(Cover Image: Now Speaker of the House of Representative Mike Johnson, via the House of Representatives)
After three weeks of American political turmoil and Republican Party infighting, a new Speaker of the House of Representatives has finally been elected. After the ousting of Kevin McCarthy from the position, Mike Johnson — a Louisiana Republican serving as the representative for the state’s fourth district — has secured victory over all other candidates, largely by default.
According to CNN, Steve Scalise dropped out due to a lack of support from within his own party, and according to the Associated Press, Trump ally Jim Jordan dropped out after a series of decreasing votes for him. Following this, Tom Emmer threw his hat in the ring for the nomination, but was unable to secure the support of former President Donald Trump, thereby forcing him to drop out. This led to Mike Johnson becoming the nominee, and with enough support within his own party, securing a victory against all odds. So, now that a Speaker of the House has finally been elected, what does this mean for the future?
With the return of the House of Representatives to the standard working order, the political chaos has stabilized ever so slightly, allowing for votes on pressing issues to return. The first piece of legislation brought up by Johnson, a resolution on giving vocal support to Israel in its current conflict, passed with overwhelming bipartisan support. This signals a return to a state of relative normalcy for United States politics, a continuation of decades of foreign policy. However, there are several other pressing issues in American politics right now, most notably the budget.
With global conflicts unfolding and a chaotic battle for the Speaker of the House, many have forgotten that a government shutdown is still possibly on the horizon. Due to partisan funding issues, a consensus over the amount of money spent on government agencies has not been able to be reached, leaving just three weeks for a shutdown to be avoided. This is one of the most pressing issues currently facing the House of Representatives, one that was a part of the reason Kevin McCarthy was removed from the position in the first place.
Mike Johnson now faces an uphill battle to prevent a government shutdown. With both of the primary American political parties having budgetary differences that have thus far been unable to be reconciled, it is going to take a lot to carefully walk between the aisle and pass spending measures. Now, Johnson must carefully consider all of his moves, lest he become the next Kevin McCarthy.
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