The US House Republicans have picked Louisiana Representative Mike Johnson as their latest Speaker nominee, but he still lacked the 217 votes needed to secure the post which has been vacant since Kevin McCarthy’s historic ouster three weeks ago. The vote for Johnson, the 51-year-old who has served in the House since 2016, came late Tuesday night hours after Republicans voted to elect Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer as Speaker nominee, CNN reported. But he dropped out shortly amid stiff resistance from the right flank of the conference and a major rebuke from former President Donald Trump.
In the final round of secret ballot voting, Johnson was elected speaker nominee with 128 votes, while McCarthy received 43 votes, the next highest tally. Johnson also survived a key follow-up vote late Tuesday evening, and he announced that the full House would vote on a Speaker on Wednesday at noon. The Louisiana Representative, who is also a lawyer and former talk radio host, is the fourth nominee put forward after three others failed to win enough support from colleagues, reports the BBC. Republicans only hold a narrow majority over Democrats in the lower chamber of Congress, so their nominee can only afford to lose a handful of votes from their own side to win.