Republicans have landed on yet another candidate for speaker of the House of Representatives: Mike Johnson of Louisiana.
Johnson was chosen during a closed-door meeting of Republicans on Tuesday evening, after lawmakers voted in their conference for 12 hours, according to Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky. The Louisiana Republican won 128 votes compared to Florida’s Byron Donalds’ 29, Axios reported.
House Republicans plan to hold a vote on Johnson’s nomination on Wednesday afternoon.
He appears to have support from a number of prominent Republicans. Byron Donalds, who had previously thrown his hat into the ring for speaker, praised Johnson as “an honorable man with incredible integrity who has devoted his life to protecting religious liberty and conservative principles.”
And Jim Banks of Indiana similarly praised Johnson, calling him a “man of integrity and a principled conservative” and promising to cast a vote for him on Wednesday.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota had dropped out of the speaker’s race on Tuesday after former President Donald Trump warned Republicans not to support him, saying he is “totally out-of-touch with Republican voters.”
Emmer had won the Republican speaker nomination on Tuesday morning, but around 26 House Republicans voted against him during the closed-door roll call vote, according to multiple reports, indicating that he likely did not have the support necessary to become speaker.
On Wednesday morning, Trump spoke out on Truth Social once again, urging Republicans to go with Johnson: “My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST!”
“Congratulations to congressional Republicans!” he said. “Yesterday was a big and very important day. It gave us a quick and easy way forward with five candidates who are beyond reproach and represent the absolute best there is in the Republican Party. Even the Fake News Media is impressed with what took place yesterday and, more importantly, with the candidates themselves.”
He added, before encouraging Republicans to go with Johnson: “I am not going to make an endorsement in this race, because I COULD NEVER GO AGAINST ANY OF THESE FINE AND VERY TALENTED MEN, all of whom have supported me, in both mind and spirit, from the very beginning of our GREAT 2016 Victory. In 2024, we will have an even bigger, & more important, WIN!”
Johnson’s nomination drew the ire of President Joe Biden’s administration, which put out at least one post on social media critiquing Johnson for his strong pro-life record.
But prominent conservative organizations like the American Principles Project and The Heritage Foundation backed Johnson in statements Wednesday morning.
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts praised Johnson for his “tremendous conservative track record and a willingness to listen to his colleagues.” (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation)
“This kind of conservative servant leadership ought to unite House Republicans,” he emphasized. “All of us at Heritage look forward to working with Speaker Johnson to secure the border, rein in spending, conduct serious oversight of the Biden administration, and provide real leadership on the world stage. It’s time to get to work.”
And American Principles Project President Terry Schilling praised Johnson as a “stalwart conservative and pro-family champion” who has been “outspoken on the harms of gender ideology to children, vocally opposing the use of transgender drugs and surgeries on minors.”
Over the past week, Republicans underwent three rounds of voting on Jim Jordan of Ohio for speaker. Jordan lost all three rounds, and on Friday afternoon, House Republicans voted to remove him as the nominee.
Majority Leader Steve Scalise had won the Republican conference vote for the speaker nomination over Jordan in early October, but he dropped out after a flurry of Republicans said they would not vote for him.
“This House of Representatives needs a speaker, and we need to open up the House again. But clearly, not everybody is there,” Scalise said at the time, Fox News reported. “And there are still schisms that have to get resolved. I never came here for a title. I’ve had some great titles. I’m the majority leader of the House, and I love the job I have.”
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