The Big “I” has a good relationship with the new House Speaker, who has been supportive of the National Flood Insurance Program and the Federal Crop Insurance Program.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives elected Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) to be the 56th Speaker of the House. After going 22 days without a Speaker, the House voted 220-209 in favor of Rep. Johnson with all Republicans supporting their party's nominee.
The vote concluded a tumultuous time in the House after the previous Speaker, Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), was ousted in a 216-210 vote, which saw eight Republicans side with every House Democrat.
The Big “I" has a good relationship with the new House Speaker and his staff. “We congratulate Speaker Mike Johnson on his election," said Charles Symington, Big “I" President and CEO. “We look forward to working with him to advance common-sense legislation that positively impacts small business throughout this country."
Meanwhile, all other House leadership positions remain intact. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) remains Republican Leader; Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN) continues as Republican Whip with Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) as Chief Deputy Whip and Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) as Conference Chair.
Speaker Johnson is an affable, personable and well-liked member of the House who has largely avoided the public spotlight. This blank canvas should give him some leeway to carve his own path and give him a honeymoon period to legislate. Speaker Johnson successfully bridges the divide between House conservatives and moderates.
Prior to becoming Speaker, he served as House Republican Conference Vice Chairman, was a member of the Republican Whip team, and chaired the Republican Study Committee, which is the largest conservative caucus in the House. He currently sits on the House Committee on the Judiciary and House Armed Services Committee.
The House went most of the month of October without a Speaker, which effectively froze all legislative action. After electing SpeakerJohnson, the House immediately resumed its work. Speaker Johnson recently circulated a letter to his colleagues, outlining his plan for the remainder of the 118th Congress.
In relation to Big “I" priorities, Speaker Johnson is proposing a continuing resolution to keep the federal government funded through January 15, 2024, or April 15, 2024, reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which Johnson has historically been supportive of. Additionally, Speaker Johnson proposes completing work on the Farm Bill by the end of 2023. He was supportive of the most recent Farm Bill, as well as the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
The Big “I" will continue to stay in front of Speaker Johnson and other important leaders on both sides of the aisle, advocating for the independent agency system.
Nathan Riedel is Big “I" senior vice president of federal government affairs.