Rep Mike Johnson is now the latest lawmaker to secure the GOP nomination for the next House speaker – becoming the fourth nominee in just two weeks as the Republican party remains wracked by infighting and an inability to unite around a candidate.
With just 128 votes in a secret closed-door session, he – like the previous three nominees – still has a major uphill battle to secure the 217 votes needed to take the gavel.
Speaking to reporters after he secured the nomination, Mr Johnson brushed off the chaos as Republicans clamour to find a new speaker.
“Democracy is messy sometimes, but it is our system,” he said. “This House Republican majority is united.”
Mr Emmer’s speaker bid lasted only four hours before he dropped out in the face of steadfast opposition from Donald Trump allies.
The former president attacked Mr Emmer as a “Globalist RINO” in a Truth Social post.
“I have many wonderful friends wanting to be Speaker of the House, and some are truly great Warriors. RINO Tom Emmer, who I do not know well, is not one of them. He never respected the Power of a Trump Endorsement, or the breadth and scope of MAGA—MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote.
“I believe he has now learned his lesson, because he is saying that he is Pro-Trump all the way, but who can ever be sure? Has he only changed because that’s what it takes to win?
“The Republican Party cannot take that chance, because that’s not where the America First Voters are. Voting for a Globalist RINO like Tom Emmer would be a tragic mistake!”
Mr Trump then later tried to claim credit for “killing” Mr Emmer’s bid, posting a link to an article by Politico, titled “‘I killed him’: How Trump torpedoed Tom Emmer’s speaker bid”.
“He’s done. It’s over. I killed him,” Mr Trump allegedly told an ally, per the report.
The House of Representatives has now been without a speaker for three weeks since Kevin McCarthy was ousted by a rebel faction led by Maga Republican Matt Gaetz.
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