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K Street Republicans doubt Johnson’s abilities as speaker

Just 38% of Republicans on K Street think Mike Johnson is effective as House speaker. These results from our latest survey, conducted in partnership with LSG, aren’t exactly surprising.

Throughout his 100-plus days as speaker, Johnson has struggled with how to move major pieces of legislation, even with key deadlines looming.

Johnson was notably indecisive on whether to attach a FISA extension to the NDAA. Johnson has also backtracked from his original stance that there would be no more stopgap funding bills. He instead passed a clean CR to avoid a government shutdown in January. And this week, Johnson is putting a clean Israel aid bill on the floor, despite previously insisting the funding needed to be offset.

The odds were already stacked against Johnson when he became speaker; he inherited a fractured GOP conference with an unruly right flank that had just ousted his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.

A dwindling majority: What’s worse for Johnson is the House GOP has been losing members in an already razor-thin majority. Several House Republicans have left — including McCarthy and embattled former Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.). House Majority Leader Steve Scalise has also been absent for weeks after receiving a stem cell transplant. That leaves Johnson with no room to maneuver on votes.

Even with the hiccups, K Street largely thinks Johnson’s job is safe. Most GOP K Street leaders (68%) say they don’t think Johnson will be ousted, according to the survey conducted Jan. 8-26.

Want to take part in The Canvass? Our survey provides anonymous monthly insights from top Capitol Hill staffers and K Street leaders on key issues facing Washington. Sign up here if you work on K Street. Click here to sign up if you’re a senior congressional staffer.

— Donna Baeck

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