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West Virginia reps Mooney and Miller vote for Mike Johnson

CHARLESTON — West Virginia’s congressional representatives, Carol Miller and Alex Mooney, cast votes Wednesday for Congressman Mike Johnson, who was selected as speaker of the House after three contentious weeks of infighting.

“I voted for Mike Johnson for speaker of the House. Mike is a proven conservative leader who will fight back against President Biden’s extreme agenda. Mike will unite our conference so we can get back to the work of the American people.” stated Mooney, a Republican who represents West Virginia’s northern counties.

Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, won enough votes in the divided House, following the ouster of Kevin McCarthy and brief candidacies of Steve Scalise, Jim Jordan and Tom Emmer.

Johnson got all the Republican votes on the House floor Wednesday. Democrats voted for Hakeem Jeffries of New York.

The Republican conference selected Johnson as speaker-designate Tuesday night and gathered to celebrate. Miller, a Republican, was among those who gathered, seen in photographs and videos just a couple feet away.

Johnson was sworn in Wednesday afternoon and vowed to “restore people’s faith in this House.”

“The people’s house is back in business,” Johnson said during his remarks from the podium.

Johnson is an attorney who has worked as a college professor and conservative talk radio host. He was first elected to Congress in 2016 and has been serving as vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, as well as GOP deputy whip, an assistant leadership role.

He has been a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and was a key figure in the efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election. Johnson drummed up congressional signatures on an amicus brief in the Texas lawsuit seeking to invalidate electoral college votes from multiple states. That position contended that those states’ voting accommodations during the pandemic were unconstitutional.

Johnson has voted against further Ukraine aid, supports abortion restrictions and supports LGBTQ restrictions.

There’s a lot for Congress to deal with right away. The federal government is up against a November deadline for funding to avoid a shutdown. And President Biden has proposed a $106 billion national security funding request that includes aid to Ukraine and Israel, plus border security funding.

“We got a new speaker,” Biden said during remarks in the Rose Garden that overlapped the speaker vote. “I hope that’s true. We’ve got to get moving.”

Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said she doesn’t know Johnson well but hopes he can get going quickly.

“I think it’s been a circus quite frankly. It’s been difficult and disappointing to watch. Republicans were elected to lead in the House and that means you need a leader,” Capito said Wednesday on MetroNews’ “Talkline.”

“I’ve never met Mike Johnson, and that probably is indicative of where I kind of thought they would land once they didn’t elect Scalise. I said, ‘they’re gonna go with somebody who people like, who isn’t really fully formed, who they think can lead them for the next several years.’”