SC's House Republicans back Mike Johnson for speaker after weeks of GOP infighting
After 22 days without a permanent U.S. House speaker, Republicans elected Rep. Mike Johnson on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2023, to succeed former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
After 22 days without a permanent leader, House Republicans on Wednesday elected Rep. Mike Johnson as the next speaker.
Johnson, of Louisiana, succeeds former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted earlier this month when eight Republicans, who included South Carolina's 1st District Congresswoman Nancy Mace, voted with Democrats to fire the California Republican.
On Wednesday, all six South Carolina House Republicans backed Johnson, 51.
Johnson won the leadership post with 220 votes to House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries' 209 votes in the first round of voting.
“The people’s House is back in business,” Johnson said after taking the gavel.
Congressman Jim Clyburn, the state's lone Democrat in Congress, voted again to elect Jeffries.
During Wednesday's voting, individual Democrats stood to call out Johnson's stance against same-sex marriage and sought to connect Johnson, a lawyer who specializes in constitutional issues, to former President Donald Trump after Johnson helped garner support over Trump's legal efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
Wednesday's vote ends the weekslong GOP infighting after McCarthy was booted and Republicans failed to unite behind one candidate with Reps. Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and, as recently as Tuesday, Tom Emmer, exiting the race.
"Eight of us had the audacity to listen to the American people and vote to vacate the former Speaker. We told the American people they deserved someone who would be honest and represent their interests, not Washington’s," Mace, one of the eight who voted to boot McCarthy, posted to X Wednesday after the vote.
"There is no denying this was a difficult process, but one that was well worth it," she added in part.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.