The House of Representatives elected Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson as speaker Wednesday after more than three weeks of intense negotiations within the Republican majority.
The vote was along party lines, with 220 for Johnson and 209 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
Johnson, who serves as the the vice chair of the House Republican Conference, emerged as an unexpected candidate for speaker this week after a series of failed efforts by his party to unite behind a leader. He defeated an extensive list of candidates for the GOP nomination in a series of internal votes Tuesday night. He then moved to negotiate with members who did not support his bid.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was voted out as speaker this month, the first time in U.S. history a vote by House members had vacated the position. Wednesday’s successful vote for speaker follows four GOP nominees being put forth and four failed floor votes.
House Republicans initially chose Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) as their candidate, but he dropped out after failing to unite the party. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) was the next nominee and first to take up a floor vote, which failed three times before he dropped out. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) was nominated Tuesday but dropped out hours later after it was clear he did not have the votes needed for a successful floor vote.
The weeks of negotiations largely pitted the Freedom Caucus wing of the House GOP against allies of McCarthy, who criticized the rule process that led to the speaker’s removal.
Johnson’s pitch to his colleagues focused on his conservative record, emphasis on civility, and call to pass appropriations bills and avoid a government shutdown. His bid gained the support of former President Donald Trump on Wednesday prior to the floor vote.
“My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST! LOVE, DJT,” Trump posted on Truth Social.