US Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana is the new Speaker of the House. He secured the job on Wednesday with 220 votes. He only needed 215 votes after several members — three Democrats and one Republican — were absent.
Republicans selected Johnson as their nominee on Tuesday night, just hours after Rep. Tom Emmer dropped his bid for the job.
Emmer was selected by the Republican caucus earlier in the day, but quickly realized he would not be able to get the 217 votes needed to become speaker.
Johnson emerged as the favorite of House Republicans due to his ability to unify the most conservative members of his party and the moderates.
First elected to Congress in 2016, Johnson represents Louisiana's 4th district, which covers the northwest part of the state.
He easily won reelection in bids in 2018 and 2020. He ran unopposed in 2022.
The House has been without a speaker for three weeks. Rep. Kevin McCarthy was ousted as House speaker on Oct. 4 after fellow Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz filed a motion to vacate. He was removed the next day when Gaetz and seven other Republicans voted against McCarthy's speakership. McCarthy could only lose four Republican votes due to the slim majority the party holds in the House.
Now that Johnson is speaker, he will have to immediately get to work. The House is coming up on numerous important deadlines. Lawmakers will have to pass a bill by mid-November to keep the government open. President Joe Biden has also requested $150 billion in a national security package, which includes aid for Israel, Ukraine and funding to secure the U.S.-Mexico border.