By Casey Harper (The Center Square)
U.S. House Republicans chose Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., to be the new nominee for speaker of the House, the latest in a series of Republican lawmakers facing the daunting task of cobbling together the needed 217 votes for the speakership.
Nine House Republicans were announced Sunday as throwing their hat in the ring to be speaker, but that number has slowly been whittled down as lawmakers dropped out.
Now, Johnson, a conservative Republican with significant support in the party, will have his chance.
“We must govern well and expand our majority next year,” Johnson said in a letter to his fellow Republicans earlier over the weekend asking for support in the speaker’s race.
It remains unclear if Johnson will have a vote on the House floor. The House has gone without a speaker for more than three weeks.
Notably, Rep. Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was previously running for speaker but dropped out, telling reporters he was throwing his support behind Johnson.
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., kicked off the speakership battle by filing a motion to vacate former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. From there, Majority Leader Steve Scalise won the nomination but quickly backed out after failing to get the needed support. House Judiciary Chair Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, was next in line but lost the nomination after three failed votes on the House floor with 25 Republicans ultimately voting against him.
Jordan took fire in particular for questioning the results of the 2020 election, which has become a key issue in this speakership battle.
Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., was next to secure the nomination but quickly withdrew after failing to gain support. Notably, former President Donald Trump aggressively spoke out against Emmer, likely hurting his chances.
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However, Trump’s endorsement of Jordan was not enough to secure the speakership.
Now, the House remains stalled and unable to pass any legislation until resolving the lack of a speaker. The federal government is set to partially shut down in the middle of November if another spending package is not passed, and lawmakers face growing calls to send funds overseas to help Ukraine and Israel with their respective wars.
“Mike Johnson is a man of integrity and a principled conservative,” Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “I will be proud to cast my vote on behalf of northeast Indiana for him on the floor tomorrow to make him the next Speaker of the House!”
Syndicated with permission from The Center Square.