We Have a New Speaker
On October 3rd, a motion to vacate was brought to the House floor and eight Republicans voted with Democrats to oust the Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.
The Republicans were frustrated that Congress was unable to pass all 12 fiscal year 2024 appropriations bills before the September 30th deadline and so we had to pass a continuing resolution to give us 45 more days of government funding so that the House could further debate and vote on the bills.
Though I understood their frustration, I disagreed with this move. It was my belief that there was nobody at that point in time who could quickly obtain the 217 votes needed to become speaker.
It seems I had a point. For the next three weeks, Republicans debated and voted on who to nominate. Three different candidates were put forward by the Republican conference: Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan, and Tom Emmer. But they did not have the votes to win on the floor.
On October 24th, after numerous rounds of voting, it became clear Mike Johnson of Louisiana had the support within the Republican conference and on the floor to become the 56th Speaker of the House.
On the floor, he received all of the votes of Republicans present, 220.
Besides calling on all of us to work together and for a restoration of trust, Speaker Johnson laid out his vision for how the House should conduct itself moving forward. Below are his core principles for our nation.
First, Individual Freedom.
All Americans are endowed with individual, God-given liberties that are to be preserved against government intrusion. We must all work to maintain and promote our rights and liberties.
Second, Limited Government.
This country was founded on the belief that legitimate government is more efficient and less corrupt when its size and scope are limited. This means decentralizing authority, limiting government regulations, and reducing bureaucracy.
Third, The Rule of Law.
In order to maintain a civilized society and for our liberties to be respected, we must adhere to the Constitution and ensure that justice is administered equally and impartially to all Americans.
Fourth, Peace through Strength.
A strong America is good for the entire world. As our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel, faces violence and with tensions high in the Indo-Pacific region, it is more important than ever to show the world that we are able to defeat any adversary or threat, no matter the circumstance, because we have the strongest and most capable military in the world.
Fifth, Fiscal Responsibility.
Our country’s national debt has reached over $33 trillion, and Congress has a duty to rein in spending, balance the budget, modernize federal entitlement programs, pursue pro-growth tax reforms, and restore regular order in the budget and appropriations processes. Speaker Johnson said that he would be establishing a bipartisan debt commission to begin working on the debt crisis immediately.
Sixth, Free Markets.
Free markets and free trade encourage entrepreneurs and business owners to pursue their dreams and with that, our country and economy can thrive. Our country will see more growth, more jobs, and a greater chance of upward mobility because of free markets.
Seventh, Human Dignity.
All men and women are created equal, and every American deserves respect and dignity. As a society, we must encourage education and hard work so that every American has a fair shot at a good and fulfilling life.
In fact, earlier in his speech Speaker Johnson talked about how G. K. Chesterton, the English author and philosopher, noted that the United States is the only nation in the world that is founded on a creed. That creed, spelled out in our Declaration of Independence, is that all men are created equal and are endowed with the same inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Thankfully, once elected, Speaker Johnson immediately got to work.
His first move was to bring a resolution to the floor to show our support for Israel and its right to defend itself. As our number one ally in the Middle East, it was imperative that the House show its bipartisan support for Israel.
After the Israel resolution, we immediately began debate on the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill. I was able to speak on the House floor on behalf of my amendment to better balance fossil fuel and renewable energy research funding at the Department of Energy.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.
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