Rosenberg applauds Johnson for doing right thing, but urges forceful play with border legislation

Rosenberg applauds Johnson for doing right thing, but urges forceful play with border legislation

House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana)

Rosenberg applauds Johnson for doing right thing, but urges forceful play with border legislation

In a day when politicians are dragged across the coals for being wrong, it's notable when they do the right thing – even if it's done the wrong way.

Lack of support for Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is growing with now three conservative Republicans favoring a call to "vacate the chair" made by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) before Congress' spring break. But Johnson – who was accused recently by yet another conservative Republican for abandoning his conservative roots – got what seems these days to be a rare public vote of confidence Tuesday, this coming from Israel publisher and regional analyst Joel Rosenberg.

Rosenberg said on American Family Radio that Israel is in dire need of financial assistance from the U.S., and it was important to get the wheels turning on that process. The House did that over the weekend. Johnson presented stand-alone bills for aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan – in addition to a fourth bill of House GOP priorities such as sanctions against Iran, the seizure of Russian assets and a measure that could lead to a U.S. ban on TikTok.

Each passed and will be rolled into one bill to head to the Senate.

But … what about our border crisis?

What Johnson didn't do – and this was a major failing in the eyes of far-right Republicans – was address Joe Biden's open southern border.

Rosenberg, Joel Rosenberg

"I give a lot of credit to Speaker of the House Mike Johnson who really put his political career on the line to do the right thing; the right thing being to break the four different foreign aid funding bills into different bills so people could vote on them up or down on their own. We see that so rarely in Washington. Usually, it's some big omnibus-type package where you vote for the things you want, [but] you're also voting for things you hate," Rosenberg told show host Jenna Ellis. "He did the right thing – so I'm encouraged by that."

But there's been little public mention of the southern border by Johnson, certainly no plan to bring any border-related legislation to the House floor quickly, and that's where the Speaker has messed up, Rosenberg explained.

"He should have said that he was bringing it next and had a very specific bill to do it but not put it together on the Saturday night vote, or said it was because the Senate may or may not go with the border bill, but we absolutely still have to get these other things done.

"The problem is that both sides are playing chicken with each other, [sort of threatening] 'Well, I'm not passing your legislation unless you put the things in it that I want.' After six months, our major allies that are facing existential threats are really in terrible danger. We had to get that money moving," Rosenberg said.

Johnson told NewsMax last week that he wanted to address the border but didn't feel he had the necessary Republican votes.

"Why is the border not in this package? We didn't have the votes to do it. I have a handful of my Republicans at least who will not advance a rule to bring that to the floor to combine it with the Ukraine and Israel funding. They won't do it. If I don't have Republican votes, it means we have to have Democrat votes," Johnson said.

Roy says Johnson comments misleading

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas), a House Freedom Caucus member, told Ellis that Johnson's comments to NewsMax oversimplified the issue.

Roy, Rep. Chip (R-Texas) Roy

"The Speaker is saying generally that he can't get the votes for that, there would be people who would oppose putting [Ukraine and the border] together. The Freedom Caucus was standing ready to figure out how to move Ukraine funding with strong border security. Republicans wanted a cover vote," Roy said.

If the House votes to oust Johnson, it would be the second Republican-led removal of one of their own in six months. His own ascension came amid vicious infighting last fall as multiple Speaker candidates failed before the GOP rallied around Johnson.

Now leading a slim and divided House majority with Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House, Johnson is left with a difficult needle to thread to advance Republican initiatives like border security. Difficult but not impossible, Rosenberg says.

"He's opening himself up – needlessly, in my view – to the charges that you care more about other people's borders in other countries more than our own. I don't think that's true about him, but he's opening himself to an easy charge that can be easily knocked down," the well-known author argued.

"He absolutely should have publicly said at the same time that within one week or whatever it would be we're bringing this new bill to the floor that does X, Y and Z to protect the southern border. He should have moved fast on that, and he didn't do it. He still should do it, and it's self-inflicted error if he does not," Rosenberg advised.

Still time for Johnson to address border

According to Rosenberg, the window has not closed. While he considers the move to vacate the chair wrong, he contends Johnson can still save political face with a forceful border play.

"He's got three House members who are poised to pull the trigger on him and bring down his Speakership, and for what purpose?" he asked. "How are we going to do better than Speaker Johnson?

"We should be unifying and putting out bills that define where one party wants to go to do the right things. Johnson absolutely has to pass major legislation in the House that defines what true border security means for America – and [exposes] the dangers of putting a party in power that is absolutely opposed to that," Rosenberg said.