House Republicans picked Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the party’s fourth nominee for House speaker on Tuesday, replacing Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) who was forced to pull out of the race after being attacked by former President Donald Trump and other hard-right Republicans.
The Louisana lawmaker is the party’s latest pick to replace ousted House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), after failed bids by Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Emmer amid infighting within the party.
Earlier on Tuesday, Johnson finished in second place behind Emmer in an internal party vote and had offered to support the moderate candidate before he was forced to drop out.
In a late evening vote, Johnson topped the ballot with 128 votes.
Johnson told reporters he intends to push for a floor vote on Wednesday and claimed the House GOP is “united.”
43. That’s the number of votes received by McCarthy in Tuesday evening’s poll, even though the ousted speaker’s name was not on the ballot.
Emmer was forced to drop out just hours after winning the GOP’s nomination for the House speakership, once again highlighting the infighting within the party. The Minnesota Republican was a comparatively moderate candidate who was immediately attacked by Trump on social media and referred to as a “RINO” (Republican in name only). In a post on his Truth Social platform, the former president claimed Emmer “never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA.” Trump has yet to comment on Johnson’s nomination.
What To Watch For
After winning 128 votes in the party’s internal ballot, Johnson will now have to conjure up at least 89 more votes to reach the 217 mark needed to win the House speakership. It is unclear if Johnson has the support he needs and the 43 lawmakers who voted for McCarthy in the internal vote are likely hold the key.