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Dems in disarray

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What happens when the adults are back in charge:

House Republicans have skipped town for Easter recess with their base enraged, their majority in tatters — and their speaker facing the prospect of a humiliating ouster at the hands of his own MAGA allies.

Why it matters: Dysfunction doesn’t even begin to cover it. The Senate’s passage of a $1.2 trillion spending bill at 2 am ET — narrowly averting a government shutdown — was perhaps the least dramatic development in a historic day on Capitol Hill.

  • The Republican-led House passed the spending bill just before noon Friday and sent it to the Senate — with more than half the House GOP conference, including many furious hardliners, voting against it.
  • Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) — one of those hardliners angry at Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) for helping push the bill — introduced a motion to vacate the chair, calling for Johnson’s removal. Her move threatens to trigger the same type of vote that ended the career of his predecessor, Kevin McCarthy.
  • Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.), retiring chair of the House China Select Committee, announced suddenly he’ll leave Congress next month — leaving Republicans with an astonishing majority of just one seat.
  • Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who also is retiring early, departed for the final time — but not before signing a Democratic petition to force a vote on Ukraine aid, dealing one last blow to the GOP leadership he detested.
  • House Oversight Committee chair James Comer (R-Ky.) — who helped make impeaching President Biden one of the GOP majority’s top priorities — indicated his fizzling inquiry will end without a vote.
  • Behind the scenes: Republicans were left fuming over the early resignations of Gallagher and Buck, with some suggesting it’s now within the realm of possibility for the House majority to flip to Democrats mid-Congress.
  • Just last week, Johnson had said in response to Buck’s departure: “I think, I hope and believe that that’s the end of the exits for now.”
  • One conservative told Axios: “Coming on the heels of the speaker’s cave on the [spending bills], Gallagher’s abandonment of his colleagues mid-fight is a real gut punch.”
  • Another Republican said: “I think it’s extremely unfortunate. But this is also why you don’t vote to remove the speaker of the House and create chaos.”

The fact that the most-insane faction of House Republicans have created a context in which Ken Buck looks like a squishy moderate is probably a good clue as to why so many House members are leaving early.

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