good answered, “It’s a ridiculous supposition that you would, that someone who’s been a speaker for two and a half months, or has been the leader of our party for two and a half months, would be treated the same as someone who was in that position for years and is the reason why we needed new leadership.”

Raju interviewed staunchly conservative House GOP members on Thursday, and many of them expressed strong dissatisfaction with Johnson’s decisions.

Despite Johnson’s assurance of commitment to the topline spending deal, the path forward to avoid a shutdown remains unclear. While a short-term extension seems likely to be necessary next week, Johnson has not articulated his specific approach to handling this situation.

He did mention the possibility of a stopgap spending bill that extends funding until February 9 in a meeting with appropriators and members from competitive districts on Friday morning, as per Republican sources who were present. However, this suggestion faced some resistance, and Johnson has yet to make a definitive choice.