Who sits behind the president? For Biden, it’s a new face every year

This combination of photos shows President Joe Biden with Vice President Kamala Harris, left, during three State of the Union addresses. Pictured at right in each photo are House Speakers Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on March 1, 2022, Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., on Feb. 7, 2023, and Mike Johnson, R-La., on March 7, 2024. (AP Photo) (Uncredited, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – During the State of the Union address, the House speaker and vice president sit behind the president. But there has been a new speaker every year under President Joe Biden. Former leader Nancy Pelosi lost the spot when Republicans secured a narrow lead in the chamber in during the 2022 midterm elections.

Then it was Kevin McCarthy, who was ousted last year after he backed a deal to keep the government funded.

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Now, it’s Mike Johnson in the seat. He was elected to the job in October a fter a stunning 21 days with no leader. It was the longest Congress was rudderless since 1962. That time it took 55 days to elect a new speaker.

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