The fourth time was the charm as Republicans elected conservative, pro-Donald Trump Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson as speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday.
Johnson was the fourth nominee put forth by the GOP since giving California Rep. Kevin McCarthy the boot three weeks ago. Johnson won the seat by a vote of 220 votes versus 209 for Democrat Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Republicans hold 221 of the 435 voting seats in the House (Rep. Derrick Van Orden was absent from the vote).
Johnson, 51, has served in the House in 2016. As a loyal ally of Trump, he pushed the former president’s “stolen election” conspiracy theory. Following the 2020 presidential election, Johnson spearheaded a legal brief signed by more than 100 House Republicans to support a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to invalidate election results in four swing states won by President Joe Biden.
The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the request by Johnson and his colleagues, asserting that it lacked legal merit.
Many online rejected the notion of a Johnson speakership and his election to the post, saying they were “stunned” and that the move would result in a Democratic takeover of the House in 2024.
Johnson wasted no time in squaring off for battle with Biden and Democrats after the vote.
“We will advance a comprehensive conservative policy agenda, combat the harmful policies of the Biden Administration, and support our allies abroad,” Johnson said in a statement. “We will restore sanity to a government desperately in need of it. Let’s get back to work.”
In his speech after being introduced as the new speaker, Johnson was more conciliatory.
“We’re going to find common ground,” Johnson said from the speaker’s podium.
A devout Christian, Johnson told the House that he believes this election is part of God’s divine plan.
“I don’t believe there are any coincidences in matters like this. I believe that scripture, the Bible, is very clear that God is the one that raises up those in authority,” he said.
Johnson also stated strong support for Israel in its battle against Hamas.
“Our nation’s greatest ally in the Middle East is under attack. The first bill that I will bring to this floor will be in support of our dear friend Israel,” he said.