The House held one other flooring vote on Wednesday to elect a brand new speaker, as Republican Mike Johnson of Louisiana seeks to ascend to the highest job and finish a standoff that has stretched on for 3 weeks.
Johnson gained House Republicans’ speaker nomination on Tuesday night, simply hours after Tom Emmer of Minnesota, the bulk whip, was forced to withdraw from the race amid criticism from Donald Trump. Defeating Byron Donalds of Florida after three rounds of voting, Johnson turned House Republicans’ fourth speaker nominee in three weeks.
An inside roll name vote taken after Johnson’s nomination confirmed no opposition to his speakership bid, though quite a few Republicans have been absent. Johnson can have his first alternative to get a transparent sense of his prospects on Wednesday, when the House gavels into session at midday.
In an try and current a united entrance, Johnson held a press convention on Tuesday night time with dozens of Republican members, and he promised to revive People’ belief in governance.
“Democracy is messy typically, however it’s our system,” Johnson stated. “This convention that you just see, this House Republican majority, is united.”
Formally nominating Johnson as speaker on Wednesday, the House Republican convention chair, Elise Stefanik of New York, praised Johnson’s conservative credentials and projected optimism about his probabilities of success within the flooring vote.
“At this time is the day that House Republicans will humbly look in our hearts and elect Mike Johnson as speaker of the individuals’s House,” Stefanik stated. “At this time is the day we get this executed.”
However there are already indicators of hassle for Johnson’s hopes of changing into speaker. Within the remaining spherical of voting on Tuesday, Johnson obtained 128 votes to Donalds’s 29 votes, however the former speaker Kevin McCarthy, who didn’t formally marketing campaign for the nomination, obtained 43 votes.
If even a fraction of these members oppose Johnson on the ground, they may sink his speakership bid. As Republicans have a razor-thin majority within the House, Johnson can solely afford 4 defections inside his occasion and nonetheless grow to be speaker.
Johnson might also face considerations over his historical past of supporting Trump’s efforts to overturn the outcomes of the 2020 presidential election. Johnson, who practiced constitutional legislation earlier than coming into politics, was the architect of a questionable authorized argument that provided air cowl to House Republicans who wished to signal an amicus temporary urging the US supreme court docket to throw out the electoral votes of key battleground states gained by Joe Biden. Greater than 100 House Republicans signed on to the amicus temporary, however the supreme court docket finally threw out the underlying lawsuit difficult the election outcomes.
When a reporter tried to ask Johnson about his election denial marketing campaign throughout his press convention, she was shouted down by House Republicans, who booed the journalist till Johnson moved on to the following query.
The House Democratic chief, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, criticized Republicans for empowering a person who performed a central position in denying the outcomes of the election, regardless of no proof to substantiate Trump’s claims of widespread fraud.
“The twice-impeached former president ordered House Republicans to cease Tom Emmer and elevate a prime election denier. Is anybody shocked that they complied?” Jeffries stated on X, previously generally known as Twitter.
As he nominated Jeffries for the speakership on Wednesday, the House Democratic caucus chair, Pete Aguilar of California, attacked Republicans as unqualified to manipulate due to their election denial.
“House Democrats consider that when members of this physique voted to reject the outcomes of the 2020 election, they forfeited their means to guide this chamber,” Aguilar stated. “But when House Republicans select, they’ll nonetheless be a part of us on a bipartisan path ahead. Let’s come collectively to fund our authorities, help our allies overseas and ship for working households. Finish the chaos, finish the dysfunction, finish the extremism. Let’s open up the individuals’s House.”
The ground vote on Johnson’s nomination comes lower than every week after Jim Jordan of Ohio deserted his speakership marketing campaign because of entrenched opposition amongst extra reasonable Republicans. Days earlier than that, Steve Scalise of Louisiana, the House majority chief, dropped out of the race as a result of he couldn’t sway hard-right lawmakers who threatened to vote towards him on the ground.
The House has now been with out a speaker because the historic elimination of McCarthy earlier this month, and the chamber will stay at a standstill till a brand new chief is elected. Biden has known as on Congress to go an assist bundle to help America’s allies like Ukraine and Israel, however the House can not take up such a invoice with out a speaker.
That impasse may come to an finish on Wednesday if Johnson is profitable.