House elects Mike Johnson as Speaker

October 25, 2023

The House of Representatives voted for Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-LA) for Speaker on Wednesday afternoon. 

The vote was 220-209.

There were 429 House members present for Wednesday’s vote, meaning Johnson needed no less than 215 votes to win the Speaker’s gavel. Rep. Brandon Williams (R-NY) was the 215th vote.

No other Republicans received votes during Wednesday’s balloting.

The last Republican House Speaker to win by unanimous vote within his party was John Beohner (R-OH) in 2010, though 12 Republicans voted against him for his second term as Speaker in 2013.

Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) nominated Johnson on Wednesday, saying, “The people are looking to this great chamber to save America, and save America we will.”

Johnson is/was the fourth nominee in the three weeks since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from the leadership position as previous contenders found it increasingly difficult to secure the needed 217 votes on the full House floor. 

On Tuesday, Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN) was nominated and dropped out just a few hours later. His nomination followed that of House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH), withdrew this past Friday after he was defeated in three separate votes in the full House. Before Jordan, House Minority leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), dropped out on October 12 before a full House vote was undertaken. 

On Wednesday all 209 Democrats present voted en mass for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) as they had in all previous floor votes.  

Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar (D-CA) nominated Jeffries, noting, “We are back here 22 days into this Republican-manufactured chaos, and House Republicans have brought us to the exact, same position we were in then. All of the infighting, all of the disarray, just to end up where we were three weeks ago.”

Serving his fourth term in the House, 51-year-old Johnson won his seat for Louisiana’s fourth Congressional district with the largest majority victory in more than 50 years. 

Following then-President Trump’s 2020 election loss to now-President Biden, Johnson objected to certifying the electoral college results on January 6, 2021.

Further, he led the amicus brief signed by more than 100 House Republicans in support of a Texas lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 election results in four swing states. Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) who was Vice Chair of last year’s House Select Committee on the January 6 Insurrection, called Johnson “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections.”

On his platform Truth Social, Trump on Wednesday morning urged Republicans to rally behind Johnson, writing, “My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST! LOVE, DJT.”

House Republicans have also been under pressure to move quickly from members of their own party in the Senate amid a looming deadline to pass a federal budget for fiscal year 2024 and avoid a government shutdown in mid-November, as well as calls to approve appropriations for additional military aid to Israel and Ukraine. The White House unveiled a roughly $100 billion supplemental request,  mostly for aid to Ukraine and Israel, last week. 

PHOTO: House floor Speaker vote, Wednesday

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