Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana became the House speaker in the fourth round of voting for the position.
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.
Johnson is in his fourth term in Congress, serves as the House Republican Conference’s vice chairman and sits on the House Judiciary Committee and the House Armed Services Committee. In a speech following his nomination, Johnson emphasized the U.S.’s support for Israel following the Hamas terrorist attacks and touched on Congress’ agenda to tackle the appropriations process ahead of another potential government shutdown in November. President Trump said Wednesday on Truth Social he is staying out of the race and won’t endorse anyone, but told Republicans it’s his “strong suggestion” to vote for Johnson and “get it done, fast!”
Johnson, a fervent Trump defender, was dubbed “the most important architect of the Electoral College objections” by the New York Times, presenting a fall-back option to Republicans who wanted to vote against certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election, but were wary of Trump’s unfounded claims of election fraud, by suggesting some states loosened their voting rules unconstitutionally during the pandemic—an argument largely rejected by courts.
A former constitutional lawyer, Johnson authored an amicus brief at Trump’s behest in a controversial 2020 case filed by the Texas Attorney General seeking to overturn the results of the election in several states and recruited 125 fellow Republicans to co-sign it.
Johnson, 51, was elected to represent Louisiana’s 4th congressional district in the northwestern portion of the state in 2016; he serves as deputy whip and vice chair of the GOP Conference and is the former chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee caucus. As such he has a small office in the bowels of the Capitol. He’s shortly to take over the chambers that Nancy Pelosi was booted out off.
Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree and law degree from Louisiana State University, and he and his wife of 24 years, Kelly Johnson, have four children.
As speaker he would “chart a new path,” he told colleagues in a letter last weekend.
Johnson said the country is facing “one of the most fateful moments” in its history, citing the attack on Israel, emboldened foreign adversaries, high national debt, a southern border that is “overrun” and more.
The first thing Speaker Designate Mike Johnson did last night was ask the Republican caucus to pray with him.— Monica Crowley (@MonicaCrowley) October 25, 2023
This is EXACTLY what we need at this exact moment. pic.twitter.com/5F4RAqyFb4
When Bill Kristol hates him you know he must be good!
Mike Johnson gets an F for supporting Ukraine— DC_Draino (@DC_Draino) October 25, 2023
This means he gets an A+ for supporting Republican voter interests! pic.twitter.com/HFaZwJPF6r