December 5, 2023


Three weeks on with out a Home speaker, the Republicans have been losing their majority standing — a maddening embarrassment to some, democracy in motion to others, however by no means how the Home is predicted to perform.

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks after he was chosen because the Republicans newest nominee for Home speaker at a Republican caucus assembly on the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. AP Picture/Jose Luis Magana

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans eagerly elected Rep. Mike Johnson as Home speaker Wednesday, elevating a deeply conservative however lesser-known chief to the seat of U.S. energy and ending for now the political chaos of their majority.

Johnson of Louisiana swept on the primary poll with assist from all Republicans anxious to place the previous weeks of tumult behind and get on with the enterprise of governing.

A lower-ranked member of the Home GOP management group, Johnson emerged because the fourth Republican nominee in what has turn into an virtually absurd cycle of political infighting since Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as GOP factions jockey for energy. Whereas not the occasion’s best choice for the gavel, the deeply spiritual and even-keeled Johnson has few foes and an necessary GOP backer: Donald Trump.

  • Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., talks to reporters.

    Speaker McCarthy ousted in historic Home vote, as scramble begins for a Republican chief

  • There’s a protracted record of candidates for Home speaker as Republicans strive voting once more on a brand new chief

“I feel he’s gonna be a implausible speaker,” Trump mentioned Wednesday on the New York courthouse the place the previous president, who’s now the Republican front-runner for president in 2024, is on trial over a lawsuit alleging enterprise fraud.

Trump mentioned he hadn’t heard “one adverse remark about him. Everyone likes him.”

Three weeks on with out a Home speaker, the Republicans have been losing their majority standing — a maddening embarrassment to some, democracy in motion to others, however by no means how the Home is predicted to perform.

Far-right members have refused to simply accept a extra conventional speaker, and reasonable conservatives don’t desire a hard-liner. Whereas Johnson had no opponents throughout the non-public roll name late Tuesday, some two dozen Republicans didn’t vote, greater than sufficient to sink his nomination.

However when GOP Convention Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik rose to introduce Johnson’s title Wednesday as their nominee, Republicans jumped to their toes for an prolonged standing ovation.

“Home Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson won’t ever quit,” she mentioned.

Democrats once more nominated their chief Rep. Hakeem Jeffries of New York, criticizing Johnson as an architect of Trump’s authorized effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election he misplaced.

With Republicans controlling the Home solely 221-212 over Democrats, Johnson can afford just some detractors to win the gavel.

In a single day the endorsements for Johnson began pouring in, together with from failed speaker hopefuls — Rep. Jim Jordan, the hard-charging Judiciary Committee chairman, gave his assist, as did Majority Chief Steve Scalise, the guy Louisiana congressman, who stood behind Johnson after he gained the nomination.

“Mike! Mike! Mike!” lawmakers chanted at a press convention after the late-night inside vote, surrounding Johnson and posing for selfies in a present of assist.

Anxious and exhausted, Republican lawmakers are desperately making an attempt to maneuver on.

Johnson’s rise comes after a tumultuous month, capped by a head-spinning Tuesday that inside a span of some hours noticed one candidate, Rep. Tom Emmer, the GOP Whip, nominated after which shortly withdraw when it turned clear he could be the third candidate unable to safe sufficient assist from GOP colleagues after Trump bashed his nomination.

“He wasn’t MAGA,” mentioned Trump, referring to his Make America Nice Once more marketing campaign slogan.

Consideration shortly turned to Johnson. A lawyer specializing in constitutional points, Johnson had rallied Republicans round Trump’s authorized effort to overturn the 2020 election outcomes.

Elevating Johnson to speaker would give Louisianians two high-ranking GOP leaders, placing him above Scalise, who was rejected by hard-liners in his personal bid as speaker.

Deeply spiritual, Johnson is affable and properly favored, with a fiery perception system. Colleagues swiftly began giving their assist.

“Democracy is messy typically, however it’s our system,” Johnson mentioned after successful the nomination. “We’re going to revive your belief in what we do right here.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., who led a small band of hard-liners to engineer McCarthy’s ouster at the beginning of the month, posted on social media that “Mike Johnson gained’t be the Speaker the Swamp needs however, he’s the Speaker America wants.”

Republicans have been flailing all month, unable to conduct routine enterprise as they battle amongst themselves with daunting challenges forward.

The federal authorities dangers a shutdown in a matter of weeks if Congress fails to go funding laws by a Nov. 17 deadline to maintain companies and places of work working. Extra instantly, President Joe Biden has requested Congress to offer $105 billion in assist — to assist Israel and Ukraine amid their wars and to shore up the U.S. border with Mexico. Federal aviation and farming packages face expiration with out motion.

Many hard-liners have been resisting a pacesetter who voted for the funds deal that McCarthy struck with Biden earlier this yr, which set federal spending ranges that far-right Republicans don’t agree with and now need to undo. They’re pursuing steeper cuts to federal packages and companies with subsequent month’s funding deadline.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia mentioned she wished assurances the candidates would pursue impeachment inquiries into Biden and different high Cupboard officers.

Throughout the turmoil, the Home is now led by a speaker professional tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the bow tie-wearing chairman of the Monetary Providers Committee. His important job is to elect a extra everlasting speaker.

Some Republicans — and Democrats — wished to give McHenry extra energy to get on with the routine enterprise of governing. However McHenry, the primary individual to be within the place that was created within the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults as an emergency measure, declined to again these overtures. He, too, acquired a standing ovation.

Related Press author Jill Colvin in New York contributed to this report.