US House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (L) hands the gavel to House Speaker-elect Mike Johnson (R) after lawmakers voted Johnson to be the next speaker of the house in the House of Representatives inside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, USA, 25 October 2023. EFE/EPA/JIM LO SCALZO

Mike Johnson elected new Speaker of the US House of Representatives

Washington, Oct 25 (EFE). – Congressman Mike Johnson, an ally of former United States President Donald Trump (2017-2021), was elected Wednesday to lead the House of Representatives, after managing to overcome the division in the Republican Party that has caused parliamentary chaos in recent weeks.

Johnson was the fourth Republican nominated in two weeks, after Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer.

“It’s been an exhausting few weeks, and a reminder that the House is as complicated and diverse as the people we represent,” Johnson said.

“As Speaker, I will ensure the House delivers results and inspires change for the American people. We will restore trust in this body,” he added.

Republicans hold a slim majority in the House, with 221 seats to the Democrats’ 212, forcing them to win the support of virtually every member of the chamber.

Johnson needed 215 supporters today, with 429 lawmakers present, and he got 220, with no internal opposition, compared to 209 for his opponent, Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

The Louisiana representative, 51, was a key ally of Trump in his attempt to stop Congress from ratifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election through false claims of voter fraud.

He also emailed every House Republican in 2020 from a personal email account, soliciting signatures for an amicus brief in Texas’ longshot lawsuit to invalidate several states’ electoral votes.

On his website, he defines himself as a “devoted” husband and father of four and an attorney “who has dedicated his life and career to fighting for the fundamental freedoms and traditional values” that are priorities for the people of his state.

From 2015 to January 2017, he served in the state legislature and later moved to the federal legislature, where he is vice president of the Republican Conference, the body responsible for electing Republican leadership, approving committee assignments and developing communications strategy.

His candidacy was confirmed late Tuesday after the previous official candidate, Tom Emmer, dropped out just hours after being named by his party when he realized he did not have the necessary support in the full House.

Emmer did not have the public support of Trump, who criticized him for being out of touch with Republican voters and a Republican in Name Only (RINO).

Instead, the Louisiana representative, who sits on the Judiciary and Armed Services committees, received the former president’s blessing.

“I think Mike Johnson is doing very well. He’s a tremendous congressman, respected by everybody. I hear it looks like it’s really good. I haven’t had one negative comment about him. Everybody likes him. He’s respected by all,” said Trump.

The speaker’s post has been vacant since fellow Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted on Oct. 3 at the behest of the party’s ultra-conservative wing.

The interim presidency had been in the hands of Patrick McHenry, appointed by McCarthy, but without a “speaker” no new resolutions or bills could be approved, at a time when new military aid for Ukraine and Israel are pending, as well as negotiations on the budget for the current fiscal year. EFE