The current session of Congress has been clocked as one of the most dysfunctional in recent history, and that’s not an opinion from pundits. That comes straight from the horse’s mouth, with Republicans in particular complaining publicly about the infight that is currently being seen in the Republican conference of the House of Representatives.

A Dysfunction Period for Republicans

It’s perhaps unsurprising that the Republican Party is currently undergoing such a dysfunctional period. Donald Trump has had a grip on the party since his 2016 victory for the White House, and his political rhetoric has created a deep and clear divide between moderate, establishment Republicans, and Trump Republicans.

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Representative Mike Johnson

Republicans who support Trump are much like their leader. They are loud, they are brash, and they have a significant number of controversies behind them that make moderate Republicans question them, and their support of the party. 

About the Freedom Caucus

In the House of Representatives, a group of these far-right Trump supporters have come together in a conference that is known as the Freedom Caucus. A caucus is a group of Representatives who all agree on the same issue, and the Freedom Caucus, among other things, agrees in their support of Trump. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Peoria

These are the individuals who have been causing a significant amount of the political drama in the House of Representatives. Starting with the election of the Speaker of the House back in 2023, the Freedom Caucus has dug in their heels on almost every major order of business for the House, and has made things significantly more difficult for their party and for Congress as a whole. 

Ceding Power for the Speaker’s Gavel

In his bid for the Speakership, Kevin McCarthy gave up a significant amount of power to these far-right Republicans, who were seeking to control more of the narrative when it came to the House of Representatives.

Source: Wikimedia/US House Photography

The Republican majority is so slim that McCarthy, in order to finally earn enough votes to win the Speaker’s gavel, had to work with the Freedom Caucus in order to get them on board. Among other things, he lowered the threshold to vote to vacate the Speaker’s seat to just one Representative, a move that ultimately served as his political downfall.

McCarthy Ousted

Following a successful vote on a continuing resolution to fund the government, wherein McCarthy worked with the Democrats to come up with a solution on funding, Matt Gaetz had had enough. McCarthy hadn’t made friends in his conference during his short run as Speaker, and Gaetz raised the motion to vacate, which ultimately passed.

Source: Wikimedia/Clerk of the US House of Representatives

What followed was three weeks of chaos for the House of Representatives. The Speaker is an incredibly important position in American government, as the House cannot conduct business without a Speaker. Finding someone to take the position was a job of work for the Republicans, but ultimately, Mike Johnson took the gavel and assumed the leadership position. 

About Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson is a member of the Freedom Caucus, and is the member of Congress who orchestrated the attempt to subvert the 2020 election. He is far from the least controversial member of Congress, but he has stepped up in the months since he took the leadership position. 

Source: Wikimedia/United States Congress

It took Johnson some time to find his feet in the leadership position, but it seems that he’s finally found his way. While Johnson is a deeply conservative and religious member of the Freedom Caucus, in recent weeks, it appears that he has managed to set aside some of his own political desires and beliefs in order to achieve the work of government.

Bills Passed by Johnson and Congress

Significantly, this has looked like a $1.2 trillion bill that funds the government through the end of the fiscal year in September, and a series of omnibus security bills that allocate money for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan, and other security measures including a ban of Tiktok. 

Source: Wikimedia/Office of Senator Mitch McConnell

These are measures that are, generally, the work of government, and shouldn’t have been controversial to pass. However, like with many things in the modern political climate, there were people on both the far right and the far left who were unhappy with the passage of these bills, and have raised their voices to make sure their opinions are heard. 

Loud Complaints from Marjorie Taylor Greene

The complaints on the left died down quickly after the bills were passed, but on the right, the voices have become even louder. And not all of the complaints have come from the far-right, anti-Ukraine Freedom Caucus. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from a deeply conservative district in Georgia and a former member of the Freedom Caucus herself, has been ruffling feathers with her loud and brash complaints about Speaker Johnson in the wake of the votes on funding and security. She has claimed that Johsnon is a “traitor to the country” and has called for his recusal from the office of Speaker.

Vacating the Speakership Again is not Popular

Putting through another motion to vacate is not a popular idea to Republicans or Democrats, especially after the circus that Congress experienced when trying to pick a second speaker last October. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

This has not stopped Greene, though. In statements, she has boldly claimed that the “American people deserve better” and has gone so far as to file the motion to vacate the Speakership, as is her right and ability to do as a member of Congress. She hasn’t brought the motion to the floor for a vote, though, explaining to the press that the filing is a “warning” to Johnson to make clear how unhappy his conference is with him. 

Republicans Criticizing Greene

And while Greene seems to think that she speaks for the entirety of the Republican conference, other Republicans strongly disagree with her, and with what she’s doing. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

In fact, this past Tuesday Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) specifically went after Greene, saying that Greenwas a threat to the Republican party and was “dragging our brand down.”

“She is a Total Waste of Time”

“I think she’s uninformed. She is a total waste of time,” Tillis said in a recording reported by CNN. “She is a horrible leader. She is dragging our brand down. She – not the Democrats – are the biggest risk to us getting back to a majority.”

Source: Wikimedia/Jackson A. Lanier

These comments come after the security funding bill that allocates money for American foreign allies like Ukraine and Israel were passed by the Senate on Tuesday. The bills were signed by President Biden on Wednesday, ensuring these crucial funding measures can go into effect, and Greene has been clear that she is not happy about it. 

Greene Criticizing Other Republicans, Too

Johnson is not the only Republican that Greene has been criticizing for their work in the House, though. A post on X, formerly known as Twitter, said, “Here are the 139 Republicans who just voted against my amendment to strip every penny of your tax dollars from Mike Johnson’s $61 BILLION Ukraine war spending bill.”

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

Johnson, in response on Saturday, said, “I’ve done here what I believe to be the right thing, and that is to allow the House to work its will. And as I’ve said, you do the right thing, and you let the chips fall where they may, and I’ll continue to do that.”

Trump Coming Out Against Greene

Republican representatives are not the only ones who have found themselves fed up with Greene’s attitude and actions, either. Former President Donald Trump has even come out against Greene, particularly in the wake of the massive wave of Republican retirements that the House has seen over the last several months. 

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Vadon

These retirements have left the Republican conference with a majority of just one vote. Republicans didn’t have a large majority to begin with, and now they are on the razor edge of flipping control of the House to the Democrats in the middle of the term, if they can’t come together to work for both their goals and on behalf of the American people.

Time Will Tell

If Marjorie Taylor Greene has been consistent about anything in her time in Congress, it’s that she’s going to do what she wants to do, and she doesn’t care whether it’s popular or not. Despite the criticisms from her party, it seems likely that Greene is going to raise the motion to vacate Johnson from the Speakership soon. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore from Surprise

It’s possible that the Democrats will come together to save Johnson’s job, in exchange for some concessions, of course. Only time will tell whether there will be another struggle for the Speaker’s gavel before the election this fall, and the American people are watching.