Mike Johnson is the new Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. In recent days, one candidate after another for the House has had to go through the Republican revolving door. Before Johnson, there were already three candidates who had withdrawn from the battle to become speaker of the House of Representatives after they received too little support.
After Republican Kevin McCarthy was voted out of office by a majority of the House, the Republican Party has entered a major crisis. It is the party’s turn to nominate a Speaker of the House because it has a majority in the House. But one candidate after another is unable to gain enough support within the Republican Party. After Steve Scalise got it too Jim Jordan in Tom Emmer failing to gain enough votes to both lead the party in the House and become Speaker of the House. A total of fourteen people have even submitted a proposal to become chairman.
Johnson was a standout choice. “He is not the most logical candidate,” says America correspondent Jan Postma. “He was left and I think he has the fewest enemies in the party.” 220 House members voted in favor of Johnson’s nomination.
Johnson is known as a hardliner and is a fervent supporter of former President Donald Trump. ‘He wants to keep the government small and make significant cuts. He is also opposed to aid to Ukraine. In addition, he was one of the key players in Trump’s attempt to reverse the 2020 election results,” says Postma. He also emphasizes that Johnson is very inexperienced in politics. “That is striking, because he has only been in the House for six years and has few contacts with the White House and the Senate.”
His obscurity was also noticed after a statement by Susan Collins, a well-known Republican senator. After hearing his name, her reaction was that she didn’t know him and had to google him. ‘The advantage, however, is that he has not yet caused many arguments within the party, which helps him now.’
There is dissatisfaction within the Republican Party that Johnson was part of Trump’s attempt to overturn the election results. But that dissatisfaction is not expressed publicly, out of fear of Trump. “They don’t want to talk about that,” Postma explains.
The post first appeared on www.bnr.nl