Johnson elected House speaker

By Tony Bertuca / October 25, 2023 at 1:51 PM

(Editor's note: This story has been updated to include new information on a House resolution to condemn Hamas.)

Republicans, after weeks of intraparty acrimony and derailed nominees, pulled together today to elect Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be the next House speaker, replacing the ousted Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

Johnson was elected by a vote of 220-209. House Democrats all voted against Johnson, backing Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).

Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services and Judiciary committees, has released a “dear colleague” letter stating his intention to seek a stopgap continuing resolution that would extend government funding until either Jan. 15 or April 15.

“We all understand that our next Speaker must be prepared to negotiate from a position of strength with the Democrat-controlled Senate and White House. The only way to secure that position is for the House to have passed all twelve of our appropriations measures,” Johnson wrote in the letter.

The current CR under which the federal government is operating expires Nov. 17.

Meanwhile, Pentagon officials have said they need Congress to pass a full-year defense appropriations bill as soon as possible, along with President Biden’s emergency supplemental spending package so the U.S. military can address crises in Ukraine and Israel.

In a speech following his election, Johnson said his first priority would be to pass a bill intended to support Israel in its conflict against Hamas. The House later voted overwhelmingly for a resolution condemning Hamas.