House lawmakers on Wednesday elected little-known Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana as the 56th speaker of the House on Wednesday, capping more than three weeks of dysfunction and chaos on Capitol Hill. It's a stunning rise for the conservative Donald Trump ally and low-ranking member of the GOP leadership team who is now second in line to the presidency. While known for his affability, Johnson is arguably the most ideologically conservative person to serve as speaker since Newt Gingrich in the 1990s, and he played an instrumental role in the GOP's effort to overturn the 2020 election.
After weeks of disarray, the GOP demonstrated remarkable unity: All 220 Republicans cast their vote for Johnson, while all 209 Democrats voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries of New York. "We want our allies around the world to know that this body of lawmakers is again to our duty stations," Johnson said in his address to the House chamber after his election. "Let the enemies of freedom around the world hear us loud and clear — the people’s House is back in business.” Johnson's election on the floor represents a temporary cease-fire in a GOP civil war that began when Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and seven other GOP rebels teamed with Democrats to oust Republican Kevin McCarthy from the speaker’s office.