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AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

New Speaker of the House selected after much debate: Who is he and what does this mean?

The+new+Republican+Speaker+of+the+House%2C+Mike+Johnson%2C+was+elected+after+former+speaker+Kevin+McCarthy+was+removed+from+office.
Lauren Tran
The new Republican Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, was elected after former speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from office.

On Oct. 3, former speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, was ousted from office, which was the first time in U.S. history that a speaker was ever removed. Three weeks later, Congressman Mike Johnson was elected by the full House in a tense time of emerging crises

“There was an initial debate amongst the House Republicans about nominating a speaker because they struggled to decide if they wanted to try to reason with the Democrats or fully resort to conservative policies. Eventually, they nominated Johnson, who I’d say they believe is pretty well-liked,” said Hailey Hamilton (‘25).

Without a speaker of the house, the House cannot operate and pass laws. This hindered intervention with worldwide issues such as the Israeli and Palestinian conflict

“The Speaker of the House and the House of Representatives are responsible for the taxing and spending of our government. And they have to work with the Senate in passing policy. Then that will also have international ramifications because if we aren’t in order, the world won’t be in order,” said AP Government and Politics Teacher Samuel Weaver.

When McCarthy was first elected as speaker in Jan. 2023, he agreed to a number of concessions in order to gain votes. The main provocation for his removal was the passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR), a temporary funding measure that is implemented without Congress and the president’s approval to avoid a government shutdown.

“The deal for McCarthy was that to become speaker last January. He made concessions to members of his party to get their support. One of those concessions was to allow for a motion to vacate or to remove the speaker at any given time. He allowed that rule to be in place, and then someone used it against them,” said Weaver.

Of the nine candidates, Mike Johnson was elected speaker twenty-two days after McCarthy was removed from office. Johnson, former Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, is a far-right conservative who appealed to both the right-wing and mainstream Republicans.

“Johnson came in second out of the nine candidates and was later widely supported. He also supports Trump, and I think Trump wanted the House to elect him,” said Hamilton.

Johnson plans to attend to the national debt, support Ukraine, and advocate his perspective on banning gay rights and abortion. For his first act as speaker, he passed $14 billion in military aid on Nov. 3 to Israel in order to help them fight and defend themself against Hamas. 

“Johnson is a pro-life, social conservative who has been on the record of being against same-sex marriage and other conservative policies that don’t align with what the majority of Americans think,” said Weaver.

Johnson’s first major action as speaker took place on Nov. 14, when he passed a bill that averted a government shutdown. Though the bill angered a large majority of Republicans, some still believe that Johnson is still a strong speaker and is hopeful for the future.

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