House Republicans have finally found a replacement for Kevin McCarthy, electing Mike Johnson (R–LA) as Speaker of the House on Wednesday.
Johnson’s selection ends weeks of uncertainty for GOP governance, allowing Congress to get back to work to keep the government open and deal with calls from the Biden administration to aid Ukraine and Israel.
Driving the news: Johnson was elected by a vote of 220-209, not losing even one Republican vote.
- It only took one election to vote Johnson in, far different from the 15 elections it took for McCarthy in January. Rep. Jim Jordan (R–OH) failed to garner enough votes in three elections, while House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R–LA) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R–MN) dropped out before an election was even held.
- All Democrats present voted for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D–NY).
The backstory: Johnson, 51, has served in Congress since 2017, representing much of northwest Louisiana. He served as the Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference since 2021.
- He also served on former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team.
What we’re watching: With the House back in session, Johnson will now lead lawmakers to deal with the $106 billion request for aid for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and border security from the BIden administration.
What they’re saying: In a statement following his election, Johnson said it is the honor of a lifetime to have been elected the 56th Speaker of the House, thanking his colleagues for their support.
- “As Speaker, I will ensure the House delivers results and inspires change for the American people,” Johnson said. “We will restore trust in this body. We will advance a comprehensive conservative policy agenda, combat the harmful policies of the Biden Administration, and support our allies abroad. And we will restore sanity to a government desperately in need of it. Let’s get back to work.”
- Locally, Rep. David Valadao (R–Hanford) applauded Johnson’s election so Congress can get back to work.
- “We have a crisis at our southern border, one of our closest allies in the Middle East at war, and a deadline to fund the government in less than 30 days,” Valadao said. “Today, the House elected a Speaker so we can get back to work on these issues, along with other must-pass legislation including the National Defense Authorization Act, the FAA Reauthorization, and the Farm Bill. It’s time to get back to work for the American people.”