Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson is the party’s fourth choice for speaker candidate, winning 128 votes in an internal conference vote.
Johnson is the party’s second nominee of the day after Whip Tom Emmer dropped out when 26 Republicans voted against him in an internal vote even after he became the nominee.
Johnson defeated Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, who received 29 votes, and 44 votes went to candidates who weren’t even in the race: 43 for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and one for Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan.
After the nomination vote, Republicans held a roll call vote to test how he would perform in the House, with all members either voting for Johnson or voting “present.”
Johnson can only afford to lose four Republican votes in the House to become the next speaker – and appears to be the first candidate who actually has a chance of doing so.
Right-wing Republicans allied with the Freedom Caucus praised Johnson at the end of the vote on his nomination, as did moderate supporters of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
“He’s the one we needed all along,” said Rep. Bob Good, R-Va.
Johnson told reporters he was “very confident” of reaching 217 votes in the House tomorrow.
Among the criticisms that have been leveled at Johnson but are not widespread is that his position as speaker would give Louisiana two leadership positions, along with Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
Louisiana Republican Rep. Mike Johnson is the party’s fourth choice for speaker candidate, winning 128 votes in an internal conference vote
That could include his conservative voting record and the fact that he led an amicus brief signed by more than 100 Republicans on a lawsuit in Texas that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Johnson’s nomination came as the idea of a joint speaking engagement between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and failed speaker candidate Jordan was circulating among Republicans. Some Republicans balked at the idea.
“It doesn’t exist in the Constitution,” said McCarthyite John Duarte, R-Calif.
“This is the worst idea I’ve ever heard,” said Rep. Pat Fallon, R-Texas.
House Republicans hit another new low on Tuesday when their latest candidate for speaker lasted just four hours in office – after Donald Trump called him a “globalist RINO.”
Majority Leader Tom Emmer became the latest victim of the GOP clown show in Congress when he withdrew from the race, scuttling the party’s attempt to install a speaker after 21 days.
The former ice hockey coach beat eight candidates in a closed vote and won the support of the majority of conference participants, but he was eliminated just a few hours later.
There is still no end in sight to the farce that began three weeks ago when eight insurgent Republicans ousted Kevin McCarthy in a historic vote.
Congress remains paralyzed and cannot pass laws until a speaker is elected.
Although he was elected as the nominee, Emmer did not have enough support from his fellow Republicans to reach the 217 votes needed to win the House of Representatives. Twenty-six Republican lawmakers said they would not vote for him – significantly more than the four he could afford to lose.
And his downfall was solidified when Donald Trump targeted him on Truth Social.
Emmer’s downfall was compounded after he was targeted by Donald Trump on Truth Social
Trump went on trial Tuesday for his civil fraud trial in the New York State Supreme Court
“I have many wonderful friends who want to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great warriors.” “RINO Tom Emmer, who I don’t know well, is not one of them,” Trump wrote on Truth Social.
“He has never respected the power of a Trump endorsement or the breadth and reach of MAGA – MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” He fought me all the time and actually spent more time defending Ilhan Omar than me – he ever did no contact with Republican voters.’
Emmer has called fellow Minnesotan Omar “the face of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party.”
Trump continued: “I think he’s learned his lesson now because he says he’s pro-Trump through and through, but who can ever be sure?” Has he just changed because that’s what you do needs to win? The Republican Party can’t take that risk because that’s not where the America First voters are. Voting for a globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!
A Trump ally told DailyMail.com that Emmer’s vote for the Equality Act – which supports gay marriage – was seen as a “slippery slope” for social conservatives concerned about increasing male competition in women’s sports and other issues becomes.
He also voted to certify the 2020 election — contributing to some “never-emmer” votes.
Just a day ago, Trump said at an event in New Hampshire that he had “always gotten along” with Emmer.
The 26 Republicans who voted against Emmer were mostly members of the pro-Trump, far-right Freedom Caucus. But Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., the infamous McCarthy ouster and staunch Trump supporter, had pushed Emmer’s candidacy.
After Trump’s request to rebuff Emmer’s offer, he appeared to change his tune.
“It’s really important that the speaker of the House of Representatives has a good relationship with the leader of our party, which is Donald Trump,” Gaetz said later Tuesday.
After Trump’s post, another Republican, Florida Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, came forward. competed against Emmer.
Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., who ran against Emmer over the whip, also criticized the Minnesota Republican after the vote, calling him the “most liberal member of leadership.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., criticized Emmer after Trump’s post on X.
Former President Donald Trump spoke out against Emmer in a Truth Social post while in court in New York
Emmer’s nomination came after 21 days without a House speaker
Emmer’s chances of victory were dashed by members of the far-right faction
“Today I voted against Tom Emmer in all rounds of voting, including the oral roll call vote, because he has a voting record that I cannot support,” she said.
“He voted for the Democrats’ gay marriage bill, voted with Democrats to repeal President Trump’s transgender military ban, voted for every penny of Ukraine funding, once supported Soros’ nationwide popular vote program and voted to elect Biden to be confirmed in 2020.”
Emmer’s decision to drop out comes after 21 days without a House speaker.
Reps. Kevin Hern, R-Ala., and Mike Johnson, R-La., have already indicated their intention to be reconsidered for the speaker position. They went on a run and lost to Emmer early Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Gaetz made a successful resignation motion, with eight Republicans joining all Democrats in voting to remove McCarthy.
On Monday, Republicans started with nine declared candidates but whittled the number down until Emmer received 117 votes — more than the 110 votes needed to secure the majority — and GOP Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La ., who received 97, become the designated speaker. Five votes went to “other” candidates and one MP voted “present”.