Republicans Elect House Speaker After McConnell Declines To Endorse Candidate

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

( – On Wednesday, October 25, Republicans elected Rep. Mike Johnson to be Speaker of the House. This move came after more than three weeks of stunted progress in the chamber as lawmakers attempted to secure a replacement for former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.

On Sunday during an appearance on CBS “Face the Nation,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spoke about the situation involving efforts to elect a House Speaker. He said at the time that he wasn’t going to endorse any candidate for House Speaker despite the party’s struggles to elect a new Speaker.

McConnell told moderator Margaret Brennan that he was hopeful the House was going to reach a solution quickly and that he was not going to back any of the new candidates who had joined the race following Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-Ohio) failure to win the necessary votes to become the Speaker. He added that he was not an expert on the House and that he was already busy with the Senate.

McConnell said that they were going to continue doing their job and that he hoped the House was going to be functional again soon. This response was given to Brennan’s question about whether there was anyone in the House capable of leading the Republicans.

McConnell was also asked about other vacancies in the government, including the lack of a U.S. ambassador to Israel at a time when the country is at war with Hamas following the Oct. 7 surprise Hamas attack.

Jack Lew, who was nominated for the job, had been opposed by Republicans in the Senate because he had previously been part of the Iran nuclear agreement negotiations during the Obama administration. At the time, Lew had been serving as Treasury secretary. McConnell pointed out that Lew was a controversial nominee because of his connection to the nuclear deal and that everyone in his party had opposed his nomination for that reason.

Lew was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, and is expected to face a final vote from the Senate as early as next week, according to AP News.

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