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Rep. Mike Johnson wins election as next House speaker with unanimous GOP support

  8m ago

Johnson wins speaker vote 220-209

Speaker-elect Mike Johnson pumps his fist as the end of voting nears for speaker of the House on Oct. 25, 2023.
Speaker-elect Mike Johnson pumps his fist as the end of voting nears for speaker of the House on Oct. 25, 2023. NATHAN HOWARD / REUTERS

Johnson won the speaker's gavel in a single round of voting, with the support of all Republicans in attendance. 

He was the first candidate since McCarthy's ouster to face no opposition from his own party. 

"Therefore, the Honorable Mike Johnson of the state of Louisiana, having received a majority of the votes cast, is duly elected speaker of the House of Representatives for the 118th Congress," McHenry, the interim speaker, announced after reading the final vote tally.

  52m ago

House begins first round of voting for speaker

Shortly after 1 p.m., the House began voting for speaker, with Johnson as the Republican nominee and Jeffries as the Democratic nominee.

The trajectory of the vote is not yet clear. 

  53m ago

Aguilar nominates Jeffries for speaker

Rep. Pete Aguilar of California, chairman of the Democratic caucus, rose to nominate Jeffries for speaker and accused Republicans of manufacturing a crisis that has lasted 22 days.

He accused GOP lawmakers of working to find a candidate for speaker who can pass their "extreme litmus test" opposing marriage equality, cutting Social Security and Medicare, and enacting nationwide restrictions on abortion.

"This has been about who can appease Donald Trump," Aguilar said.

The California Democrat noted Johnson's role in the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

"House Democrats believe that when members of the body voted to reject the results of the 2020 election, they forfeited their ability to lead this chamber," Aguilar said.

Turning to Jeffries, Aguilar said the Democratic leader has "never turned his back on the will of the American people."

"He is certainly a far contrast from who Republicans have nominated," he said, adding. "End the chaos. End the dysfunction. End extremism. Let's open up the People's House."

  55m ago

Stefanik nominates Johnson for speaker

There are a total of 429 House members in attendance for the vote: 220 Republicans, and 209 Democrats. GOP Rep. Derrick Van Orden of Wisconsin, who appears to be in Israel, is absent, as are three Democrats.

The four absences mean Johnson will need 215 votes to win the speakership if all members in the chamber vote for a candidate.

Stefanik then rose to deliver a floor speech nominating Johnson for speaker, as Republicans chanted "Mike, Mike, Mike!"

"Today is the day that House Republicans will humbly look in our hearts and elect Mike Johnson as speaker of the People's House," she said.

Stefanik praised Johnson as a "man of deep faith" who is a "titan" on the Judiciary Committee and "dedicated member" of the Armed Services Committee. She said that as vice chair of the Republican Conference, Johnson has "united all of our members to speak clearly and boldly on behalf of the American people."

Stefanik called Johnson "a friend to all" and "an enemy to none," who is not only "strong, tough and fair," but also "kind."

"House Republicans and Speaker Mike Johnson will never give up," she said. "Today is the day we get this done."

  59m ago

Johnson says he's never voted against Ukraine aid. That's not what his record says.

Johnson claimed to reporters that he's never opposed funding or aid for Ukraine. 

"We'll be talking about the support and what's necessary to get it," Johnson said. "We have to ensure Vladimir Putin is not successful, and I think all the House Republicans are united in that cause." 

But Johnson's record on Ukraine funding has been criticized by Ukraine advocates. Johnson received an "F" grade from Republicans for Ukraine on its GOP Congressional Report Card. Johnson did vote for the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022. 

But last month, he voted for a Rep. Matt Gaetz amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would have cut off all security assistance for Ukraine. That amendment failed, 93-339, with a majority of Republicans voting against the amendment. 

Last month, he also voted against $300 million in new aid for Ukraine. The aid passed the House, 311-117.  


House convenes to hold vote for speaker

The House was brought into session just after 12 p.m. ET. All members will now record their presence on the floor to determine how many are in attendance.

If all 221 Republicans and 212 Democrats mark themselves present, Johnson will need 217 votes to win the gavel. Two seats are vacant due to the resignations of Reps. Chris Stewart, a Republican from Utah, and David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island.


Johnson says he "feels very good" about speaker vote

As Johnson made his way from his House office to the floor, he told CBS News that he "feels very good" about the vote and believes he can secure the necessary 217 votes on the first round.


Stefanik to deliver nominating speech for Johnson

 Rep. Elise Stefanik, the chair of the House Republican conference, will deliver the speech nominating Johnson for speaker, according to a Republican aide.

Democrats will nominate Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and they are being urged to vote for him, according to a notice from Democratic whip Katherine Clark's office. Rep. Pete Aguilar , the Democratic caucus chair, will deliver the nominating speech for Jeffries.


Republicans who opposed Jordan for speaker are now rallying behind Johnson

GOP lawmakers who withheld their support for Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio during his three rounds of voting on the House floor are beginning to line up behind Johnson.

Rep. Tony Gonzales of Texas, who voted for Majority Leader Steve Scalise on each of the three ballots during House voting last week, said he plans to back Johnson when the lower chamber convenes to elect a new speaker.

"Mike Johnson and I both represent two of the poorest districts in the country, but the richest in the values held by the great people of #TX23 & #LA04. I look forward to working with him to help SECURE the southern border as OUR next Speaker of the US House," he wrote on social media.

Rep. Carlos Gimenez of Florida, who supported McCarthy over Jordan, called Johnson a "straightforward leader" who can unite the Republican conference in a post to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. Gimenez, former chief of the City of Miami Fire Department, highlighted that both Johnson and McCarthy are the sons of firefighters.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, another Scalise supporter, told reporters after Johnson was elected speaker-designate that he believes Republicans are "back" and the conference's agenda "back on track."

"I think you're going to see that we're back at full strength. We're energized, unified and I think that's a positive thing for the country," he said.


Johnson led friend-of-the-court brief urging Supreme Court to intervene in challenge to election results in four battleground states

Johnson, a former litigator with experience in constitutional law, led an amicus brief filed by House Republicans to the Supreme Court that backed a longshot bid by Texas to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in four states Trump lost: Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

The brief claimed that the officials and courts in each of the battleground states unconstitutionally usurped the power granted to state legislators by changing election rules in 2020.

"Due in large part to those usurpations, the election of 2020 has been riddled with an unprecedented number of serious allegations of fraud and irregularities," the House Republicans alleged.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton had asked the Supreme Court to block "the use of unlawful election results without review and ratification by" the four state legislatures and allow them to appoint a different slate of presidential electors. 

The Supreme Court rejected the request because Texas lacked legal standing.

Late Tuesday after Johnson won the speaker nomination, a reporter asked Johnson about his push to overturn the results of the 2020 election, but Republicans replied with shouts of "boo." Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina yelled "shut up, shut up!"


After opposing Emmer bid for speaker, Trump says his "strong suggestion" is to support Johnson

Former President Donald Trump posted on Truth Social, his social media site, early Wednesday to urge House Republicans to back Johnson for speaker, less than a day after he effectively derailed Majority Whip Tom Emmer's own bid for the gavel.

Trump praised the five Republicans who declared their candidacies after Emmer withdrew his nomination — Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Mark Green of Tennessee, Roger Williams of Texas and Johnson — and said he could "never go against any of these fine and very talented men."

The former president noted that all of them have supported him "in both mind and spirit" since he won the White House in 2016 and said the five candidates "are beyond reproach and represent the absolute best there is in the Republican Party."

"My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson, & GET IT DONE, FAST!" he wrote.

As House Republicans gathered earlier in the week to select their third nominee for speaker, Trump vowed to remain on the sidelines of the race. But hours after Emmer won the nod in a closed-door vote by the conference Tuesday morning, the former president lambasted the Minnesota Republican, writing on Truth Social that "voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake."

Emmer began to lose support from conservative lawmakers shortly after Trump's missive, and he bowed out of the contest shortly after. 

Trump seemed to acknowledge his role in killing Emmer's quest for the gavel, as he shared on his social media platform an article from Politico about how the former president "torpedoed" the bid.


Scalise backs Johnson

 Majority Leader Steve Scalise threw his support behind Johnson late Tuesday, calling him a "dear friend" in a statement. 

"Mike is a strong leader who has the full support of our entire conference, and has a proven track record as a conservative leader who will fight for the American people against President Biden's radical agenda that is crushing hard-working families," Scalise said in the statement.

Scalise had been the party's first nominee after McCarthy was ousted, but withdrew his name one day after winning the internal GOP vote. 


Johnson wins nomination

Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana won in a three-round vote late Tuesday to become the next speaker-designee — the fourth since Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California was ousted from the position on Oct. 3. 

Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee was eliminated in the first vote. In the second round, Roger Williams of Texas was eliminated and Mark Green of Tennessee dropped out. 

The final round came down to Johnson and Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida. Although Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was not in the running, he received more votes than Donalds in the final round. 

Johnson won 128 votes, and Donalds received 29 votes, and there was a vote of "present." McCarthy, who was not a nominee, received 43 votes.


Latest round of candidates

Republicans held a candidate forum Tuesday night with five members vying to be the next speaker-designee after Emmer withdrew.

The candidates were Reps. Byron Donalds of Florida, Chuck Fleischmann of Tennessee, Mark Green of Tennessee, Mike Johnson of Louisiana and Roger Williams of Texas. 

Oklahoma Rep. Kevin Hern, the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, was initially included, but dropped out before voting began.


Trump blasted Emmer as a "RINO" and a "globalist"

Trump took to Truth Social Tuesday afternoon to blast Emmer as a "RINO" and a "globalist" who "fought" Trump all the way.

Emmer voted to certify the 2020 election results after Jan. 6, 2021, but signed onto an amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to overturn the presidential election results. 

"I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them," Trump wrote. "He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

"He fought me all the way, and actually spent more time defending Ilhan Omar, than he did me—He is totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters," Trump continued. "I believe he has now learned his lesson, because he is saying that he is Pro-Trump all the way, but who can ever be sure? Has he only changed because that's what it takes to win? The Republican Party cannot take that chance, because that's not where the America First Voters are. Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!"


Tom Emmer won nomination only to drop out after opposition by Trump and far right

Majority Whip Tom Emmer of Minnesota declined Tuesday to say whether former President Donald Trump was a factor in his decision to end his bid for the speakership. 

"I made my decision based on my relationship with the conference," Emmer told reporters when asked whether Trump helped doom his candidacy. 

Trump lashed out at Emmer after he won the nomination, accusing him of being out of touch with GOP voters and calling a vote for him a "tragic mistake." 

Emmer said he would support whomever the candidate is.