Newly-minted Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., hinted that the House may change the motion to vacate rule but several of his Republican colleagues aren’t behind the idea.
Johnson mentioned to Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Thursday night that he thinks the House is “going to change” the one-member threshhold to introduce a motion to vacate — the parliamentary mechanism that brought about ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s ouster.
But at least two of Johnson’s House Republican colleagues resist the idea of changing the rule.
Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for Senate, told Fox News Digital that the House GOP is behind Johnson, but there’s no reason to change the threshhold.
“The House Republican conference trusts Mike Johnson and that’s why he received unanimous support on the House Floor,” Banks said.
“I don’t see any reason for him to change the rule,” he continued.
Georgia Republican Rep. Austin Scott — who ran twice for House speaker amid the caucus’ gavel fight — told Fox News Digital that he hoped his colleagues learned a lesson from the eventful past few weeks so a rule change “wouldn’t be necessary.”
“I would hope that the members learned their lesson and changes wouldn’t be necessary, but right now, we don’t have time to deal with rule changes,” Scott said.
The lawmakers’ comments come after Johnson’s first interview as House speaker with Hannity on Thursday.
Johnson said that the U.S. stands firmly behind Israel, while back at home, lawmakers and the Biden administration alike must find common ground and acknowledge “God is not done” with America yet.
Johnson told “Hannity” the House is primed to proffer a $14.5 billion support bill for Israel, slightly more than what the Louisiana Republican said Israel – via the White House – has asked for.
However, a key difference between the House appropriation and other federal support is that the money will come in exchange for “pay-for’s” in the budget, rather than simply printing the money.
Johnson said the figure is a “very specific number tied to very specific measures,” and that each dollar should be offset by a cut elsewhere.
In terms of potential U.S. military involvement in Israel’s fight for survival against Iran-backed Hamas, Johnson said he is hopeful to avert a boots-on-the-ground situation, but added that during a White House meeting Thursday he reminded President Biden’s staff that they have limited ability to directly respond without congressional approval.
The Founding Fathers, he said, envisioned a “multitude of wise counsel” in such matters, which is why Congress has the power to declare war, not the executive branch.
Johnson added that he previously met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and agreed that while Americans talk of “existential threats” stateside, Israel faces one or more daily.
“Their neighbors want to eliminate them,” he said.
“America will back [Netanyahu] up – they tell us when we’re in Israel the reason we’re able to sustain ourselves and survive is because everybody knows our big ally is America,” Johnson said.
Fox News Digital’s Charles Creitz contributed reporting.