Since becoming the new House speaker, Representative Mike Johnson (R-LA) has said that his office is going to be known for “decentralizing” power.
Before he was officially sworn in to serve as the 56th speaker, Johnson spoke to the chamber. He gave an outline of what his term will entail and what he hopes it will leave behind.
“As speaker of the House, it’s my job to serve everyone, and I will. But I promised my coworkers that this speaker’s office would be known for spreading power around,” Johnson said.
After a round of applause, he said, “My office is soon going to become known for its members becoming more actively involved as well as having a greater influence in our procedures in all the big decisions that take place here for regular order and also predictable processes.That is what we owe the people.”
Johnson became speaker after Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was removed from his position a little over three weeks ago. He won the vote by a margin of 220 to 199 on the House floor. There were no Republicans who voted in opposition to Johnson this week, but all Democrats on the floor voted for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
Jeffries gave Johnson the gavel as speaker after Johnson spoke in favor of several Democratic goals and called for an end to “gamesmanship,” “brinkmanship,” as well as “partisanship.”
Johnson then gave a speech in which he said, “The country needs strong leadership from this body, and we can not waver. In just a short while,” he said, the first bill he would submit to the House floor was going to be “in favor of our dear ally Israel.”
Hamas attacked Israel with terrorist strikes that killed more than 1,400 people, which included 33 Americans. This led to Israel going to war in the Gaza Strip.
Johnson additionally stated that he was going to set up a “bipartisan” committee to focus on the national debt, which has grown to more than $33.6 trillion, and he asked Congress to fix the “broken” southern border.
In another section of his speech, Johnson thanked McCarthy for his role in assisting the GOP gain the majority in the House, thanked his wife along with others for supporting and assisting them, and even said that Democrats and Republicans can find “common ground.”
Members of both parties gave Johnson standing ovations when he said things like “a strong America is beneficial for the whole world.”