After 22 days of the American public wondering if the House Republicans would ever come together, they finally became unified around a humble Christian man.
Congressman Mike Johnson from Louisiana—a man who came to Congress to bring more civility and good governance to the House—is our new Speaker and the third in line for the Presidency. This is a story that will go down in the history books. What a miracle!
The Divisions, The Frustrations
Many people, including myself, were frustrated at the divisions among the House Republicans over the last few weeks, but these divisions have been there all along. The Republican Conference has everyone from extreme moderate Republicans who might not be social or fiscal conservatives, to the conservative Members in the Freedom Caucus — with about four shades of Republicans in between.
Those who work as part of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives, don't often see eye to eye with the Freedom Caucus Members. And then you have Republicans who are a part of the bi-partisan Problem Solvers Caucus, and many more different groups. Their priorities for their districts and their ideologies are radically different from one another.
Also, the Republican Conference has many deep thinkers who pursue the first principles of our nation as well as some members who just "go along to get along." It is a diverse conference to say the least; and good, godly people can be in several of those factions trying to make a difference for the people who elected them.
Whether it was wise to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy, without what now appears to be a real plan of what to do afterwards, we can agree or disagree. That debate will continue, I am sure. But that is for another day.
For today—we celebrate.
We celebrate a miracle that after the Republicans nominated Rep. Steve Scalise, Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Tom Emmer, the fourth nominee is the one who stuck.
A Real Christian Who Loves God and the Constitution
The miracle is this—a real Christian who loves God, loves his family, loves the Constitution and teaches it regularly in local churches around Louisiana, and who worked for Alliance Defending Freedom for years defending religious liberty—just got elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives.
This 51-year-old leader was born to a mother who was only 17 when she gave birth, according to his speech. His father was a firefighter in Shreveport, Louisiana, who was disabled in the line of duty and who died of cancer just three days before Johnson was elected to Congress. Speaker Johnson was the first to graduate from college in his family but went on to become a college professor, a media spokesman for America's largest religious liberty organizations and someone who has given his life and time to community groups and ministries. This is the man who is now the U.S. Speaker of the House.
Congressman Johnson and I have met several times and we have had extended conversations at events and over the phone about the importance of the body of Christ getting involved in the processes within government. He even addressed our Christians Engaged group when we went to D.C. this summer, sharing his deep faith and the importance of Christians praying, voting and engaging. We prayed for him and his family.
In his speech today, Speaker Johnson talked about God's hand in the affairs of men, and you could see that he felt it to his bones. He then made it clear that the first resolution that he will pass in the U.S. House as Speaker will be standing up against Hamas and clarifying our nation's commitment to Israel.
Bringing Civility to Capitol Hill
Elected in 2016, Congressman Mike Johnson came to Congress to bring more civility to the House of Representatives. He even wrote a paper as a freshman that 49 Members signed onto from both sides of the aisle. He was a strong conservative legislator in the Louisiana House of Representatives from February 2015 to January 2017, running twice without opposition and then running for Congress in 2016 and winning by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years. He is currently serving his fourth term in Congress.
After only one term, Mike became the chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in Congress, known as "the intellectual arsenal of conservatism in the House." During that time, he helped write the Conservative Playbook, a "Framework for Personalized, Affordable Care," and a budget paper called "Preserving American Freedom: Liberty, Opportunity, Security," just to name a few.
Rising to more prominent leadership in January 2021, Mike was elected to serve as Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference. This is an important job helping the conference with messaging, talking points and strategy—and it is one of the seven elected leadership positions for Republicans. These leaders are elected by their peers. In November 2022, Mike was unanimously re-elected to serve another term in this position where he helped fight for core conservative principles that he detailed out in his speech today.
Speaker Mike Johnson has a solid conservative voting record with a lifetime rating of 92% from the American Conservative Union and 90% from Heritage Action. Being in leadership where Members are expected to compromise more, this is extremely hard to accomplish.
Reaction From His Peers
Congressman Nathaniel Moran (TX-01), a new freshman member who has been encouraged and mentored by Mike, congratulated him today. "Mike Johnson is one of the finest men I have known, inside or outside of politics. He is a true constitutional conservative and a Christian who is a smart, steady and tough leader. Mike is unwavering in his convictions, a true patriot and the one who can unify our efforts in the House to push back against the many failed policies of the Biden administration," said Rep. Moran. "I was extremely pleased with his selection by the Republican conference as the nominee, and even more pleased to enthusiastically cast my vote for him as Speaker on the floor of the House."
And Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27), another strong Christian voice in Congress, said, "I'm thrilled to congratulate my friend and brother in Christ, Mike Johnson, on his election as Speaker of the House. Mike is a principled fighter, a warrior for conservative values and a man of faith who will work every day to put Americans first. I look forward to working with him and continuing our mission to bring the kind of change Washington D.C. desperately needs!"
The Work is Just Begun and Speaker Johnson Needs Our Prayers
Going from the 7th in leadership to the top position in the House is going to be a big transition for Congressman Mike Johnson, his family and his staff.
We celebrate this miracle and victory for the House, but the work has just begun.
I want to appeal to every believer in Jesus to pray fervently for Speaker Johnson, his wife, Kelly, who "spent the last few weeks on her knees" and his precious four children, Hannah, Abigail, Jack and Will.
Also, please pray for his staff who are probably in a state of shock that their boss is now the Speaker of the House. After weeks of exhaustion dealing with everything in Washington D.C., they must go into a new season of expanding their ranks and making sure they have the right staffers around the new Speaker.
This was a big day for the U.S. House of Representatives and for all of us in this nation.
For when this young man, who came to Washington to bring civility and good governance, said in his speech today, "This speaker's office is going to be known for decentralizing power here," I believed him—and will be praying for his success.
Please join me.
For the original article, visit stream.org. Used with permission.
Bunni Pounds is president and founder of Christians Engaged, a ministry activating the Body of Christ to pray, vote and engage regularly. Formerly a congressional candidate and 16-year political consultant, she is a motivational speaker and bible teacher. Her book, Jesus and Politics: One Woman's Walk with God in a Mudslinging Profession comes out nationally on 2/6/24.
To contact us or to submit an article, click here.
Get Charisma's best content delivered right to your inbox! Never miss a big news story again. Click here to subscribe to the Charisma News newsletter.