Washington: Republican Mike Johnson is the new speaker of the House, but the ally of Donald Trump inherits many of the same political problems that have tormented past GOP leaders, tested their grasp of the gavel and eventually chased them out of office.
By Nov. 17, the Congress must fund the government again or risk a federal shutdown. President Joe Biden wants an additional $105 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Israel and Ukraine. And Republicans are eager to resume their impeachment inquiry into Biden over his son’s business dealings.
“This has been a grueling process,” Johnson said Wednesday after he took the gavel. “The challenge before us is great but the time for action is now, and I will not let you down.”
Johnson, 51, swept through on the first ballot with support from all Republicans anxious to put the past weeks of tumult behind and get on with the business of governing. He was quickly sworn into office, second in line to the presidency.
A lower-ranked member of the House GOP leadership team, Johnson emerged as the fourth Republican nominee in what had become an almost absurd cycle of political infighting since McCarthy’s ouster as GOP factions jockeyed for power.
While not the party’s top choice for the gavel, the deeply religious and even-keeled Johnson has few foes and an important GOP backer: Trump.
“He’s a tremendous leader,” Trump said Wednesday at the New York courthouse where the former president, who is now the Republican front-runner for president in 2024, is on trial over a lawsuit alleging business fraud. “He’s going to make us all proud.”