Johnson Grabs Gavel
Rep. Mike Johnson (R, LA-4) was elected House speaker yesterday, 220-209, ending a weekslong stalemate over who would replace ousted former speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, CA-20). The vote came after three consecutive candidates—Reps. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1), Jim Jordan (R, OH-4), and Tom Emmer (R, MN-6)—were nominated by a majority of the GOP caucus but fell short of securing a majority for a full House vote (previous write-up).
Johnson was a lower-level member of House Republican leadership prior to the speaker race, having entered Congress in 2016 and currently serving as the GOP conference's vice-chair (helping plan and organize day-to-day House party operations). The 51-year-old Johnson, regarded as a social conservative (see background), spent roughly two decades practicing constitutional law before running for office.
One of Johnson's first tasks will be to navigate a potential government shutdown—a short-term deal extended federal funding until Nov. 17.