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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Biden congratulates new Speaker, allays fear on 2024 presidential polls

CONTRARY to fears that the emergence of Republican member, Mike Johnson, as New Speaker of the House of Representatives would upturn the 2024 election, President Joe Biden has declared that the opposition party will fail again.

Biden, who congratulated Johnson, a close ally of former President Donald Trump, on Wednesday after his election by the lawmakers as the 56th Speaker of the House, allayed the concerns raised by his supporters over his re-election bid next year.

Reacting to the concern at a press conference held in Rose Garden with Australian Prime Minister,  Anthony Albanese, he assured that any attempt to scuttle the 2024 poll is fated to fail like ex-President, Donald Trump’s effort in 2020.

The Guardian reports that Johnson played critical roles in the bid to overturn the 2020 election, urging House Republicans to sign onto a legal brief backing an attempt to make the courts throw out the election results in four battleground states that Trump lost.

Critics had weighed in on the precedence of new GOP House Speaker from Louisiana, Johnson, trying to overturn the 2024 election as he did in 2020 if President Biden and Democrats win the next presidential poll.

Meanwhile, Johnson had won the GOP nomination for House Speaker on Tuesday night, defeating Rep. Byron Donalds to become the fourth Speaker designate selected by his party since Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s historic ouster as speaker.

Shortly after the Republican conference meeting ended, Johnson confidently addressed newsmen, declaring his intention is to go the House floor yesterday for the noon vote to emerge victorious.

Though he did not reveal the tally of the roll call vote in the conference to gauge support for his nomination, but didn’t mince words on his chance to win the 217 GOP votes needed to emerge the new Speaker.

The 220 to 209 vote enthroned Johnson, who was voted to the Congress for the first time in 2016, as  Speaker’s after a 22-day battle to replace Kevin McCarthy that was axed on October 3 by a small group of hardline Republicans for dealing with Democrats to avert a partial government shutdown.

Calming the storm in the House, Johnson polled 220 votes to defeat the Democrats’ candidate, Hakeem Jeffries, who scored 209 votes; while Rep. Derrick Van Orden, a Republican, was absent from the vote.

But Biden at the conference said, “No, I understand the Constitution. Just like I was not worried that the last guy would be able to overturn the election. They have about 60 lawsuits, and they all went to the Supreme Court, and, every time, they lost.”

In a statement from the White House to congratulate the new Speaker, the President said, “As I said when this process began, whoever the Speaker is, I will seek to work with them in good faith on behalf of the American people.

That’s a principle I have always held to, and that I’ve acted on – delivering major bipartisan legislation on infrastructure, outcompeting China, gun reform, and veterans care.”

He restated his willingness to continue working across the aisle after Republicans won the majority in the House last year.

“By the same token, the American people have made clear that they expect House Republicans to work with me and with Senate Democrats to govern across the aisle – to protect our urgent national security interests and grow our economy for the middle class.

“While House Republicans spent the last 22 days determining who would lead their conference, I have worked on those pressing issues, proposing a historic supplemental funding package that advances our bipartisan national security interests in Israel and Ukraine, secures our border, and invests in the American people.”

The U.S. President iterated that despite their various political differences and varying ideologies, “These priorities have been endorsed by leaders in both parties.

“We need to move swiftly to address our national security needs and to avoid a shutdown in 22 days.

Even though we have real disagreements about important issues, there should be mutual effort to find common ground wherever we can.”

His words: This is a time for all of us to act responsibly, and to put the good of the American people and the everyday priorities of American families above any partisanship.”

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