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Johnson elected as House Speaker, averting potential government shutdown

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In the latest turn of events, the U.S. House of Representatives elected Rep. Mike Johnson as Speaker on Wednesday, ending a leadership vacuum that began with the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy on October 3, 2023. Johnson’s election comes after unsuccessful attempts by three other GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.

Johnson secured his position with 220 votes against 209 for Democratic candidate House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries. The newly-elected Speaker is a key figure in addressing significant issues such as supporting Israel and Ukraine in their ongoing conflicts and passing a budget bill to prevent a government shutdown next month.

Before his successful bid, Johnson served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference and former chair of the Republican Study Committee. His nomination was endorsed by former President Donald Trump via social media, urging Republicans to quickly confirm Johnson’s nomination after Emmer withdrew due to lack of support from hardline colleagues.

In his political career, Johnson led an unsuccessful legal brief in Texas seeking Supreme Court intervention in the 2020 vote counting in swing states won by President Joe Biden. He is also known for supporting a short-term budget bill, also referred to as a continuing resolution (CR), which maintains current government funding levels until January 15 or April 15.

With the election of a new speaker, analysts predict that a government shutdown on November 17 seems unlikely, despite Johnson’s past opposition to additional aid for Ukraine. The primary agenda on November 17 will be the $106 billion military aid supplemental focused on Ukraine, Israel, and the U.S.-Mexico border.

This article was generated with the support of AI and reviewed by an editor. For more information see our T&C.

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