After a three-week search, the US House of Representatives has finally found a new Speaker: Representative Mike Johnson from the state of Louisiana. The previously little-known politician was first elected to the House in 2016 and is considered staunchly conservative and a loyal supporter of Donald Trump. Johnson was actively involved in the attempt to boycott the results of the 2020 presidential election. Additionally, he is known as a vehement opponent of abortion and is staunchly against same-sex marriage. He has repeatedly questioned further US support for Ukraine. Shortly after his election, he expressed solidarity with Ukraine but intends to tie further financial support to conditions, demanding clear articulation of goals in this conflict from the Biden administration. Johnson has primarily advocated for redirecting funds for Ukraine to be spent in the US, particularly for the expansion of the Mexico border wall.
With Johnson, Trump now has a staunch ally in the leadership position of the House of Representatives. This speaks volumes about the state of the Republican Party: without Trump's approval, the party can hardly make any decisions. Moderate candidates have been attacked on social media by Trump and subsequently withdrawn their candidacy. The fear of confrontation with Trump and the risk of Trump actively intervening and supporting alternative candidates in the upcoming primaries is too great. The fear among the moderate wing of the Republican Party from the MAGA wing is currently so significant that they are more likely to accept a candidate from the right wing of the party rather than forming a coalition with Democrats to find an alternative solution. The Democrats had repeatedly offered this. Whether they would have stuck to it, we will never know. After all, the entire process is also under the shadow of the upcoming elections, and the Democrats hope for better prospects in the next congressional elections if the chaos among the Republicans persists.
Mike Johnson, as the new Speaker, now faces the Herculean task of reuniting the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. All of this is in the context of an impending government shutdown, negotiations over a new budget, which the Congress should have already passed weeks ago, and the question of how much the US will continue to involve itself in the Ukraine and now Israel conflict. There is concern that the radical Republicans will use their increased power primarily to intensify investigations against the Biden administration and even President Biden himself, with the goal of initiating impeachment proceedings against the incumbent president. This is, of course, also happening to distract from the accusations and investigations against Trump.
With the election of Johnson, the House of Representatives in the US is now technically operational again. However, in the context of extreme partisan polarization, it remains to be seen whether the legislature can fulfill its duties. The multiple crises, further radicalization of Trump supporters, and the upcoming election campaign make this necessary but likely impossible. Given the upcoming elections and the state of politics in the US, these are not promising prospects. It is not surprising, particularly among Trump supporters, that the election of a new Speaker is not being received with much enthusiasm. 40 percent of Trump supporters would prefer to have no new Speaker, as it would mean the Congress cannot vote on new expenditures. Support for Trump is increasingly less understood in terms of ideology or parties; it has degenerated into a personality cult.