Rep. Mike Johnson voted new House speaker

By Mike Hayes, Kaanita Iyer, Elise Hammond and Shania Shelton, CNN

Updated 7:01 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023
57 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
6:55 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

Rep. Mike Johnson has been elected speaker. Here's what to know

Johnson takes the oath to be the new House speaker \ at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Johnson takes the oath to be the new House speaker \ at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, October 25, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) Alex Brandon/AP

After three weeks without a speaker, the House voted Wednesday to elect Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana.

Johnson secured the gavel without losing any GOP votes. The final tally was 220 votes for Johnson and 209 for House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries.

Here are the key things to know:

  • Johnson is a Trump ally. The speaker was a key congressional figure in the failed efforts to overturn the 2020 election for former President Donald Trump. He sent an email from a personal account in 2020 to every House Republican soliciting signatures for an amicus brief in the long-shot Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate electoral college votes from multiple states.
  • He now faces pressing issues, including a potential shutdown. Government funding is set to expire on November 17, and the GOP-controlled House will need to work with the Democratic-led Senate to avert a shutdown. Lawmakers must also consider aid to Ukraine and Israel.
  • He's pushing for an "aggressive schedule." Johnson said following his victory that the House will move swiftly on several legislation, alluding to the GOP infighting that paralyzed the House. In the first vote under his speakership, House lawmakers passed a resolution in support of Israel with bipatisan votes.

CNN's Piper Hudspeth Blackburn, Shania Shelton, Clare Foran, Haley Talbot, Sam Fossum, Morgan Rimmer and Kristin Wilson contributed reporting to this post.

6:43 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

Swing-district Republican attacks Democrats who heckled him over his support for Johnson

From CNN's Haley Talbot, Manu Raju, and Sam Fossum

House Republican Mike Lawler, who comes from a New York swing district, dismissed concerns that his vote for speaker Mike Johnson could hurt him with voters back home and attacked Democrats who heckled him on the floor this afternoon. 

When asked about Johnson's stance on social issues and his effort to gather signatures in a Texas lawsuit to invalidate electoral college votes in the 2020 election, Lawler downplayed any concern. He added: “Within any conference you’re going to have differences of opinion.”

“I’ve been very clear where I am on these issues," Lawler told CNN. "Certainly the speaker can defend his own positions. But we’re going to have to work as a conference 221 members currently to get to 218 to pass legislation on the floor."

Just as Lawler voted for Johnson on the floor this afternoon, a member from across the aisle shouted, “Bye bye!” alluding to his uphill battle in a frontline district. Lawler said he is “not really worried about a few heckles from Democrats in the chamber” and “the people in my district understand who I am.” 

“The reality is no matter who I voted for for speaker, they would have found fault with, no matter who I supported the would have found fault with. So, let’s be real here,” he added. 
6:06 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

House passes resolution in support of Israel in war against Hamas

From CNN's Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson and Haley Talbot

The House passed a resolution in support of Israel in the war against Hamas – the first measure to come to the floor after Speaker Mike Johnson was elected earlier Wednesday following three weeks without a speaker.

The final tally was 412 to 10. 

Nine Democrats voted against the resolution:

  • Rep. Rashida Tlaib
  • Rep. Cori Bush
  • Rep. Jamaal Bowman
  • Rep. Andre Carson
  • Rep. Al Green
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
  • Rep. Summer Lee
  • Rep. Delia Ramirez
  • Rep. Ilhan Omar

Six other Democrats voted present:

  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal
  • Rep. Joaquin Castro
  • Rep. Nydia Velázquez
  • Rep. Greg Casar
  • Rep. Jesus Garcia
  • Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Rep. Thomas Massie was the sole Republican who voted against the measure.

5:00 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

House voting now to pass resolution in support of Israel in war against Hamas

From CNN's Clare Foran, Kristin Wilson and Haley Talbot

The House is now voting to pass a resolution in support of Israel in the war against Hamas – the first measure to come to the floor to be passed after Speaker Mike Johnson was elected this morning following three weeks of a speakerless-House.

This is expected to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. 


4:45 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

GOP Rep. Bice considering running for Johnson's former leadership role

From CNN's Haley Talbot

GOP Rep. Stephanie Bice of Oklahoma is considering a run for conference vice chair – the leadership role previously occupied by now-Speaker Mike Johnson, according to her spokesperson.

She is having conversations with her colleagues, her spokesperson said.

4:29 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

Biden spoke with newly minted Speaker Mike Johnson

From CNN's Donald Judd

President Joe Biden spoke with newly minted Speaker Mike Johnson to congratulate him on his win, the White House said.

“This afternoon, President Biden called Speaker of the House Mike Johnson to congratulate him on his election, and expressed that he looks forward to working together to find common ground on behalf of the American people,” the White House said in a statement to pool.

4:26 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

House conservatives signal they'll give Johnson more runway on spending bills

From CNN's Lauren Fox and Lauren Koenig

House conservatives are signaling they’ll give the newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson some runway and flexibility as the House barrels toward a November 17 spending deadline to fund the government.

This marks a clear departure from how those same members viewed former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision earlier this month to put a short-term spending bill on the floor, which ultimately led to his ouster. 

“I have never been comfortable with CRs (continuing resolutions), but it … is going to be difficult for Mike and anyone who steps into that job, but I think he is going to do a great job,” Rep. Eli Crane, a Republican, told CNN. 

Pressed on whether conservatives might give Johnson some leeway when it comes to keeping the government open, Crane said: “You know it is very possible that there will be Democrat and Republican votes working together. That being said, I think that just how he is going to lead, it is going to make it easier for everyone to follow his lead.”

In a letter to colleagues earlier Wednesday, Johnson outlined his first priority will be trying to pass the remaining spending bills that have so far languished in the House one by one. But Johnson indicated that given the time constraints, if those bills can’t pass quickly, he’d look to fund to government using what is known as a short-term spending bill or continuing resolution that would run either through January 15 or April 15, whichever the conference supports. 

Conservatives are largely still calling for spending cuts and may even demand them in a short-term spending bill. Asked if he would back a short-term spending bill through January, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Scott Perry told CNN only “if it cuts spending.”

“We don’t support a clean CR, I don’t support a clean CR,” he said. 

But the same members are warning they do believe Johnson starts in a more solid place with conservatives than McCarthy did. 

“There is a new level of trust with Speaker Johnson that did not exist previously,” Rep. Bob Good told CNN. “That’s why we have a new speaker.” 

The reality for Johnson is that the same dynamics that befell McCarthy will exist for him.

The Senate and the White House are still controlled by Democrats and any spending bill passed will need Democratic support to become law and avert a shutdown. But what you hear from conservatives – at least in the minutes before and after Johnson won the speaker’s election – is they are willing to give some room for Johnson to maneuver in his new role. 

Asked if he would bring a vote to oust Johnson if he put forth a short-term spending bill at current spending levels, Rep. Matt Gaetz said he’s optimistic Johnson will be able to actually pass the individual spending bills. 

The challenge for House Republicans is they still have eight more spending bills to pass including two that have been stuck in committee because of disagreements within GOP ranks. In his letter to colleagues, Johnson set out an aggressive time table for passing the bills, but the issue will be finding a way to pass the legislation in just a narrow GOP majority.  

Conservatives are signaling that they feel more optimistic that Johnson will be able to unify the conference.

“The door to the speaker’s office now is open to the members and to the constituents, not just the lobbyists,” Rep. Matt Rosendale told reporters. 

The members who ousted McCarthy also told reporters that they have no regrets now about ousting McCarthy.

4:18 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

Johnson enters speaker’s office for first time since being sworn in

From CNN's Morgan Rimmer

House Speaker Mike Johnson entered the speaker's office for the first time after being sworn in, with his new name plate hanging above the door.

He did not answer shouted questions from the press. 

4:03 p.m. ET, October 25, 2023

House expected to vote on resolution in support of Israel Wednesday afternoon

From CNN's Clare Foran and Haley Talbot

Speaker-elect Rep. Mike Johnson address members of congress at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday.
Speaker-elect Rep. Mike Johnson address members of congress at the Capitol in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. Alex Brandon/AP

The House is expected to vote on a resolution in support of Israel on Wednesday afternoon, according to a notice from the House Democratic whip.

The timing of the vote has been pushed, and it is now expect this around 4:45 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. ET.

It will need to come up as a suspension vote — an expedited process that requires a two-thirds majority for passage. 

Sources told CNN earlier Wednesday that there was a "big push" to bring the bill to the floor once the House elected a new speaker. Rep. Mike Johnson secured the speakership with 220 votes.

"The first bill that I'll bring to this floor in just a little while will be in support of our dear friend Israel," Johnson said during his first remarks after being elected House Speaker. "We're overdue in getting that done."

There’s a strong desire among Republicans to show a functioning House after being paralyzed for weeks following the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. 

"We're going to show not only Israel but the entire world that the barbarism of Hamas that we have all seen play out on our television screens is wretched and wrong and we're going to stand for the good in that conflict," Johnson said.