Rep. Mike Johnson elected 56th speaker of the House, ending weeks of GOP chaos

Rep. Mike Johnson elected 56th speaker of the House, ending weeks of GOP chaos
Rep. Mike Johnson elected 56th speaker of the House, ending weeks of GOP chaos

WASHINGTON — Home lawmakers on Wednesday elected little-known Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana as the 56th speaker of the Home, capping greater than three weeks of dysfunction and chaos on Capitol Hill.

It is a beautiful rise for the conservative ally and low-ranking member of the GOP management group who’s now second in line to the presidency. Whereas identified for his affability, Johnson is arguably the most ideologically conservative particular person to function speaker since Newt Gingrich in the Nineties, and he performed an instrumental role in the GOP’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.

After weeks of disarray, the GOP demonstrated exceptional unity: All 220 Republicans solid their vote for Johnson, whereas all 209 Democrats voted for Minority Chief of New York.

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“We would like our allies round the world to know that this physique of lawmakers is once more to our responsibility stations,” Johnson, 51, mentioned in his deal with to the Home chamber after Jeffries embraced him and handed him the gavel. “Let the enemies of freedom round the world hear us loud and clear — the folks’s Home is again in enterprise.”

Johnson’s election represents a short lived cease-fire in a GOP civil battle that started when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and 7 different GOP rebels teamed with Democrats to oust Republican Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s workplace.

In the ensuing weeks, varied factions of the 221-member GOP Convention clashed over who ought to succeed McCarthy, paralyzing the decrease chamber and stopping any legislative work from continuing amid a new threat of a government shutdown and ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Center East.

Johnson’s work will begin instantly. He’ll need to work inside his social gathering and with the Biden White Home to determine the way to fund the authorities earlier than cash runs out on Nov. 17 and on delivering vital support packages to U.S. allies, Ukraine and Israel.

President referred to as Johnson to congratulate him, the White Home mentioned.

The GOP’s course of for choosing a brand new speaker resembled the arcade sport whack-a-mole. Republicans first nominated the No. 2 chief, Majority Chief of Louisiana, who dropped out lower than 36 hours later after opponents blocked his path to 217 flooring votes.

Rep. Mike Johnson R-La., speaks at the Home GOP information convention in 2021. (Invoice Clark / CQ-Roll Name, Inc through Getty Photographs file)

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was up subsequent, however after three failed flooring votes, he, too, bowed out of the operating. The social gathering subsequent chosen Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the No. 3 Republican, as their choose, however he realized he could not amass 217 votes both after Trump got here out towards him, and he give up simply hours after successful the nomination.

Johnson was capable of unite the fractured convention by a mixture of good timing, his conservatism and his popularity for having a pleasing demeanor. Johnson started to emerge as a viable option as his colleagues had been rising more and more fatigued from the drawn-out speaker disaster; he had the backing of Trump and his shut allies on the proper; and the well-liked, four-term lawmaker — somebody with few political enemies in the Capitol — represented a recent face amid a plethora of long-serving, veteran leaders.

“A buddy to all and an enemy to none … And above all, Mike is variety,” Home GOP Convention Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., mentioned as she nominated Johnson earlier than the vote.

Unprompted, Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ailing., additionally described Johnson as a uncommon particular person in Washington with no enemies.

“He is a very nice man. He is a real household man. He is a person of religion, will get together with everyone. It does not imply he isn’t principled or conservative — clearly he’s,” LaHood mentioned in an interview. “However I believe he was seen as the least objectionable particular person in the course of, and he was in the proper place at the proper time.”

Throughout the first listening to of the GOP’s particular committee probing the weaponization of authorities, of which he is a member, Johnson leaned over and requested Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla.: “What are you interested by? What do you need to do on this committee?”

“Mike is an amazing listener,” Cammack mentioned. “And at a time when everyone seems to be elbowing one another and making an attempt to get forward and it is rather a lot an Alpha-male-type-dominated scenario, he’s very quietly rallying folks, performing as that beacon that we will all rally round.”

As GOP Convention vice chairman, a publish he has held since 2021, Johnson is the seventh-ranking Republican on the management group. His elevation to speaker from such a low-level publish is extraordinarily uncommon and reminiscent of former Illinois Republican Rep. Denny Hastert’s rise in 1999 from chief deputy whip to speaker, in the wake of Georgia Republican Rep. Newt Gingrich’s resignation as speaker.

Johnson, who has represented his northwestern Louisiana district since 2017, makes historical past as the first speaker elected from that state. His election additionally implies that the prime two Republicans in management — himself and Scalise — now hail from the Bayou State.

A protege of each Scalise and Jordan, Johnson adopted in each of their paths: All three served in the state Legislature earlier than successful seats in Congress, and all served as chair of the conservative Republican Examine Committee, utilizing it as a stepping stone to management positions. Johnson, a former talk-radio host and a lawyer with experience in constitutional legislation, served below Jordan on the Judiciary Committee and chaired the panel’s subcommittee on the Structure and Restricted Authorities.

A Trump ally, Johnson was one of the leaders of the GOP effort to maintain the former president in energy after his defeat to Joe Biden in 2020. Johnson led the amicus transient, signed by 100 Republicans, backing a Texas lawsuit in search of to invalidate the 2020 election ends in 4 swing states received by Biden.

Actually, The New York Times referred to as Johnson “the most necessary architect of the Electoral School objections.”

Earlier than handing Johnson the gavel, as is customary, Jeffries, the Democratic chief, referred to as the new speaker and father of 4 “a household man, a hard-working man, a Baptist man, a Southern man, a son of a firefighter’s family.”

However in accepting the Democratic nomination for speaker, Jeffries rattled off moments when America’s democracy was examined, together with when hundreds of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 in a bid to cease Congress’ certification of Biden’s victory.

“We confronted adversity proper right here in the Home of Representatives when on Jan. 6, 2021, a violent mob of insurrectionists, incited by some on this chamber, overran the Home flooring as half of the effort to halt the peaceable switch of energy,” Jeffries mentioned to jeers from Republicans and cheers from Democrats.

“Each time we confronted adversity,” Jeffries continued, “the excellent news right here in America is that we all the time overcome.”

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