March 16, 2024


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Speaker Johnson aims to stay leader of House GOP in 2025, vows ‘very aggressive first 100 days’

WEST VIRGINIA — Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is aiming to stay at the helm of the House GOP next year, he told Fox News Digital.

In an interview at the House Republicans’ annual member retreat this year at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, Johnson suggested he’d want to stay in the conference’s top spot regardless of whether they keep the House majority.

‘I have not given a lot of thought about the next Congress, because I’m so busy with my responsibility right now. My intention is to stay as speaker, stay in leadership, because we’re laying a lot of important groundwork right now for the big work that we’ll be doing,’ Johnson said.

‘But each day has enough concern of its own right now. And I’ve got – we’ve got a very full, very busy agenda right now. And that’s where my focus is.’

He also gave Fox News Digital a preview of what he wants Congress to focus on in 2025, expressing confidence that the GOP would go into the new year having kept the House majority and won the Senate and White House.

‘We would absolutely turn our attention to securing the border and ending the catastrophe that the Biden administration has created. Obviously, we would continue to address the China threat and increase our stature on the world stage. That’s what the White House would be focused on, and we would give assistance in the House in every way possible,’ he said.

Johnson also listed bolstering U.S. defense capabilities, tax reform, and exploring weaponization of the federal government as other priorities, as well as legislative advances on artificial intelligence.

‘We’d have a very aggressive first 100 days of the Congress agenda, and we’re kind of excited about that prospect,’ Johnson said.

Johnson won the speakership in late October via a unanimous House GOP vote, three weeks after his predecessor, ex-Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., was ousted by a group of eight Republicans and all House Democrats.

Johnson’s comments to Fox News Digital come a day after he was asked at a press conference about whether he’d have the House GOP Conference change its rules on how difficult it is to kick out a speaker.

Johnson, who was optimistic that the GOP could retain and expand its razor-thin House majority in November, suggested the next Congress would also likely see a change to its motion to vacate rules – the guidelines by which a speaker is ousted from power.

McCarthy agreed to lower the threshold from a House majority to just one person being able to trigger a vote to recall the House leader as part of a deal with critics to win the gavel in January 2023.

Johnson said he never advocated for a rule change but expected that a majority of his lawmakers would want to move forward. Dozens of House Republicans criticized the eight that voted to oust McCarthy, arguing that it projected historic levels of instability under their leadership.

‘The motion to vacate is something that comes up a lot amongst members in discussion, and I expect there will probably be a change to that as well. But just so you know, I’ve never advocated for that. I’m not one who’s making it an issue, because I don’t think it is one for now,’ he said Wednesday.

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