Republicans have finally elected the next Speaker of the House of Representatives. Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana is being described as a staunch conservative, but he’s clearly got the support of the majority of Republicans.
The big moment came Wednesday afternoon after 22 days, multiple contenders, four official nominees, and rounds of frustrating votes for the GOP House majority.
With Republicans controlling the House only 221-212 over Democrats, Johnson could afford just a few detractors to win the gavel. He won 220-209, with a few absences.
Before the vote, supporters posted on the social site X about what they see as positive aspects of Johnson’s past, like the time he grilled FBI Director Chris Wray on Big Tech censoring conservatives on social media.
Here is a preview of your potential next House Speaker grilling the daylights out of FBI Director Chris Wray on Big Tech censoring conservatives on social media.
— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) October 25, 2023
In the past, Johnson also expressed his serious concern about the southern U.S. border and other issues that many Republicans agree upon.
A lower-ranked member of the House GOP leadership team, Johnson emerged as the fourth Republican nominee in what had become a cycle of political infighting since Kevin McCarthy’s ouster.
When GOP Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik rose to introduce Johnson’s name Wednesday as their nominee, Republicans jumped to their feet for an extended standing ovation.
“House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson will never give up,” she said.
Democrats again nominated their leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, claiming Johnson was an architect of Trump’s legal battle in the confusion that followed the 2020 presidential election.
While not the party’s top choice for the gavel, the deeply religious and even-keeled Johnson has few foes and an important GOP backer: Donald Trump.
“I think he’s gonna be a fantastic speaker,” Trump said Wednesday at the New York courthouse where the former president, who is the current Republican front-runner for president in 2024, is on trial over a lawsuit alleging business fraud.
Trump said he hadn’t heard “one negative comment about him. Everybody likes him.”
Speaker Johnson has his work cut out for him. The federal government risks a shutdown in a matter of weeks if Congress fails to pass funding legislation by a Nov. 17 deadline to keep services and offices running.
More immediately, President Biden has asked Congress to provide $105 billion in aid — to help Israel and Ukraine amid their wars and to shore up the U.S. border with Mexico. Federal aviation and farming programs also face expiration without legislative action.
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