The three week ordeal in the House of Representatives is finally over. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, backed by President Trump, was the unanimous choice of the Republican House. This vote was a far cry from the past 20+ votes dating back to January when former Speaker Kevin McCarthy failed to unify his conference.
The good news is Speaker Johnson is by far the least “Swampy” Speaker of the House in decades. The bad news is the standstill in the House will end and government will pick up where it left off. Having Capitol Hill on hold for a few weeks was nice.
Johnson will have no time to ease into the job. He has a little over three weeks to either make a deal with Democrats or let the government shut down. And while he has been a conservative on most issues, he has been a bit weak on government funding. We’ll see how this pans out by November 17 when the McCarthy-Schumer continuing resolution runs out.
So, who is Mike Johnson? As Axios notes;
Johnson, 51, has been a member of the House of Representatives since 2016, and is currently serving his fourth term in the House.
- He represents Louisiana’s fourth congressional district, which includes nearly 760,000 residents. Johnson won the seat with the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years, according to a biography on his website.
Of note: After earning both a bachelor’s degree and a law degree from Louisiana State University, Johnson spent nearly 20 years practicing constitutional law.
- Johnson then served in the Louisiana Legislature from February 2015 to January 2017.
- He and his wife, Kelly Johnson, have been married since 1999 and have four children.
According to Zero Hedge:
He was previously defeated on an internal House GOP ballot by Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN), however Emmer withdrew his candidacy last night, just hours after winning the GOP nomination for the role.
Johnson then emerged during the next round of Tuesday night votes.
Rep. Mike Johnson after being nominated for Speaker: “Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system. This conference that you see, this House Republican majority, is united.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) October 25, 2023
He’s also “one of the smartest and most principled opponents of the US Security State (CIA/FBI) and its attempt to control online political speech,” according to Glenn Greenwald.
We interviewed @RepMikeJohnson in July and – while we had several areas of serious disagreement – he's one of the smartest and most principled opponents of the US Security State (CIA/FBI) and its attempt to control online political speech (starts 21:50):https://t.co/kc4K9bkXPb pic.twitter.com/DLmEicS6g2
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 25, 2023
Being anti-Deep-State is a great start. But will he cut a deal that’s bad for the nation in order to keep the government running? That will be the real test of whether we’re getting another feckless GOP Speaker.
He’s a member of the House Freedom Caucus and has generally voted with conservatives. While the former constitutional attorney is not a full-blown constitutional conservative, he has many of the credentials we haven’t seen holding the gavel in most of our lifetimes.
Of important note beyond the budget debate is that he was one of 57 Republicans who voted against the $40 billion money-laundering scheme, commonly known as “Ukrainian Aid.” He also helped write an amicus brief in favor of the Texas lawsuit against voter fraud during the 2020 election. Democrats and RINOs hate that about him perhaps more than anything else he’s done.
Will he continue to reflect his mostly conservative voting record when he’s holding the gavel? He must. This is arguably the biggest opportunity for real positive change in Washington DC since Donald Trump was first elected president. We can and must pressure him as much as possible to lead the lower chamber with an America First attitude and minimized compromises with Democrats, if any compromises at all.
It’s a new era. Gone, for now, are the days of UniParty Swampsters Kevin McCarthy, Paul Ryan, and John Boehner. But will Mike Johnson have the resolve to stay true for the nation? We will soon see.