“Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) was elected speaker Wednesday by the full House on a first vote. Johnson, a relatively unknown, staunchly conservative Republican, succeeds Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), whose ouster this month was led by hard-right members of the party. The House GOP previously picked three higher-profile nominees, none of whom could win over Republican holdouts and secure a majority vote. Johnson is an ally of former president Donald Trump and opposed certifying the 2020 election.” (via The Washington Post)
Faculty experts at the George Washington University are available to offer insight, analysis and commentary on the news. If you would like to speak with an expert, please contact GW Media Relations Specialists Tayah Frye at [email protected] or Cate Douglass at [email protected].
Peter Loge, director of the GW School of Media and Public Affairs, has nearly 30 years of experience in politics and communications, including a presidential appointment at the Food and Drug Administration and senior positions for Sen. Edward Kennedy and three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. He currently leads the Project on Ethics in Political Communication at the School of Media and Public Affairs and continues to advise advocates and organizations.
Loge says Rep. Johnson has several critical tasks ahead.
“The first is passing important legislation that keeps the government's lights on, supports America's farmers and families who rely on them, and reassures our allies that America remains a force for good in the world,” Loge says. “Congress also has to regain the trust of the American people. Rep. Johnson will have to prove to the American people that their government works for them, and not just for clicks and headlines. Trust is under assault in this country. Candidates, pundits and elected officials are telling the American people they can't trust government, they can't trust universities, they can't trust elections, they can't trust the media, they can't trust public health experts, they can't trust scientists, and they can't even trust each other. The Speaker needs to promote trust in the institutions on which we all rely or those institutions will fail.”
Loge adds, “Finally, Rep. Johnson needs to reassure our allies that we still have their backs and remind our adversaries that our political challenges are not their military opportunities.”
Casey Burgat, Legislative Affairs Program Director and Assistant Professor at GW, is an expert in Congress and Judiciary sections, congressional capacity and reform. He has served as a Senior Governance Fellow and worked at the Congressional Research Service. Burgat also has experience in federal rulemaking, issues of congressional reform and staffing, federal budgeting, and federal advisory committees. Burgat can discuss a number of topics related to the House speakership battle, legislative affairs and Congress.