Mike Johnson, a little-known, far-right representative from Louisiana has become the next speaker of the US House of Representatives, ending 22 days of stalemate. Johnson was elected 220-209 (with one absence), garnering unanimous support from Republicans in the chamber.

The ultraconservative’s ascension to the Speaker’s rostrum allows the US Congress to get back to legislating but is very troubling news for Ukraine and its counteroffensive against Russia’s invasion. A report card from the conservative coalition, Republicans for Ukraine, gave Johnson a rating of “Very Poor” in his support for Ukraine. The Southern hardliner voted no on five of six measures tracked on the report card to assist Kyiv. The one piece of legislation he supported, the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act of 2022, passed the House unanimously.


Johnson is a deeply religious, evangelical Christian with a four-term track record of promoting very conservative policies. He has said on his podcast that he does not believe in the separation of church and state, an engrained tenet of American democracy introduced by the nation’s founding fathers in the US Constitution. He is a long-time opponent of same-sex marriages and of a woman’s right to choose, with an A+ rating from Susan B Anthony Pro-Life America.

He remains a vocal election denier as well, lending his political support and legal advice to former president Donald Trump’s bid to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential elections. This part of his resume, as well as his disdain for additional funds sent to Ukraine, made him an attractive candidate to those right-wing representatives who voted to oust then-speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), a centrist who did not have Trump’s blessing.

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It remains to be seen how Johnson’s negative views on aid to Ukraine will play out on the House floor. Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas (who was embroiled in Trump’s attempt to coerce the Ukrainian government into delivering dirt on Joe Biden, but evaded the campaign finance charges slapped on his co-conspirators) told ABC News that he believes Johnson likely will push to include proposals for aid for Israel, Ukraine and the U.S.-Mexico border separately, rather than trying to tie them together.


Johnson’s victory speech included many references to scripture, and the dangers of Marxism, and then moved on to promise a vote on support for “our greatest ally in the Middle East." But there was no direct mention of Ukraine, only a passing reference to turmoil in Eastern Europe. It also seemed to include a veiled reference to redirecting foreign aid to domestic spending.

America remains "the great beacon of light and freedom in a world that desperately needs it,” he said. “The world is in turmoil, but a strong America is good for the entire world.”

The south wing of the US Capitol has been in disarray ever since McCarthy’s removal. After four rounds of in-fighting, McCarthy, the other nominees and other centrists who did not have Trump’s endorsement, all agreed to fall in line behind the right-wing choice.

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