Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-republican-finger-pointing-and-frustration-grows-as-lawmakers-mike-gallagher-and-ken-buck-quit-congress-early-and-hamstring-the-gop’s-slim-majority:-‘people-are-‘really-f****ing-pissed’Alert – Republican finger pointing and frustration grows as lawmakers Mike Gallagher and Ken Buck quit Congress early and hamstring the GOP’s slim majority: ‘People are ‘really f****ing pissed’

Republicans have become increasingly frustrated as more of their colleagues leave them in the lurch by resigning early, even typically pragmatic Rep. Mike Gallagher. 

After Gallagher’s shock departure, Republicans will have virtually no margin for error on party-line bills: they’ll only be able to lose one vote and still pass legislation without the help of Democrats. 

That margin will go back up to two after a May 22 runoff between two Republicans vying to replace former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

The slim margin is rankling Republicans who vowed to serve a full two-year term and intend to stay in their positions through the general election in November to protect the GOP majority.

Republicans have become increasingly frustrated as more of their colleagues leave them in the lurch by resigning early, even typically pragmatic Rep. Mike Gallagher

Republicans have become increasingly frustrated as more of their colleagues leave them in the lurch by resigning early, even typically pragmatic Rep. Mike Gallagher

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., left the House last Friday

Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., left the House last Friday

And finger pointing has begun about how Gallagher, R-Wis., was able to exit with no solid plan for filling his seat with another Republican to govern for the 8 months until the election.  

A source close to Gallagher told DailyMail.com that House Republican leadership ‘was made aware of and approved of’ his timeline for leaving on April 19. 

But a source familiar with Speaker Johnson’s thinking pushed back on that characterization. 

‘The speaker has encouraged Gallagher to stay through his term so I don’t think it’s accurate to say he had blessed the whole situation,’ the source said. ‘He tried to encourage him to stay for the term.’ 

Gallagher, who chairs the high-profile China subcommittee, is the sixth House Republican to leave before the end of their term. All but George Santos, who was expelled, resigned.

A source close to leadership insisted to DailyMail.com that it is 'absolutely false' to say Gallagher's leaving was approved by House Republican leaders

A source close to leadership insisted to DailyMail.com that it is ‘absolutely false’ to say Gallagher’s leaving was approved by House Republican leaders

Another 21 Republicans announced they won’t seek re-election, as have 25 Democrats. 

A source close to leadership insisted to DailyMail.com that it is ‘absolutely false’ to say Gallagher’s leaving was approved by House Republican leaders. 

‘People are really f***ing pissed he won’t vacate the seat early enough to trigger a special, so that’s just not true.’ 

But under Wisconsin’s complicated election law, Gallagher’s departure date could have led to two different scenarios. 

If he leaves between April 9 and May 14, a special primary and special election will be lumped together with the regular primary on August 13 and general election on November 5. 

The winner of the November 5 special election could be seated as soon as House Rules allow, filling a Republican seat in the days immediately following the 2024 Election. 

But if Gallagher were to leave before April 9, a special primary and special election could be called at the will of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. 

The earliest Evers could hold a special election, according to Wisconsin code, is August 23. But that would run afoul with another provision of Wisconsin code: ‘No special election may be held … after August 1 preceding the general election unless it is held on the same day as the general election.’

Therefore Evers could easily push the special election date to the same or even after the general election date on November 5. 

Still, Republicans seized on Gallagher’s run for the exit. 

‘The timing could not be worse,’ said Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna. ‘If he waits that we will essentially not be able to fill that seat. So I would publicly ask for him to do the right thing and step down early.’ 

‘He’s gotta stay,’ said New York Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney earlier this week on Fox News. 

‘We’re perilous. We could end up having a Speaker Hakeem Jeffries in the interim here while we’re waiting for a special election.’

‘Personally, if you’re going to make a commitment to the people that elect you, that you’re going to serve for two years unless you have a really good reason not to serve, then why would you do that?’ Tenney continued. 

The New York Republican alluded to the very real chance that Democrats could capture the majority from the GOP if more members quit early, resulting in Jeffries being elevated to speaker.

It would be the first time in history that control of a chamber would flip mid-Congress. 

Fellow GOP Wisconsinite Rep. Tom Tiffany told DailyMail.com he was ‘surprised’ both by Gallagher’s earlier decision not to run for reelection and even moreso his decision not to stick out the term. 

‘I was a little bit surprised that he didn’t run one more term,’ he said. ‘When he announced that he wasn’t going to run I thought he would stay through the end of his term but clearly, clearly, there were other things that I’m not familiar with.’

‘I know Mike’s got a young family and the pressures of the time that go into being a congressional member are difficult.’  

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., tore into both Gallagher and Johnson for the timing of the departure. 

‘Speaker Johnson should be forcing Mike Gallagher to leave early so that his district can hold a special election, and any strong Republican Speaker of the House would expel a member for leaving our razor-thin majority in such a delicate, delicate state. We cannot allow — we cannot allow this,’ Greene said Sunday on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures. 

‘Mike Gallagher betrayed all of us,’ Greene went on.

‘And Speaker Johnson, as the one who’s responsible for our majority, praised Mike Gallagher on Friday after he announced his departure, saying that he’s great and  thanking him for his service in Congress,’ she added.

Meanwhile, the nearly 50-member Freedom Caucus kicked Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., out of their group on his last day in the House after he announced he too would be leaving early. 

Both Buck and Gallagher voted against impeaching Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas.