A deal cut with democrats to fund the government and avoid a shutdown by former speaker Kevin McCarthy ultimately led to his ouster.
“I’ve been speaking to Democrats and Republicans, [and] they say ‘Look he’s perceived as being a good politician.’ He has good relationships with Democrats and Republicans. He’s also supported by former President Trump, so I think all of this together really helped him to seal the deal,” says Welker.
How does speaker Mike Johnson get a federal funding deal done?
“The question is will he be able to reach across the aisle and get a deal done that also doesn’t spark backlash among some of his conservative colleagues? Because remember that’s how we wound up here. Because former speaker Kevin McCarthy struck a deal with Democrats. Now will you see that type of backlash if he does cut a deal with Democrats? I don’t think so,” says Welker.
Johnson is now required to juggle major tasks like finding funding for Israel and Ukraine.
“He’s got to deal with that funding request by President Biden. Funding for Israel. Funding for Ukraine. The border. Taiwan. You have a number of Republicans saying they don’t think Ukraine should be a part of that package, so will he be able to get these deals done? Will he be able to work with Democrats? My sense is everyone is going to give him the space and quite frankly, some support to try to allow him to do that.”
However, Welker says that securing the federal funding needed will be an uphill battle.
“Most House Speakers have spent years building up to becoming this Speaker of the House and building those relationships. He’s going to have to dive in headfirst and start to build those relationships in real-time while he is trying to negotiate what will undoubtedly be a really challenging deal to negotiate.”
Welker says Johnson will face difficult negotiations as a newly minted speaker.
“These are challenging negotiations. And so how does newly installed speaker Mike Johnson go about trying to get the cuts? The deficit reduction that Republicans ran on. That Republicans have promised in their districts. So that’s going to be the real challenge for him.”
Welker will have much more on the looming budget deadline this Sunday at 9 a.m. on Meet the Press, only on NBC 6.