Johnson Elected Speaker

Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) threaded the needle Wednesday and gained the votes necessary to become House Speaker. The news came after a number of other Republicans failed to receive the 217 votes necessary to gain the position. It also ended two weeks of political struggle since former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was toppled in a contentious vote.

Johnson received a unanimous vote from his fellow Republicans on Wednesday. The party’s House conference vice chairman appeared to gain the support needed from the GOP’s different factions.

Johnson comes with considerable experience for the position. He is currently in his fourth term in the House and was a former radio talk show host.

The vote also came after a number of prominent Republicans did not receive the votes necessary to gain the gavel.

Following the end of McCarthy’s tenure, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) withdrew from consideration after receiving the party’s nomination. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed to become speaker after three votes. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) also left the running before a floor vote after being nominated by his colleagues.

Following the disagreements, Johnson received the nomination from his colleagues.

Johnson received every Republican vote in the chamber. This represented the first time in more than a decade that the party was unanimous in its choice of speaker. He received 220 total votes, as compared to 208 from House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

The Louisiana Republican will have a number of crucial issues to confront in the new role. This includes the impeachment inquiry McCarthy started before his ouster. Furthermore, the new speaker will have to pull together the different factions of the House GOP frayed by recent infighting.

Johnson will also face a recent proposal by President Joe Biden to provide foreign aid and potential border funding. It is not clear from the House GOP caucus how this request will be handled.

Regardless, the election of Johnson ends one of the most prominent intraparty disagreements in recent years and may solidify House Republicans during what will be an important congressional session ahead of the 2024 elections.