Speaker Mike Johnson Suffers Another Loss

(UnitedVoice.com) – House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) isn’t having a great year so far. Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) has already threatened to unseat him, although that threat seems to have fizzled out, but he’s also losing people from his office. Now, another key staffer has just quit.

On May 21, Axios reported that Raj Shah, Johnson’s deputy chief of staff for communications, is planning to leave his post sometime this summer — and possibly as soon as next month. This is a major blow to Johnson, because the main threat to his position is the ultra-conservative wing of the GOP, and Shah has been a vital link between the speaker and Trump loyalists. Shah had also been expected to stay in post for at least six months to help Johnson put together a solid team.

Shah isn’t the first departure from the speaker’s office since Johnson took over. At least three policy advisers — Brittan Specht, Jason Yaworske, and Preston Hill — have also quit, and are likely to move to national law firm Michael Best. Their resignations were less of a surprise, because they were leftovers from the previous speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). Shah, however, was brought in by Johnson to help get him established in the post.

The speaker’s position has become much more precarious since last January. As part of the negotiated deal that finally got McCarthy elected after 15 rounds of voting, one representative can now submit a motion to vacate the speakership — and McCarthy himself was removed by that method after just eight months in office. As MTG’s challenge to Johnson showed, speakers now have very little room for maneuvering when their party has a slim House majority. It would only take a few GOP rebels for this speaker to go the same way as the last one. That could explain why he’s been working to build his own relationship with Donald Trump, in the hope of winning the former president’s support.

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