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Republicans appoint a new speaker of the House

Gage Skidmore
Republican Mike Johnson was chosen as the new speaker of the House after a unanimous vote from Congress Oct. 25. Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore / Flickr

After three weeks of trials and errors, House Republicans ended their 22 days of political chaos in search for a new speaker of the House with Rep. Mike Johnson, a conservative Republican from Louisiana. Congress officials came together in unity to vote unanimously for Johnson Oct. 25 and laid to rest former speaker Kevin McCarthy’s historic ouster. 

A notorious position in Washington D.C., one that comes with high responsibilities and challenges that Johnson will face throughout his term. But as Republicans pass the gavel down to him, one might ask themselves, what exactly is the speaker of the house, and why it’s so important?   

In simple terms, the appointed person oversees the lower chamber of Congress and leads the House of Representatives along with their majority party unified behind initiatives. Historically, past speakers were a part of their majority party, like Democrat Nancy Pelosi, who stepped down earlier this year, Jan. 3, who some consider one of the most effective speakers.   

Besides supervising daily business and setting up voting agendas, those in the position can make or break the elected U.S. President’s agenda and spearhead their party’s dangerous or good legislative plans. So whenever the seat becomes vacant, both parties try to keep their majority in the house during election season so they can elect one of their members to sit on the throne-like ceremonial chair.  

Republicans, who are in majority of the House of Representatives are a leaderless party and an empty chair, which is when Johnson emerged victorious on the house floor Wednesday night in a report from PBS News Hour, told Congress they must win back the faith in the American people.    

“Their faith is at an-time low. One of the reasons they have lost is because Congress over the years has not delivered for the American people well enough,” Johnson said. “More strength and a lot of hope, that’s what we’re about to deliver to the American people.” 

The party’s fourth nominee for speaker during the three weeks of division, Johnson stole the spotlight from Rep. Steve Scalise, Tom Emmer, and recently Jim Jordan. A lawmaker who joined Congress in 2017 is now second in line for the presidency but has little to no experience in the House or leadership, with less than seven years under his belt. 

“Be interesting to see how the House runs if they choose a speaker that has no experience in leadership or committee chair,” Sen. Mitt Romney said in a report from NBC News. “Inexperience seems to be a qualification.” 

In the past most speakers like Pelosi or McCarthy had 20 or 16 years of experience, Johnson with seven years now has a shorter length of service in modern history.  

Despite his relatively inexperienced speaker skills, Johnson shares a brief history of the efforts to overturn the 2020 election and used his craft to create some controversial theories on the matter. An ally for former President Donald Trump, who was indicted this year and is currently on trial over a lawsuit for business fraud, got his stamp of approval.   

“I think he’s going to be a fantastic speaker,” Trump said reported by AP News 

The new speaker also has a strong history of leaning toward conservative voting and has a record of voting against LGBTQ+ rights and legal abortion with an “A+” rating from a pro-life organization, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.   

With the house back in session, Johnson has now hit the ground running with duties and will face a daunting task with the obstacle of avoiding a looming government shutdown Nov. 17, when all government functions and funds will expire.   

Erik Acosta is the web and copy editor and may be reached at [email protected] 

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About the Contributor
Erik Acosta
Erik Acosta, Editor-in-Chief
Erik Acosta is the editor-in-chief for The Prospector. He is a senior majoring in multimedia journalism with a minor in theatre. He plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism and print with hopes of working at LA times, Washington Post and ABC News.
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