Politics

With fourth speaker nominee, House GOP eager to see if Mike Johnson can clinch gavel

Rep. Mike Johnson is the fourth speaker nominee put forward by the House Republican conference. And on Wednesday, he’ll find out if he can do what the three before him failed to: get the votes to end weeks of uncertainty and seat a speaker.

Johnson needs to earn 217 votes on the House floor to clinch the speaker’s gavel, which Rep. Jim Jordan failed to do. Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Majority Leader Steve Scalise didn’t even make it to the floor.

“We’re going to restore your trust in what we do here. You’re going to see a new form of government,” Johnson promised in a late Tuesday night press conference after he won the nomination. “We’re going to restore [voters’] faith in this Congress, this institution of government.”

Republicans were buzzing with optimism late Tuesday after they elected Johnson as their speaker candidate — a mood not seen within the conference lately.

“We had votes for Mike Johnson across the board, from some of the most conservative members to some of our front-liners. There was enthusiastic support,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).

Support ran from Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who was “so excited, so excited” about Johnson’s nomination, to vulnerable New Yorker Marc Molinaro, who called Johnson “a humble man who inspires us to work together.”

Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) will back Johnson on the floor and credits the lengthy process with helping the GOP conference settle on Johnson.

“There was a lot of unity in that room and at the end of the day, part of this is a process. When you’re trying to break the status quo and you’re trying to break down the kind of infrastructure, of power, in this town, it takes a little bit of time to do it,” Roy said.

Johnson’s greatest ally in his bid for speaker may be exhaustion and exasperation within the GOP conference, a group in the third week of a historic speaker candidate search.

Attendance and naysayers: Johnson could have some holdouts, but they may not be clear until the floor vote. Many Republicans streaming out of the Tuesday night conference meeting weren’t worried about Johnson getting the votes.

Reps. Mark Amodei (Nev.), French Hill (Ark.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.) voted “present” behind closed doors rather than backing Johnson. And another 23 lawmakers didn’t vote at all, having skipped the meeting. But those absences are not all against Johnson.

The optimism is there, but we won’t know if the votes are there until the clerk calls the roll on the House floor. Massie, who didn’t vote for Johnson, said he is “uniquely positioned” to lose vote both on the conservative and moderate side of the conference. He voiced his doubts that Johnson will become speaker.

But Roy said he didn’t “see any serious hiccups there,” regarding Johnson getting the votes.

The 2020 of it all: When ABC News’ Rachel Scott asked at a rowdy press conference about Johnson leading the House Republican effort to overturn the 2020 election results, his colleagues huddled around him at the microphone broke out into boos and jeers at the reporter. “Shut up, shut up!” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Va.) shouted at Scott.

Johnson, known as a meticulous policy-focused lawmaker, declared, “We’re not doing any policy tonight,” when asked about Ukraine and Israel aid.

Timeline: There won’t be a vote before noon. That’s when the House gavels in for action on Wednesday. Depending on if Johnson needs time to shore up support or wants to head for a vote quickly, floor action on his nomination will proceed after that.

Jordain Carney contributed to this report.

Rep. Mike Johnson is the fourth speaker nominee put forward by the House Republican conference. And on Wednesday, he’ll find out if he can do what the three before him failed to: get the votes to end weeks of uncertainty and seat a speaker.
Johnson needs to earn 217 votes on the House floor to clinch the speaker’s gavel, which Rep. Jim Jordan failed to do. Majority Whip Tom Emmer and Majority Leader Steve Scalise didn’t even make it to the floor.
“We’re going to restore your trust in what we do here. You’re going to see a new form of government,” Johnson promised in a late Tuesday night press conference after he won the nomination. “We’re going to restore [voters’] faith in this Congress, this institution of government.”
Republicans were buzzing with optimism late Tuesday after they elected Johnson as their speaker candidate — a mood not seen within the conference lately.
“We had votes for Mike Johnson across the board, from some of the most conservative members to some of our front-liners. There was enthusiastic support,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.).
Support ran from Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), who was “so excited, so excited” about Johnson’s nomination, to vulnerable New Yorker Marc Molinaro, who called Johnson “a humble man who inspires us to work together.”
Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) will back Johnson on the floor and credits the lengthy process with helping the GOP conference settle on Johnson.
“There was a lot of unity in that room and at the end of the day, part of this is a process. When you’re trying to break the status quo and you’re trying to break down the kind of infrastructure, of power, in this town, it takes a little bit of time to do it,” Roy said.
Johnson’s greatest ally in his bid for speaker may be exhaustion and exasperation within the GOP conference, a group in the third week of a historic speaker candidate search.
Attendance and naysayers: Johnson could have some holdouts, but they may not be clear until the floor vote. Many Republicans streaming out of the Tuesday night conference meeting weren’t worried about Johnson getting the votes.
Reps. Mark Amodei (Nev.), French Hill (Ark.) and Thomas Massie (Ky.) voted “present” behind closed doors rather than backing Johnson. And another 23 lawmakers didn’t vote at all, having skipped the meeting. But those absences are not all against Johnson.
The optimism is there, but we won’t know if the votes are there until the clerk calls the roll on the House floor. Massie, who didn’t vote for Johnson, said he is “uniquely positioned” to lose vote both on the conservative and moderate side of the conference. He voiced his doubts that Johnson will become speaker.
But Roy said he didn’t “see any serious hiccups there,” regarding Johnson getting the votes.
The 2020 of it all: When ABC News’ Rachel Scott asked at a rowdy press conference about Johnson leading the House Republican effort to overturn the 2020 election results, his colleagues huddled around him at the microphone broke out into boos and jeers at the reporter. “Shut up, shut up!” Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-Va.) shouted at Scott.
Johnson, known as a meticulous policy-focused lawmaker, declared, “We’re not doing any policy tonight,” when asked about Ukraine and Israel aid.
Timeline: There won’t be a vote before noon. That’s when the House gavels in for action on Wednesday. Depending on if Johnson needs time to shore up support or wants to head for a vote quickly, floor action on his nomination will proceed after that.
Jordain Carney contributed to this report.  

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