Speaker Johnson’s Honeymoon Period is Over or Never Even Began
When Speaker Johnson was elected by the House of Representatives in December, he knew he had a lot of work ahead of him. After all, he had promised the American people a return to regular order and a restoration of statesmanship to Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, Speaker Johnson is finding out that the honeymoon period for a Speaker of the House is short-lived, especially in today’s polarized American political environment.
The first signs of a bumpy road ahead appeared during the budget deadlines of January, when disagreements between the House and Senate over budget priorities caused a “shutdown” of the federal government for a few days. This awkward beginning didn’t bode well for the rest of Johnson’s speakership, and Speaker Johnson ended up having to deal with another shutdown in February.
The lack of progress on budget issues has been followed by further setbacks for Speaker Johnson on other issues, including healthcare reform, education reform, and tax reform. On all three topics, Speaker Johnson has found himself unable to reach a consensus among House members. This has left the Speaker looking like an ineffective leader, unable to deliver on his promises to the American people.
Perhaps even more troubling for Speaker Johnson has been the lack of progress on bipartisan legislation. Despite early promises of bipartisanship, Speaker Johnson has failed to make any meaningful moves towards expanding the ranks of Congress’s solution-seekers. This lack of success has caused further damage to the speaker’s reputation, leaving many wondering if his honeymoon period ever even began.
Given the current state of affairs in the House, it is safe to say that Speaker Johnson’s honeymoon period is now over. It’s not too late for Speaker Johnson to make progress, but the clock is ticking. He needs to start making progress in convincing members of both parties to come together in order to move the country forward, or his tenure as Speaker of the House may be over before it even began.