House Republicans on Tuesday night voted for Rep. Mike Johnson to become their latest nominee for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, with the Louisiana congressman’s selection capping a tumultuous day in which Rep. Tom Emmer was briefly the nominee.
Johnson, vice chair of the House Republican Conference, picked up support in two rounds of voting and drew a majority votes in a third ballot, topping the number of votes cast for Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida. That’s according to posts on social media by Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, who as chair of the conference is the No. 4 House Republican.
The GOP-run House wasn’t due to hold a floor vote on the speaker position on Tuesday night, but the chamber could do that Wednesday.
Analysts have been warning that the long process of picking a new speaker is preventing the Republican-run House from addressing crucial matters, such as supporting Israel and passing a budget to avoid a government shutdown next month that could rattle markets
It has been three weeks since the historic ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican.
The selection of Johnson marks the the fourth time that House GOP lawmakers have picked a speaker nominee this month. Emmer of Minnesota, the No. 3 House Republican, was nominated around mid-day Tuesday, beating out Johnson, but bowed out about four hours later after some colleagues and former President Donald Trump refused to support him.
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio secured the nomination on Oct. 13, but was dropped as the nominee last Friday as GOP opposition to him grew over three rounds of voting on the House floor. House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, was tapped for the post on Oct. 11 but ended his speaker bid a day later due to opposition from fellow Republicans.
McCarthy on Tuesday floated a plan that would reinstall him as speaker and set up Jordan as the assistant speaker, according to an NBC News report citing unnamed sources.
In the third ballot on Tuesday night, Johnson scored 128 votes, Donalds got 29 votes, and 44 lawmakers backed people who weren’t on the ballot, according to multiple published reports. Most of those Republicans supported McCarthy, while one supported Jordan.