Mike Johnson Elected House Speaker with Broad GOP Support
Republicans elect Rep. Mike Johnson as House speaker, ending weeks of political chaos and ready to get to work.
In a move to bring an end to the political chaos within their majority, Republicans have elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA-4) as the new House speaker. Johnson, a deeply conservative but lesser-known leader, received unanimous support from Republicans and was sworn into office immediately. He expressed his readiness to get to work and serve the American people, aiming to restore their faith in the House.
Johnson emerged as the fourth Republican nominee after weeks of political infighting following Kevin McCarthy's (R-CA-20) ouster. Despite not being the top choice for the position, Johnson garnered support from Donald Trump, who praised him as a "fantastic speaker." The Republicans had been without a House speaker for three weeks, causing frustration among some members and leading to a waste of their majority status.
The selection of Johnson as speaker was met with a standing ovation from Republicans, with GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) highlighting their determination to never give up. On the other side, Democrats nominated their leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-8) and criticized Johnson for his involvement in Trump's legal efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Despite facing a slim majority of 221-212 over Democrats, Johnson secured enough support to win the gavel. Overnight, endorsements for Johnson poured in, including from failed speaker hopefuls. Republican lawmakers, who are eager to move on from the recent turmoil, expressed their support for Johnson and posed for selfies with him during a press conference.
Johnson's rise to speaker comes after a tumultuous month, marked by the withdrawal of Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN-6) as a candidate and Trump's criticism of his nomination. Johnson, known for his expertise in constitutional issues, had rallied Republicans around Trump's legal efforts. His elevation to speaker places him above Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA-1), who was rejected by hard-liners in his bid for the position.
The Republicans have faced challenges in conducting routine business and risk a government shutdown if funding legislation is not passed by the Nov. 17 deadline. President Biden has also requested $105 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, and border security, while federal aviation and farming programs face expiration. Hard-liners within the party have resisted a leader who supported the budget deal with Biden and are pushing for steeper cuts to federal programs.
During the House's leadership vacuum, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) served as speaker pro tempore, but his main role was to elect a more permanent speaker. Some members from both parties wanted to give McHenry more power to govern, but he declined those overtures. Despite this, McHenry received a standing ovation for his service.