Mike Johnson Calls Speakership ‘Honor of Lifetime’

Twenty-two grueling days after the House ousted its speaker, the chamber may finally have a member holding the gavel in Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.).

The Louisiana congressman became the GOP’s fourth speaker pick last night at the end of a tumultuous day that saw the rise and fall of another speaker nominee, Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.)

Mr. Johnson, vice chair of the House Republican Conference, won 128 votes in the secret ballot election. He faced little opposition in a confirming vote, though there were more than 20 GOP absences.

He will need 215 votes to win the speakership. The House will vote at noon for speaker.

Follow below for live updates. All times are Eastern.

Biden, Trump Congratulate Johnson–3:25 p.m.

President Biden issued a statement congratulating Mr. Johnson on his election and pledging to find common ground with him wherever possible.

“This is a time for all of us to act responsibly, and to put the good of the American people and the everyday priorities of American families above any partisanship,” the president wrote.

Former President Donald Trump, who earlier today backed Mr. Johnson, also celebrated the new speaker.

“I just want to congratulate Mike Johnson. He will be a great Speaker of the House, and we were very happy to have helped,” he told reporters outside a New York courtroom. “I’ve known him for a long time. He’s a tremendous leader and a tremendous man.”

Johnson Sworn In–2:50 p.m.

Mr. Johnson was sworn in by the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Hal Rogers (R-Ky.).

The House immediately began a legislative session. The first order of business is the introduction of a resolution supporting Israel amid its war with terror group Hamas.

‘I Will Not Let You Down’–2:34 p.m.

Speaker Johnson promised to fulfill the role to the best of his ability.

“The challenge before us is great, but the time for action is now and I will not let you down,” he said.

“I want to say to the American people on behalf of all of us here: We hear you.”

“We know the challenges you’re facing we we know that that there’s a lot going on in our country, domestically and abroad and we’re ready to get to work again to solve those problems and we will. Our mission here is to serve you well. To restore the people’s faith in this house in this great and essential institution.”

Speaker Johnson Takes the Podium–2:26 p.m.

Mr. Johnson, carrying what appeared to be a Bible in hand, accepted the gavel, thanking House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), who gave the introduction.

In his first speech as speaker, Mr. Johnson thanked former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

“Kevin has dedicated over two decades of his life to selfless public service 16 of those years in this house, and you would be hard-pressed to find anybody who loves this institution more or has contributed more to it,” he said. “He is the reason we’re in this majority today.”

‘Honor of a Lifetime’–2:15 p.m.

Mr. Johnson in his first statement after being elected speaker called it the “honor of a lifetime” in a post on X.

“Thank you to my colleagues, friends, staff, and family for the unmatched support throughout this process,” the speaker wrote.

“It has been an arduous few weeks, and a reminder that the House is as complicated and diverse as the people we represent. The urgency of this moment demands bold, decisive action to restore trust, advance our legislative priorities, and demonstrate good governance. Our House Republican Conference is united, and eager to work.”

Johnson Wins Speakership–1:50 p.m.

After 22 days, the House finally has a speaker as Mr. Johnson, who has been in Congress since 2017, won the gavel with all 220 GOP votes.

The House can resume legislative business and it is expected to begin by passing a resolution condemning the terrorist group Hamas for its attacks on Israel. Mr. Johnson’s tenure in Congress is the shortest for a speaker in 140 years. He has made the meteoric jump from vice chair of the House GOP conference to the head of it, plus becoming second in line to the presidency.

Johnson Appears to Have Votes to be Speaker–1:48 p.m.

Mr. Johnson has reached the 215-vote threshold to get the gavel. The 22-day wait is on the verge of being over.

House Voting On Johnson’s Speaker Bid–1:08 p.m.

The House is now voting on who will succeed Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as speaker. Mr. Johnson needs 215 to win.

Jeffries Nominated–1:01 p.m.

House Democrat Conference Chairman Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) is giving the nominating speech for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). He started by noting that Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) was smiling more than usual, prompting a standing ovation on both sides of the aisle.

Johnson Nominated–12:53 p.m.

House GOP Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) is nominating Mr. Johnson for speaker.

“Today is the day we get this done,” she said.

House Establishes a Quorum–12:51 p.m.

There are 429 House members, including 220 Republicans, present. Mr. Johnson will need 215 to get the gavel and therefore can only afford to lose five Republicans.

House Voting to Establish a Quorum–12:07 p.m

The House has begun the process of establishing a quorum ahead of the vote to elect a speaker.

Johnson Releases Appropriations Plan–11:45 a.m.

Mr. Johnson, who appears poised to become speaker, has laid out his plan for the House to finish the appropriations process ahead of Nov. 17, when government funding is set to run out after a 45-day extension:

Week of Oct. 23: Energy and Water
Week of Oct. 30: Legislative Branch. Interior and Environment. Transportation-Housing and Urban Development
Week of Nov. 6:  Financial Services and General Government; Commerce, Justice, Science
Week of Nov. 3: Labor, Health and Human Services, Agriculture

Additionally, Mr. Johnson released a schedule that runs until December 2024. This includes passing this month or next a resolution condemning the terrorist group Hamas; establishing a legislative agenda through Jan. 3, 2025; passing appropriations bills; and negotiating with the Senate on the National Defense Authorization Act.

For the remaining months, it would be about passing appropriations bills on time or else having no August recess.

Finally, between October and December 2024, the focus would be on expanding the GOP’s majority in the House and completing unfinished business.

Trump Backs Johnson–11:17 a.m.

One day after he drove a stake in the speaker bid of Mr. Emmer, former President Donald Trump endorsed Mr. Johnson’s candidacy to be second in line to the presidency.

“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! My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST! LOVE, DJT,” he posted on his social media site, Truth Social.

Who is Mike Johnson?–11:17 a.m.
Mr. Johnson, who has represented Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District since 2017, was RSC chairman between 2019 and 2021 and is currently vice chair of the House GOP conference. He also sits on the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees.
“It is incumbent upon us now to decide upon a consensus candidate who can serve as a trusted caretaker and a good steward of the gavel. We must govern well and expand our majority next year,” Mr. Johnson wrote in an Oct. 21 letter to colleagues.

“The complex role of Speaker at this time requires a team player and a bridge-builder with endless energy and a unique mix of skills and experiences,” he said. “My extensive background in law, policy, strategic analysis, messaging, managing, networking, and building coalitions happens to have served as an uncommon preparation for the extraordinary demands of this day.”

Mr. Johnson, 51, voted against certifying the 2020 election, the Respect for Marriage Act, Ukraine assistance, and the CR, but he supported the debt ceiling agreement.

Before entering Congress, he served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and practiced law.

Mr. Johnson is married and the father of four children.

Lawrence Wilson and Ryusuke Abe contributed to this report. 

From The Epoch Times

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