Cheryl Johnson Is The First Black House Speaker, GOP Is In Disarray

The newly convened session of Congress has gotten off to a shaky beginning. In spite of holding a razor-thin majority in the House of Representatives, Republicans have been unable to confirm any of their members for the position of Speaker of the House for the past two days and counting. Republican infighting has put the House in disarray and rendered it incapable of doing its duties, while Democrats come together in support of New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries, who will create history by becoming the first Black person to lead a political party in Congress.

As a result of the chaos that has ensued in the House due to the absence of a speaker, another historic event has occurred by accident. This time, a Black woman named Cheryl Johnson is in charge of the chamber for the very first time in its entire existence.

A Dedicated Member Of The Public Sector

Johnson received his degrees from the University of Iowa, Howard University, and Harvard University. Although he was born in New Orleans, he attended all three universities. She has held a variety of jobs inside the House of Representatives during the majority of her career in Washington, which spans over 30 years and includes 10 years spent working at the Smithsonian Institution. In the year 2019, Johnson was selected for the position of Clerk of the House. Following in the footsteps of Lorraine Miller, she is the second Black woman to hold this position.

A New Position Of Leadership Was Thrust Upon Them

After the election of a new speaker and the inauguration of newly elected members of Congress, the primary responsibilities of the clerk post shift to include administration and the maintenance of records, as stated on the website of the House of Representatives. Johnson is the official in charge of the proceedings in the House of Representatives because that has not occurred.

It is specified in both the Constitution and the rules of the House that the house is unable to carry out its duties (such as assigning members to committees, holding hearings, or adopting legislation) until a speaker has been selected. As a result, Johnson’s role has been to preside over that process, which, one hundred years after the initial vote, remains unresolved for the first time in that entire time period.

House observers have frequently heard Johnson’s voice say that “a speaker has not been elected” despite the fact that there have previously been six attempts to elect a speaker that have been unsuccessful.

Cheryl Johnson Is The First Black House Speaker, GOP Is In Disarray
Cheryl Johnson Is The First Black House Speaker, GOP Is In Disarray

The Most Recent Example Of A Series Of Never-before-seen Events

Johnson’s present function as leader of the House is the most recent development in her career as clerk; she has been confronted with conditions that are unlike any others in the job’s whole history. To begin, Johnson has been a member of two separate impeachment procedures and has survived the uprising that took place on January 6, 2021. Now, she is in the unusual situation of presiding over a House of Representatives that does not have a speaker until someone is finally elected to the role.

On Capitol Hill, people have taken notice of Johnson’s important role. Rep. Jared Moskowitz (D-Florida) put out a tweet on Thursday morning that read, “I want to salute Cheryl Johnson for her public service!” This sentiment is a reflection of her efforts over the past two days as well as her twenty years spent in Washington, District of Columbia.

Nobody really knows how long it will take to choose a new Speaker of the House of Representatives, does anyone? But until that day arrives, Johnson will continue to create history each time she says that “a Speaker has not been elected.”

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