Mike Johnson of Louisiana elected 56th House speaker: 'The People's House is back in business'

Johnson is the fourth GOP nominee for speaker.

ByAlexandra Hutzler, John Parkinson, and Lauren Peller ABCNews logo
Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Mike Johnson of Louisiana elected 56th speaker of the House
Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana will be the next speaker of the House.

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected the 56th speaker of the House Wednesday.

Johnson took the oath of office and a victory lap upon formally clinching the speaker's gavel, calling on the passage of conservative priorities while also emphasizing bipartisanship.

"I want to say to the American people...we hear you. We know the challenges you're facing. We know there's a lot going on in our country," Johnson said in his acceptance speech. "Our mission here is to serve you well."

Johnson laid out concerns over unauthorized border crossings, the mushrooming national debt and more, sparking applause from Republicans in the chamber and silence from seated Democrats.

Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana will be the next speaker of the House.

"We're going to fight. We're going to fight vigorously over our core principles," Johnson said.

Johnson said the first piece of legislation the House would move is a resolution in support of Israel as it battles Hamas in a growing war in the Gaza Strip, which the group controls. And more broadly, Johnson touted his belief in "peace through strength," also referencing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"Turmoil and violence have rocked the Middle East and Eastern Europe," he said. "The country demands strong leadership of this body, and we must not waver."

"Let the enemies of freedom around the world hear us loud and clear," Johnson concluded. "The People's House is back in business."

MORE | Who is Republican Rep. Mike Johnson?

Johnson became the fourth nominee this month after the historic ouster of Kevin McCarthy. He could only lose five GOP representatives. No Republicans voted against him.

He prevailed over House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries in a 220-209 vote.

"It is the honor of a lifetime to have been elected the 56th Speaker of the House," Johnson said in a statement after the vote.

Johnson will be the least-experienced House speaker in more than a century.

Having only served in Congress since early 2017, Johnson has the least experience in Congress of any speaker in the last 140 years.

At 51 years old, he is also the third-youngest speaker since 1900.

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., speaks after he was chosen as the Republicans latest nominee for House speaker at a Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 24, 2023.
(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Who is GOP House speaker nominee Rep. Mike Johnson?

Republican Rep. Mike Johnson, a conservative hard-liner and staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, became the GOP's fourth nominee this month.

Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., takes a selfie with Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., before Republicans try to elect the new House speaker, at the Capitol in Washington, Oct. 25, 2023.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

The 51-year-old was first elected to Congress in 2016 and is currently serving his fourth term. He represents Louisiana's 4th Congressional District, which includes the northwestern part of the state.

Johnson has been a vocal Trump supporter and was one of the 147 GOP lawmakers who voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. He also led the charge to get 125 of his Republican colleagues to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, supporting Texas' lawsuit that would have invalidated the election results in key battleground states.

Johnson has a long history of opposing abortion rights. He has repeatedly voted against Ukraine aid. Also, he has opposed protections for same-sex marriage.

Read more here.