The House has been without a Speaker for nearly three weeks, after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was outsted from the position earlier this month in a historic vote.
While House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) was the conference’s first nominee, he withdrew a day later, citing concerns he couldn’t garner the 217 votes needed to be elected. Jordan, the second nominee, also failed to reach a majority — even after three ballots.
House Republicans will meet again on Monday evening before hopefully announcing a new nominee on Tuesday.
Sunday at noon is the deadline for candidates to file candidacy.
House Republican Vice Chairman Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Saturday joined the now-crowded field of candidates vying for the gavel.
Here’s what you need to know about him.
Time in the Louisiana state legislature
Johnson served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from 2015 to 2017. He was elected twice without opposition.
While in the Louisiana House, he was appointed vice chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee and to the Select Committee on Leadership.
Election to Congress
Johnson was elected to Congress in December 2016 and represents Louisiana’s fourth district.
In 2018, he was involved in GOP efforts to overhaul the Endangered Species Act (ESA), introducing legislation to do so.
“We cannot allow the fear of challenging the status quo to prevent us from taking a hard look at the ineffective policies put in place decades ago that have failed to meet the goals of the underlying statute,” Johnson said at the time.
Johnson is a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services committees. He also serves as chairman of the subcommittee on Constitution and Limited Government.
In 2020, Johnson signed an amicus brief alongside over 100 House Republicans supporting a Texas lawsuit that aimed to overturn the 2020 election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
“President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress,” Johnson posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, after the brief was introduced. “Indeed, ‘this is the big one!’”
He is also a member of many caucuses, including the Congressional Prayer Caucus, the Western Caucus, the Border Caucus, among others.
Serving as vice chairman of Republican Conference
Johnson was elected vice chairman of the Republican Conference first in 2021, and again in 2022.
In an important vote attempting to codify the federal protection of same-sex marriage in July 2022, Johnson noted that his fellow GOP lawmakers had space to choose how they wanted to vote — claiming the Whip team had communicated to them that the vote was a “matter of personal conscience.”
The results marked a noticeable shift in how Republicans have changed in their views on LGBTQ matters in recent years, with 47 Republicans voting in favor of the bill.
Despite his colleagues’ changing views, Johnson introduced a bill a few months later trying to bar federal funds from their use in the development and hosting of events that included “sexually-oriented material” — such as drag queen story hours — for young children.
“This commonsense bill is straightforward,” Johnson said. “No federal tax dollars should go to any federal, state, or local government agencies, or private organizations that intentionally expose children under 10 years of age to sexually explicit material.”
Johnson announces run for Speaker
Johnson officially announced he is running for the Speakership in a “Dear Colleague” letter Saturday to fellow members.
“I have been humbled to have so many Members from across our Conference reach out to encourage me to seek the nomination for Speaker,” Johnson said in his letter. “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,” he added.
With just over a day left for candidates to jump into the race, it is still anyone’s game.