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Trump-backed Mike Johnson elected House speaker after 22 days - live

New Speaker Mike Johnson is a hard-right Christian conservative opposed to LGBT+ and reproductive rights

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Thursday 26 October 2023 14:01 BST
Mike Johnson addresses congress for first time as House speaker

House Republicans overwhelmingly elected Rep Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be the next speaker of the House after 22 days where the House of Representatives had no leader amid turmoil across the globe and the need to pass spending bills next month.

Mr Johnson, the former deputy whip for House Republicans, won 220 votes on the floor after House Republicans coalesced around him on Tuesday evening. His ascent came after House Majority Whip Tom Emmer dropped out a mere four hours after the House Republican conference nominated him to be speaker.

Republicans from all factions of the conference cheered Mr Johnson and whistled on the floor, chanting his name.

After conservatives, led by former president Donald Trump, revolted against Mr Emmer, he removed himself from the running and after another contest, Mr Johnson emerged victorious.

A former attorney for the Alliance Defending Freedom, Mr Johnson is considered an arch-social conservative staunchly opposed to abortion. Earlier this year, he introduced legislation that would have made it illegal to transport a person under the age of 18 across state lines to obtain an abortion without parental notification.


Stefanik nominates Mike Johnson on the House floor

GOP House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik said in her nominating speech for Rep Mike Johnson that he’s a “man of deep faith”.

“Mike epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. A deeply respected constitutional lawyer, Mike has dedicated his life to preserving America's great principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” she said. “Mike is a titan on the Judiciary Committee and a dedicated member of the House Armed Services Committee.”

“And as vice chair of our conference, he has united all of our members to speak clearly and boldly on behalf of the American people. A friend to all and an enemy to none. Mike is strong, tough and fair. And above all, Mike is kind and at this very moment, this Republican Conference knows that we live in perilous times and the American people are hurting,” she added.

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:00

MSNBC host can’t contain laughter as McCarthy mulls new speaker bid

MSNBC host Joy Reid was unable to contain her laughter at the idea of a joint speakership between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and failed speaker nominee Rep Jim Jordan (R-OH).

On Tuesday night, before the nomination of Rep Mike Johnson (R-LA) as the next GOP speaker, NBC News correspondent Ali Vitali reported on the idea making the rounds that after three weeks without a speaker, Mr McCarthy could return to the post with Mr Jordan as his assistant speaker to appease the far-right members who ousted Mr McCarthy in the first place.

One Republican House member told NBC, “We’re desperate”.

Ms Reid and panelist Tim Miller, a former GOP political operative, burst into laughter at the suggestion, and Ms Reid threw her show notes into the air.

Ms Vitali noted that Rep Katherine Clark (D-MA) had been assistant speaker under former Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:00

Stefanik brings up southern border in Johnson nomination speech

Rep Elise Stefanik claimed in her nominating speech for Rep Mike Johnson that “families are struggling under the pain of inflation caused by reckless far left spending, unable to afford groceries heat or gas”.

“We have an inhumane open border with millions illegally smuggled and trafficked and tens of thousands of children lost in the chasm of the incompetence and negligence of the Biden administration,” she said. “Israel is under attack by Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists committing atrocities with Israeli suffering the bloodiest days in modern memory. Crime is skyrocketing on our streets, while there are vicious calls from the left to defund our great men and women in blue.”

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:02

Stefanik claims government has been ‘illegally weaponized’

Rep Elise Stefanik “American energy production has been crushed by Joe Biden's radical failed far-left Democrat policies causing seniors farmers and families to pay more at the pump”.

“And Americans fundamentally understand that the federal government has been illegally weaponized against We the People, shredding the Constitution, targeting conservatives,” she claimed.

“House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson will never give up. Today is the day we get this done. May God bless our next speaker Mike Johnson. May God bless the United States of America,” she concluded.

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:04

Aguilar slams Johnson over right-wing views and Jan 6 actions

The chair of the Democratic Caucus Rep Pete Aguilar, argued that “we are back here 22 days into this Republican-manufactured chaos. And House Republicans have brought us to the exact same position that we were back then all of the infighting, all of the disarray just to end up where we were three weeks ago”.

“These past few weeks we had been left wondering if Republicans were truly intent on solving our issues reopening the House of Representatives and rallying around someone to lead this chamber, or has this been about something else?” he asked. “Has this been about the focus of House Republicans to find the person who can pass their extreme litmus test to oppose marriage equality? And act a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions, gut Social Security and Medicare and support overturning a free and fair election? It's a fair question.”

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:06

The roll call vote is underway.

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:07

Republican shouts ‘damn right’ when Johnson’s Jan 6 actions mentioned

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:08

‘The most important architect of the Electoral College objections’

Democratic Caucus Chair Pete Aguilar argued that the GOP didn’t care about “growing the middle class, helping our communities keeping the cost of health care lower and making life for everyday Americans better,” when picking a new speaker.

“This has been about one thing, this has been about who can appease Donald Trump?” he said.

“House Republicans have put their names behind someone who has been called the most important architect of the Electoral College objections,” Mr Aguilar added. “He spearheaded the legal effort joined by more than 100 of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle in support of a dangerous and baseless lawsuit to overturn the results of the 2020 election.”

“On the eve of January 6, some of my Republican colleagues even called this a failed strategy. Yet those same individuals plan to stand right next to him today,” he continued. “Democrats believe that when members of this body voted to reject the results of the 2020 election they forfeited their ability to lead this chamber.”

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:12

Freedom Caucus members suggests they may go easier on Johnson

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:15

Rep Angie Craig uses vote for Jeffries to celebrate wedding anniversary with wife

Gustaf Kilander25 October 2023 18:18

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