Louisiana Congressman Officially Joins the Race for House Speaker
WASHINGTON D.C. (KPEL News) - While one Louisiana congressman wasn't able to win the Speaker's gavel in the U.S. House of Representatives, another is stepping up to run for the spot.
Following last week's failed bid for Speaker by Louisiana Congressman and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, many conservatives had hoped Jim Jordan would be able to unite the Republican conference. However, Jordan ultimately lost support after multiple votes and the conference voted to remove him as their nominee for Speaker.
The result is now a free-for-all of multiple people seeking the job. One of those people is another Louisiana congressman, Mike Johnson.
In a letter sent to colleagues on Saturday morning, Johnson told Republicans that "At this critical juncture, our House Republican majority must provide principled leadership."
Johnson's name has come up in the race before, but he ultimately backed Scalise for Speaker, and then supported Jordan's bid. But after it became clear Jordan didn't have a path forward, Republicans cleared the slate.
Johnson is one of a handful of Republicans now to seek the job. Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida is, like Jordan, a House Freedom Caucus member. He announced on Friday that he was seeking the job.
Tom Emmer, the Republican Majority Whip, will also be running, though there are currently reports that former president Donald Trump is rallying his supporters against Emmer.
A few other names have also been mentioned in media reports, including Pete Sessions of Texas and Jack Bergman of Michigan.
The House is expected to return to session on Monday, with both parties hoping to have a new Speaker installed soon. The Democrats have been united behind the Minority Leader, Hakeem Jeffries, but Republicans have yet to consolidate behind a single candidate.
You can read Congressman Mike Johnson's full letter to his colleagues below.
We are facing together one of the most fateful moments in our nation's history.
As Israel is viciously attacked, Russia, China and our other adversaries are becoming more emboldened.
Our national debt has surpassed $33.5 trillion, our southern border is overrun, violent crime is rampant, and the rising cost of living is crushing our constituents. Powerful federal agencies have been weaponized against the people and their faith in government is nearly lost. The president is clearly incapable of leading and the Senate is unwilling.
At this critical juncture, our House Republican majority must provide principled leadership. It is our duty to chart a new path, and answer with clarity and conviction who we are, why we are here, and what we are fighting for. As Scripture reminds us, "Where there is no vision, the people perish." (Prov. 29:18)
I have been humbled to have so many Members from across our Conference reach out to encourage me to seek the nomination for Speaker. Until yesterday, I had never contacted one person about this, and I have never before aspired to the office. However, after much prayer and deliberation, I am stepping forward now.
Although I feel a great responsibility for our cause and I have a clear vision and plan for how to lead us through these unprecedented challenges I demurred until now out of admiration and respect for our rules, the process, and the good men involved. Kevin, Steve, Jim, and Austin have all been faithful friends and brothers to me, and I believe we should give honor where honor is due. Each of the new candidates deserve the same.
It incumbent upon us now to decide upon a consensus candidate who can serve as a trusted caretaker and a good steward of the gavel. We must govern well, and expand our majority next year. To get Congress reopened, our Conference operating on all cylinders, and all our Members engaged and working together again as one team, I believe the next Speaker must commit to the following key priorities:
- RESTORE TRUST by ensuring total transparency, open processes, and regular order.
- ADVANCE A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY AGENDA supported by Conference consensus.
- PROMOTE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS, and thus the whole team, by working to understand and emphasize each Member's unique strengths, district dynamics and challenges, and individual goals and objectives. The Speaker should ensure each Member is positioned to be of their highest and best use, and provide strategic Member development programs.
- ENGAGE MEMBERS in productive working groups to formulate solutions in key policy areas and enhance our internal communications and team building.
- EFFECTIVELY MESSAGE to persuasively inform the Republican base and the American people of our policy agenda, why we are pursuing it, and how it will ensure liberty, opportunity, and security for all Americans.
- BUILD AND UTILIZE EXTERNAL COALITIONS in the conservative ecosphere, including think tanks, policy groups, and other allied organizations that can contribute to our efforts.
- DEVELOP AND GROW OUR MAJORITY by building upon our resources and expanding the base to successfully advance our conservative vision and agenda.
We all agree the urgency of this hour demands a specific plan and bold, decisive action. It also demands a leader who will humble himself each day before Almighty God, selflessly serve the full membership of this body, and fight ceaselessly for our core conservative principles and policies.
The complex role of Speaker at this time requires a team player and a bridge-builder with endless energy and a unique mix of skills and experiences. My extensive background in law, policy, strategic analysis, messaging, managing, networking, and building coalitions happens to have served as uncommon preparation for the extraordinary demands of this day.
I spent more than 20 years fighting on the front lines of the culture as a constitutional law attorney, successfully litigating high profile cases in courts nationwide to defend and preserve the fundamental freedoms and conservative principles that define us and our great country. Along the way, I have served as legal counsel, policy analyst, and national media spokesman for some of our nation's most prominent conservative organizations, a college professor, a conservative talk radio host, and a small business owner.
Last fall, you unanimously re-elected me to serve a second term as Vice Chairman of this Conference to help implement our Republican agenda and prosecute our case against the Democrats on the House Floor. When I was called upon to serve as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee in my second term, I led the largest caucus to what all agree was one of its most productive seasons in its 50-year history. I would bring that same level of organization, dedication, and team emphasis to this new role.
We cannot overstate the importance of our current challenge. I believe the survival and future of our republic may well be decided over the next twelve months. I believe that each one of us was specifically for this moment and called and equipped by our Creator for the battle ahead. And I believe that real leadership is recognized, not imposed.
It is my greatest honor to serve with all of you in this decisive time, and I would be humbled to earn your support and, by God's grace, lead our historic cause as your Speaker.
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