Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Shining a light on Hingham news

The Harborlight

Victor Wembanyama on stage after being selected first overall in the 2023 NBA draft
NBA Mock Draft
Cavan Nicholas, Contributing Writer • May 27, 2024

Congressman Mike Johnson Elected Speaker of the House October 25, 2023

Mike+Johnson+accepts+the+Speaker+gavel+from+Hakeem+Jeffries+of+New+York+%0AAlex+Brandon%2FNPR
Mike Johnson accepts the Speaker gavel from Hakeem Jeffries of New York Alex Brandon/NPR

Three weeks after Kevin McCarthy was removed from his position as Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, was elected after a long battle for the title. Even during McCarthy’s election, the two parties were unwilling to make compromises which caused bigger issues during his term. 

During the impromptu election, seven candidates fought for the Speaker of the House title: Tom Emmer of Minnesota, Austin Scott of Georgia, Byron Donalds of Florida, Kevin Hern of Oklahoma, Jack Bergman of Michigan, Mick Johnson of Louisiana, and Pete Sessions of Texas.

The party divide in America has only become stronger since Donald Trump’s term from 2016 to 2020; however, bigger issues are within the Republican Party. Many reactionary conservatives, often referred to as “far-right,” have taken to criticizing their own colleagues within the party for their support of bipartisan policies. 

This divide within the Republican Party is what pushed many reactionary conservatives to vote to remove McCarthy from his role as Speaker of the House: he made concessions to the Democratic Party. After making a deal with Democratic lawmakers in order to sequester an impending government shutdown, McCarthy was shamed by many members of his party for his weak politics. Led by Matt Gaetz of Florida, far-right Republicans came down on McCarthy and voted to remove him. Although McCarthy was removed from office, there was no one to replace him. This caused another three weeks of a deadlocked Congress, unable to make new policies until a new speaker was decided. Senior Nora Andrews commented on the political standstill by saying, “If politicians continue to refuse to make compromises with each other, these issues and deadlocks within Congress will only become longer and harsher.”

On October 25, Mike Johnson of Louisiana was officially elected as the new Speaker. He is most known for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election in favor of Donald Trump, even working on the Donald Trump impeachment defense team. Johnson won on his conservative politics, pandering almost exclusively to the far-right by promising to “restore people’s faith in this House,” and using his faith as an Evangelical Christian to strengthen his speech. 

One of the biggest points Johnson won on: his hopes to “decentralize the power” of the Congress. This policy has been prominent in many conservative arguments, especially on issues such as gun control and free speech. Senior Nora Schulze believes that “decentralizing power only weakens the government, which will only make it harder to pass any powerful laws.” 

Only time will tell how Johnson’s term will turn out, but it is important to stay aware of policies that can harm many Americans in the hopes of helping a few powerful ones.

Mike Johnson in The House of Representatives
Bill Clark/Getty Images
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