House Republicans have nominated Rep. Mike Johnson for the Speakership, making him the caucus’ fourth nominee for the position in the past three weeks.
A chamber-wide vote is expected to begin around 12:30pm this afternoon, at which point both the Republican and Democrat caucuses will officially nominate their selected representatives and a roll call vote will commence.
If every member of Congress is in the chamber for today’s vote — and no one opts to vote “present” — a candidate will need to receive at least 217 votes to successfully be installed as Speaker of the House.
Prior to Rep. Johnson’s nomination late last night, another Republican nominee for the Speakership had already come and gone.
Yesterday afternoon, the Republican caucus had moved to nominate Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) — House Majority Whip and the senior-most candidate running for the nomination at the time.
According to reporting from the Washington Post, multiple rounds of voting preceded Emmer’s selection, narrowing down the large field of GOP representatives who had submitted their names for consideration by the caucus.
The final count showed 117 votes in support of Emmer and 97 in favor of Johnson.
Following this, the Republican caucus moved to hold a roll call vote “to find out where the problems are,” according to comment provided to the Washington Post by Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA).
When asked how many opposition votes remained against Emmer, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) told reporters “too many.”
Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY) quantified the number of no-votes prevailing against Emmer as “more than 20.”
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) pinpointed the number of representatives still in opposition to Emmer’s nomination and described for the press the process going on behind closed doors this afternoon.
“The 20 are being given the opportunity to come to the microphone and explain why they are holding out and hear Emmer’s responses,” Rep. Garcia said. “That’s the right process we should have been doing all along.”
“Tom Emmer is putting on a masterclass in there about how to stand in the fire and answer questions in front of a room of 200, frankly, very opinionated members,” Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) told the media.
Around 4:30pm last night, however, Emmer announced that he was dropping out of the race — just four hours after his nomination — before “storm[ing]” out of the meeting room and “rac[ing] to his security detail’s car, according to reporting from the Washington Post.
Rep. Mike Flood (R-NE) told reporters “more than well over a hundred” Republicans who would be willing to vote for the caucus’ nominee regardless of who it turned out to be.
In an effort to speed up the nominating process at this point, Rep. John Duarte (R-CA) told reporters that in lieu of a candidate forum, the remaining contenders for the Speakership would simply deliver short speeches to their fellow GOP representatives.
By 6:30pm, the candidates were fielding questions from other members of the caucus.
Although the House adjourned for the night shortly before 7pm, the Republican caucus continued to meet behind closed doors.
Around 8:30pm, the caucus embarked upon another series of votes in hopes of nominating a speaker designee.
Runner-up Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL) received 29 votes. 43 representatives voted in favor of Former Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). One representative voted “other,” while another representative voted “present.”
The House Republican caucus then held a roll call vote to gauge how much support Johnson would be able to receive in a chamber-wide vote.
Reporting from the Washington Post reveals that the representatives erupted in occasional cheers as the roll call was held, but a final tally has not been released as of yet.
“Democracy is messy sometimes but it is our system,” Johnson told reporters after the roll call vote. “This conference that you see — this House Republican majority — is united.”
This morning, several key members of the GOP caucus came out in support of Johnson’s nomination.
Rep. McCarthy posted a message this morning on X publicly backing Johnson for the Speakership.
“[Johnson] is a friend, fighter, and principled conservative who can get the job done,” McCarthy wrote. “He has my full support as Speaker. We’ll keep working together to put our country first and fulfill our Commitment to America.”
.@RepMikeJohnson is a friend, fighter, and principled conservative who can get the job done.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) October 25, 2023
He has my full support as Speaker. We’ll keep working together to put our country first and fulfill our Commitment to America.
Former Speaker of the House nominee Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) posted a lengthy message on X supporting Johnson.
“I am proud to support my dear friend [Johnson] for Speaker of the House,” Rep. Scalise wrote. “Mike is a strong leader who has the full support of our entire Conference, and has a proven track record as a conservative leader who will fight for the American people against President Biden’s radical agenda that is crushing hardworking families.”
“Mike has already done a fantastic job serving as Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, and on the Judiciary Committee, he has been a key voice in our investigations holding the Biden Administration accountable,” Scalise said.
“Mike is honest, hardworking, and principled – he is a great man and will make a great Speaker,” Scalise posted. “I look forward to continuing to work with my good friend to get this country back on track and deliver results for American families who deserve better from Washington.”
“Congratulations to my friend, Speaker-designate Mike Johnson,” concluded Scalise.
I am proud to support my dear friend @RepMikeJohnson for Speaker of the House. Mike is a strong leader who has the full support of our entire Conference, and has a proven track record as a conservative leader who will fight for the American people against President Biden’s…— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) October 25, 2023
Another former nominee for the Speakership, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) also posted on X.
“Congratulations to my good friend [Johnson],” Rep. Jordan wrote. “He’s done a great job on the Judiciary Committee. Always prepared. Always ready to take on the Swamp.”
“The House needs a Speaker,” Jordan wrote. “And it needs to be him.”
Congratulations to my good friend @RepMikeJohnson.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) October 25, 2023
He’s done a great job on the Judiciary Committee.
Always prepared. Always ready to take on the Swamp.
The House needs a Speaker.
And it needs to be him.
Emmer also posted on X in support of Johnson’s nomination.
“House Republicans have had tremendous success when we worked as a team,” Emmer wrote. “We will come together and get back to winning for the American people with [Johnson] as our Speaker.”
“I look forward to supporting him on the Floor and getting back to work,” Emmer said.
House Republicans have had tremendous success when we worked as a team.— Tom Emmer (@GOPMajorityWhip) October 25, 2023
We will come together and get back to winning for the American people with @RepMikeJohnson as our Speaker. I look forward to supporting him on the Floor and getting back to work!
As of now, it remains to be seen if House Republicans will unite behind Johnson in this afternoon’s chamber-wide vote.
Read the Maine Wire’s On-Going Coverage of This Story