On Tuesday night, the House GOP nominated Republican Conference Vice Chair Mike Johnson (R-LA) as its latest choice for Speaker.
Johnson is now the fourth nominee in the three weeks since Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was ousted from the leadership position, and previous contenders found it increasingly difficult to secure the needed 217 votes on the full House floor.
Earlier in the day, 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.
A House floor vote on Johnson’s nomination was expected Wednesday at noon Eastern Time.
All 212 Democrats have been voting en mass for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and are almost certain to keep doing so.
During Tuesday evening’s closed-door session, three Republican House members voted “present” for Johnson while another 22 did not vote, or were absent. Johnson said he would be “working with” those who’d voted present ahead of a full House vote.
“Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system,” Johnson said Tuesday night after securing the nomination. “This conference that you see, this House Republican majority, is united.”
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.”
House Republicans have 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.