Aderholt: It's wrong what Senate did – and it's wrong to bail on Johnson

Aderholt: It's wrong what Senate did – and it's wrong to bail on Johnson

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson (Louisiana)

Aderholt: It's wrong what Senate did – and it's wrong to bail on Johnson

Among many things House Republicans differ on right now is whether shutting down government is a tragedy or a tool. For example, the government is still doing business today – but some, like Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) question whether that's a good thing.

Roy, early in January, favored a shutdown over business as usual in an interview with Fox News. He said his constituents felt that a government shutdown was a reasonable response to a president who won't shut down the border.

"I'm not trying to rattle about a shutdown for the sake of it," he state then, "but the people I represent, they're like, 'Good Lord, shut down the border or shut down the government until you wake up President Biden and [DHS Secretary] Mayorkas to do their job."

A government shutdown was averted Saturday when President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion spending package. It passed the Senate by a 74-24 vote shortly before the midnight deadline.

The bill passed the House on Friday by a 286-134 count. A total of 101 Republicans voted in favor, 112 against.

Johnson's job talk looms over holiday break

The bill angered some in the more conservative wing of the GOP – one of them being House member, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who filed a motion to vacate the chair, leaving some question to House Speaker Mike Johnson's job security as Congress takes its holiday break.

"Obviously closing down the government is a serious thing. We can't just pretend that that is a simple issue and say, 'We'll just shut down the government,'" Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Alabama) said on Washington Watch Friday. Aderholt was a no vote when the House considered the $1.2 trillion package.

Aderholt, Rep. Robert (R-Alabama) Aderholt

"There were a lot of things in this bill that changed after it went to the Senate. The House bill that we passed initially was a pretty good bill. I think this was too much of what [Senate Majority Leader Chuck] Schumer was wanting in this bill."

Aderholt said he was concerned by pro-illegal alien, pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQ initiatives in the final agreement pushed by Johnson.

Johnson "tried hard," Aderholt told show host Joseph Backholm. Ultimately, Johnson decided that his best leverage was with issues other than a shutdown.

"The Speaker and I had many conversations over the last few days about this bill and all that was included in it. He took the position that if a shutdown occurred, we may have to give in more to the Democrats to get it back open. That's a legitimate argument. I don't want to say it's completely irrelevant because there may be some truth to [Johnson's concern].

"But at the same time, I think we have to push back on what the Senate sends over here. We've got to make a statement to say the House is not going to rubber-stamp what the Senate sends over. I just felt like there was too much in this bill at the eleventh hour that I could not in good conscience support. A lot of my colleagues felt the same way," Aderholt said.

The congressman's preferred method of governance is to pass appropriations bills – "but somewhere you've got to draw the line," he added.

Republicans blink as Schumer plays Shutdown Chicken

Aderholt said the House should have taken some time to discuss the Senate's bill. He could have stomached a government shutdown over the weekend "when most government agencies are closed anyway."

"I think the Senate really did us wrong, and the leader of the Senate tried to inject the Senate's wishes on us without us pushing back," Aderholt said.

Aderholt, while unhappy with the bill's passage, has more patience with Johnson than some other House members are showing. He sees the Speaker, just months into the job, getting better on the fly but regrets a missed opportunity to cut deeper into Democrats' spending and social initiatives.

"At the end of the day I felt like this was a no vote. I hope he [Johnson] will learn that he needs to push back on the Senate and just put his foot down," Aderhold added.

Clearly, Taylor Green (right) says it was time now to put a foot down. "Speaker Johnson surrendered every tool we had to force the Biden admin to secure the border in the Omnibus government funding bills … Johnson can NOT be Speaker of the House!" she wrote on X Monday.

Johnson has only been in the job since Oct. 29. Before the House selected the Louisianan to fill the Speaker's chair, Reps. Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer had a go at the gavel but came up short for various reasons whether driven by in-fighting or policy preferences.

Aderholt is firmly in Johnson's camp right now. "I would be totally against vacating the chair. Mike Johnson has been there for less than six months, and he is doing a great job. I'm behind Mike Johnson 100%. He has true Christian convictions, and I think it would be a real mistake for him to be removed as Speaker at this point," he said.