Rep. Mike Johnson Emerges As Fourth Speaker Nominee On House Floor
Rep. Mike Johnson emerges as fourth speaker nominee on House floormarking the fourth Republican nominee in the span of three weeks. House Republicans were elated as they reached a consensus on a new speaker nominee following a full day of intense closed-door meetings on Tuesday.
Despite the multiple nominees, House GOP lawmakers expressed confidence that their conference is now in sync and prepared to rally behind Johnson's leadership. This sets the stage for a vote across the entire House on Wednesday shortly after noon.
"My wife and I were talking, and I said, if we can get somebody like a Mike Johnson, we would be very fortunate," Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn., told reporters after the vote.
I think he would be an excellent choice because he's very cerebral. And he's kind of a goober but I dig that about him. There's an old saying in east Tennessee, 'He's cleaner than a hound's tooth.'- Rep. Tim Burchett
Burchett was among the eight House Republicans who, three weeks ago on a Tuesday, cast their votes to remove former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California. He remarked that Johnson "brings something to the table that's lacking in Washington."
Representative Michael Cloud from Texas, one of the initial 20 lawmakers who opposed McCarthy's bid for the speakership back in January, described Johnson as a "capable" and "good man."
"I think it was important to make sure that we got the right person for the American people," he told reporters.
Mike Johnson, the GOP Conference Vice Chair from Louisiana, also garnered the endorsement of prominent figures in Republican leadership, including Majority Leader Steve Scalise from Louisiana, who holds the second-highest position among House Republicans. Scalise had initially been designated as Kevin McCarthy's successor but withdrew from the race in the face of increasing opposition.
Mike is honest, hardworking, and principled - he is a great man and will make a great speaker. I look forward to continuing to work with my good friend to get this country back on track and deliver results for American families who deserve better from Washington.- Majority Leader Steve Scalise
House Republicans convened earlier in the day for a speaker election in which Majority Whip Tom Emmer, a Republican from Minnesota, emerged as the frontrunner. However, mounting opposition, including opposition from former President Donald Trump, led to his withdrawal just hours later.
During the meeting, Representative Drew Ferguson made a unanimous consent request to disclose the identities of the individuals who cast the "other" votes in the second secret ballot speaker election. According to sources present at the meeting, 33 out of 34 votes were in favor of Kevin McCarthy, with one vote going to Jim Jordan.
Ferguson's request was prompted by a growing sense of distrust within the GOP ranks regarding their colleagues' intentions. Some lawmakers were concerned that allies of Kevin McCarthy might be working to engineer a return for the ousted speaker.
In response to this development, Representative Mark Green withdrew from the race, citing concerns that "games are being played here." A source familiar with the matter reported Green as saying, "We went from 2 'others' to 34 'others' in just a couple of hours." Green subsequently endorsed Representative Mike Johnson, who had been the leading vote-getter in the two previous ballots.
Republican lawmakers swiftly organized an additional candidate forum where Johnson secured the top position, having previously been the runner-up to Emmer. During a subsequent roll call vote, each member was individually asked to state their support for Johnson on the House floor, with not a single vote cast against him.
Only a few lawmakers chose to vote "present." Following the vote, Johnson held a press conference in which he pledged to uphold conservative principles. He was surrounded by fellow House Republicans who enthusiastically cheered and applauded.
Nevertheless, several lawmakers estimated that approximately 19 members were absent during the Wednesday vote, which was a noteworthy consideration. When asked whether these absences might present an issue for Johnson, Representative John Rutherford, a Republican from Florida who had opposed the second speaker-designate choice of House Republicans, Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan from Ohio, responded with a succinct, "I don't think so."
Representative Ben Cline, a Republican from Virginia, stated, "All the different factions came together, and we're confident that the members who weren't here will recognize the unity that we have [and] importance of the mission ahead."