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Following weeks of complete chaos in the House of Representatives, the Republican Party finally found a man they could all unanimously vote for as the next Speaker. Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson has fallen, in large part, under the radar of the national spotlight. While the chamber is currently back in full swing, the congressional procedures and incentive structures that led to this current predicament have not been amended.

Until now, had a Speaker been ousted mid-session by members of their own party. After McCarthy was relieved of his speakership, House Republicans ran around like chickens with their heads cut off to find a proper replacement. Eventually, the Republican party was able to find a legislator who could meet the standards of all the factions within the party. Mike Johnson was able to win the Speakership position for a myriad of reasons. He was considered more right-wing than McCarthy and voted to decertify the 2020 election, a prerequisite among many Trump supporters. He was not a widely recognized individual, which was important for centrist Republicans who wanted to win reelection in districts where voters yearn for moderate leadership. Even though Mr. Johnson successfully threaded the needle for every Republican to support him, his role as Speaker is not stable and will likely not fix the institutional impairment the Republican Party has caused. 

For starters, the demand by numerous representatives that all G.O.P. candidates for Speaker needed to reject the certification of the 2020 election is detrimental to the country’s electoral foundations. Secretaries of States of both parties, election poll watchers of all different political leanings, judges appointed by Trump, Trump’s Attorney General William Barr and the conservative U.S. Supreme Court all declared that the results of the last presidential election were legitimate and secure. The refusal to acknowledge the legitimacy of central democratic institutions is a clear sign that norms are eroding and the government is losing the authority it needs to work. Having politicians attempt to override America’s elections for their own partisan motivations has established an extremely destructive precedent. 

Mr. Johnson’s Speakership position is as vulnerable as Kevin McCarthy’s was. Any congressman can bring a motion to the floor to remove the Speaker, and it only takes a simple majority for them to be overthrown. With the razor-thin margins Democrats and Republicans have shared in the past two congressional terms and the rise of hyper-partisan extremist legislators representing gerrymandered districts, it is imperative that procedures are set in place by Congress to make it significantly more difficult for a Speaker of the House to be vacated. The House of Representatives needs to remain in motion and conduct the business of the nation. Congress shouldn’t be in a position to allow a few radical representatives to prevent all of the committee meetings, budgeting, appropriation responsibilities and other legislative initiatives from occurring to the detriment of the American people. 

Speaker Mike Johnson and conservatives all over America may feel relieved that the circus of Congress without a Speaker is currently over. But if the Republican House Leadership refuses to make any reasonable changes that thwart another potential fringe uprising, then they will hold severe responsibility for any more federal dysfunction that comes as a result of their own negligence.