CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) said she is looking forward to “honest and effective” leadership in the U.S. House after Republicans elevated Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) to the chamber’s top post earlier this week.
Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) ascended to the role Wednesday, three weeks and one day after eight GOP House members ignited chaos by ousting Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
Johnson got the unanimous support of his colleagues on the House floor, an achievement that proved impossible for Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.), Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.).
“We told the American people they deserved someone who would be honest and represent their interests, not Washington’s,” Mace wrote in a statement on X shortly after the vote. “There is no denying this was a difficult process, but one that was well worth it.”
The congresswoman echoed that sentiment in a call with reporters Thursday, saying that while democracy can be “messy work,” she hopes the process has been eye-opening for the entire country.
Mace was one of eight GOP rebels who voted with Democrats to remove McCarthy from the Speakership on Oct. 3. She has repeatedly defended that vote, calling the Speaker “misleading” and “untrustworthy,” and said that she received death threats as a result.
“The Speaker has not lived up to his word on how the House would operate,” she wrote in a post on X following the motion to vacate. “No budget, no separate spending bills until it was too late, a CR which takes spending power out of the hands of the people and puts all the power into the hands of a select few.”
It was not the first time Mace cited broken promises as a concern with McCarthy’s leadership.
“I was made promises by the Speaker that have not been kept,” she said in a Sept. 27 interview on The View. “I am very focused on women’s issues right now and our military and balancing the budget…and we haven’t done those things.”
However, some believe Mace’s decision to back Johnson, who she calls “honest, humble and truthful,” contradicts her reasons for ousting McCarthy.
“I am unclear about who the real Nancy Mace is,” said Michael B. Moore, one of two Democrats hoping to unseat Mace in the 1st Congressional District. “She said, by the way, that part of the motivation for her voting against Speaker McCarthy was around women’s issues, but then she votes for someone who is perhaps even more to the right and more out-of-touch with the district on that.”
Prior to being elected to Congress, Johnson was an attorney and spokesman for the powerhouse conservative legal group Alliance Defending Freedom, the group that has helped draft and defend states’ anti-abortion laws, including in Mississippi in the case that led the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In addition, Johnson has advocated for and co-sponsored several pieces of legislation that seek to restrict the procedure at the federal level including the Life at Conception Act and the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2023.
Moore also said that Mace bears some responsibility for causing a chaotic three weeks that left the chamber unable to carry out basic functions, citing the ongoing wars in Israel and Ukraine.
“Among the greatest things that struck people in the district, certainly the ones I talked to, is just the overall sense that government doesn’t work…Their representative currently is out focusing on a whole agenda that really is almost irrelevant to the day-to-day needs of people in the district,” he continued.
The Hill contributed to this report.