Mike Johnson’s first order of business as speaker is funding for Israel. But the House’s first order of business since electing him was different.
Normally the speaker sets the legislative calendar, which means nothing comes to the floor without his or her say-so. One might think Republicans would be keen to honor that custom in Johnson’s case to signal confidence in their new chief and his agenda. Let Mike lead!
One would be wrong.
The speaker’s power over the House’s schedule isn’t absolute. As Kevin McCarthy recently learned the hard way, certain matters—like bringing a motion to vacate the chair—are deemed “privileged” and must be considered by the full House whether or not he or she approves. And on Wednesday, two different privileged resolutions introduced by members of Johnson’s conference landed in his lap.