Rep. Mike Johnson: Republicans picked Rep. Mike Johnson as their latest nominee for House speaker late Tuesday, following an earlier choice, Rep. Tom Emmer, stepping back due to opposition from Donald Trump and hardline GOP lawmakers.
Johnson, a representative from Louisiana and a lower-ranked member of the House GOP leadership, now stands as the fourth nominee in the midst of a confusing cycle of political infighting since Kevin McCarthy’s removal. The GOP factions are grappling for power, and the refusal to unify has led to a situation where far-right members reject a more traditional speaker, while moderate members resist a hardliner.
Facing a roll call behind closed doors to gauge his support, Johnson needs almost unanimous Republican backing in the upcoming House floor vote to secure the gavel.
With three weeks gone by, Republicans are squandering their majority status, causing frustration for some and being seen as democracy in action by others. The inability to agree on a leader is seen as a “pretty sad commentary on governance right now,” according to Rep. Steve Womack, R-Ark.
After Emmer’s withdrawal, attention swiftly turned to Johnson, a Louisiana member of the party leadership. However, hardliners resisted Johnson’s bid, and new candidates, including Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, and even McCarthy, emerged.
The Republicans find themselves in a challenging situation, trying to find a leader who can unite factions and get Congress functioning again. The suggestion of reinstalling McCarthy as speaker with hardliner Rep. Jim Jordan in a new leadership role is being considered, but its success is uncertain.
This ongoing turmoil within the Republican Party is creating an unprecedented scenario, and the road to finding a new House speaker remains uncertain.