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Tags: johnson | house | speaker | gop | vote | 2024 elections | challenges

New House Speaker Johnson Facing 5 Key Issues

By    |   Thursday, 26 October 2023 09:25 AM EDT

While House Republicans unanimously elected Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., to be the new speaker 220-209 Wednesday, the 51-year-old MAGA conservative will now have to successfully navigate five key challenges to keep the conference together and in the majority come 2024, The Hill reported Tuesday.

Johnson emerged as the conference candidate for the job after closed door votes Wednesday morning and defeated House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., in the floor vote in the afternoon.

He was able to bring together members of a seemingly fractured party after the ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., three weeks ago, and three rounds of voting that saw the likes of House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., fall short of the 217 votes needed to win the gavel.

With that gavel now in hand, Johnson faces five key challenges to maintain the position going forward, the report said.

According to The Hill, the first issue is keeping his conference unified after bitter infighting brought on by the vote earlier in the month to remove McCarthy from the speaker's chair.

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of the House Republicans Freedom Caucus, brought the motion to vacate the chair to the floor because he and other GOP members were upset with the way McCarthy worked with Democrats to approve a stop gap spending plan to avoid a government shutdown Sept. 30.

The three subsequent speaker vote battles, before Johnson, seemed to widen the gap within the conference until his unanimous victory Wednesday that members hope to begin to heal the wounds.

The second issue Johnson will have to deal with is keeping the government open past the Nov. 17 deadline to pass a new spending measure to close out the year.

One of the key Republican sticking points with McCarthy was the continued use of omnibus bills and continuing resolutions that lump spending together instead of votes on each measure.

The report said that this issue doomed McCarthy's speakership.

The third issue for Johnson is how he decides to deal with the war between Russia and Ukraine as support among voters to aid Ukraine continues to dwindle.

The Hill's report said a poll released Wednesday by The Economist/YouGov shows a 38% plurality of Republican voters want to decrease Ukrainian aid, compared to 11% of Democrats having that view.

The same poll found 34% of Republicans want to maintain current aid levels and 15% want it increased.

The next issue for Johnson will be how he deals with former President Donald Trump, according to the report.

Johnson has been a close ally to Trump and supported his legal opposition to the 2020 election results that put President Joe Biden in the White House.

The report said Democrats will likely make him a target in the 2024 elections as an "extremist" in their bid to retake the majority in the House.

That leads into the fifth challenge The Hill reports Johnson must face as speaker, keeping the majority in the chamber.

Republicans hold just a five-vote majority in the House, 221-212 with two vacant seats, and Democrats will be campaigning hard to retake 18 districts that voted for Biden in 2020 but flipped Republican in the 2022 midterms.

As part of his speaker responsibilities, Johnson must also help incumbent Republicans keep their seats as well as support GOP candidates in competitive races.

Both former Speakers Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and McCarthy were key in fundraising in that effort.

It remains to be seen if Johnson can meet that level.

Charles Kim

Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


Politics
While House Republicans unanimously elected Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., to be the new speaker Wednesday, the 51-year-old MAGA conservative will now have to successfully navigate five key challenges to keep the conference together and in the majority come 2024.
johnson, house, speaker, gop, vote, 2024 elections, challenges, unity, majority
592
2023-25-26
Thursday, 26 October 2023 09:25 AM
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