Lawmakers Finally Settle on House Speaker

Lawmakers Finally Settle on House Speaker

( – On October 3, Republicans ousted former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) from his position after Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) filed a motion to vacate the chair. Since then, a hunt for the next speaker has been ongoing, with the GOP running through several contenders, unable to agree on who would lead the chamber. Finally, after three weeks with no one sitting second in line to the presidency, Republicans pulled together and chose a speaker.

Who Is the Speaker?

On October 25, the House Speaker pro tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) brought the vote for House speaker to the floor. Unlike the multiple failed rounds experienced by Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), the party voted unanimously to elect the new House Speaker, Mike Johnson (R-LA). Now, the Lower Chamber can get back to work to address funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the looming US budget. After the vote, Johnson said, “The People’s House is back in business.”

With the Louisiana legislator now second in line for the presidency, many are wondering who he is, as Johnson is relatively unknown outside of his own state. According to AP News, the lawmaker has been in the House of Representatives for less than 10 years. Johnson is reportedly a strong ally of former President Donald Trump, deeply religious and socially conservative — with opposition to abortion and LGBTQ+ rights. Still, Representative Elise Stefanik (R-NY) described him as a “friend to all” and “an enemy to none,” according to CBS News. Johnson reportedly plans to restore America’s faith in Congress as speaker.

The Road to Speakership

Johnson was a fourth-round pick for the Republican party. After McCarthy was fired from his position, the GOP chose Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) for the job. Although he won the majority of votes during a closed-door secret ballot, he quickly realized he couldn’t procure the number needed to succeed and dropped out. After him came Jordan, who lost multiple voting rounds on the House floor, sending Republicans back behind closed doors. That’s when they chose Representative Tom Emmer (R-MN), who lasted all of four hours with the nomination before withdrawing his name. A subsequent secret vote out of the public view produced Johnson — a name the party decided to finally rally around.

While the GOP in the Lower Chamber was in shambles trying to pick a leader, war broke out between Israel and Hamas. The White House recently requested $106 billion in aid for Israel, Ukraine, and other ongoing issues that the House has to consider, in addition to funding the government set to shut down on November 17.

Copyright 2023,