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25 Oct 2023, 7:27 pm

Mike Johnson elected House speaker, putting Louisiana Republican in the spotlight

Republican Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, ending a three-week leadership crisis that has paralyzed Congress.

Vice chairman of the House Republican conference and a hard-right conservative, Johnson had maintained a low public profile until he was thrust into the spotlight this week after securing the party’s nomination for speaker.

All 220 Republicans who cast a ballot voted for Johnson — despite his being the fourth nominee tapped by the GOP conference in two weeks as the deeply divided party repeatedly failed to put forward a candidate who had enough support.

In an address to Congress after his election, Johnson said the first bill he would bring to the House floor is a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in its war against Hamas.

All 209 Democrats who voted Wednesday cast their ballot for Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y.

President Joe Biden called Johnson to congratulate the speaker and said he looks forward to working together to find common ground, according to the White House.

Johnson’s bid received a boost Wednesday from former President Donald Trump, who encouraged Republicans to vote for the Louisianan.

He also consolidated the backing of several moderate New York Republicans who had been reluctant to support some of the more hardline conservatives who sought the top job.

Johnson told Republicans in a letter Monday that he would propose a temporary measure to fund the government through Jan. 15 or April 15, as the House works to pass the 12 appropriation bills needed to keep federal agencies running through the entire fiscal year.

Johnson voted against legislation in September that has kept the government running through November, and he has opposed assistance for Ukraine in the past. The Louisiana Republican said earlier this month that the House needs to take all necessary action to help Israel destroy Hamas.

Johnson is a staunch social conservative who participated in Republican efforts to overturn Biden’s 2020 election victory.

He filed a legal brief in support of a lawsuit that sought to block the certification of Biden’s victories in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Johnson then supported objections in Congress to the certification of Arizona’s and Pennsylvania’s 2020 presidential results.

Johnson also served on Trump’s legal team during the former president’s first impeachment.

He previously did legal work for the Alliance Defending Freedom, an ultraconservative advocacy group that litigates to restrict abortion access and prohibit same-sex marriage.

How new House Speaker Mike Johnson spent years fighting against gay rights
An ABC News examination of public records, news reports and documents shows the extent to which Johnson dedicated earlier phases of his career to limiting gay rights, including same-sex marriage and health care access, and through anti-gay activism on college campuses.

In comments from over fifteen years ago, long before he became a lawmaker and while acting as an attorney and spokesman for the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a Christian advocacy group, Johnson described homosexuals as "sinful" and "destructive" and argued support for homosexuality could lead to support for pedophilia. He also authored op-eds that argued for criminalizing gay sex.

"There is clearly no 'right to sodomy' in the Constitution," Johnson wrote in a 2003 column in a Louisiana newspaper. "And the right of 'privacy of the home' has never placed all activity with the home outside the bounds of the criminal law."

In 2005, during nationwide Day of Silence protests aimed at addressing anti-gay bias in schools, Johnson and the ADF spearheaded a counterprotest dubbed the "Day of Truth." Defending the counterprotest, Johnson at the time said anti-gay protesters were "sharing the truth out of love and compassion," adding that the "truth" was based on a strict interpretation of the Bible that "if someone's trapped in a homosexual lifestyle, it's dangerous."

Before his congressional career, Johnson wore multiple hats: as a conservative talk radio host, a columnist, a college professor and a constitutional law seminar instructor, as well as a brief stint as a state lawmaker.

Elected to the House in 2016, Johnson was part of the Republican surge that accompanied former President Donald Trump's rise to power.

He was also instrumental in drafting legislation like the Stop the Sexualization of Children Act, which was introduced in late 2022 but never brought to the floor and would have prevented the use of federal money to "develop, implement, facilitate, or fund any sexually oriented program, event, or literature" for kids under 10, with proponents of the proposal saying it would keep inappropriate material from children.

Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson, in a statement to ABC News, called Johnson "the most anti-equality Speaker in U.S. history" while also noting his past support for efforts to overturn the 2020 election results.

According to records, Johnson's time working for the ADF went as far back as 2002. The Southern Poverty law Center says Alliance Defending Freedom has "supported the recriminalization of sexual acts between consenting LGBTQ adults in the U.S. and criminalization abroad" while claiming that a "homosexual agenda" will destroy Christianity and society," among other hard-liner stances on restricting LGBTQ people's behavior.

In a statement to ABC News, a senior counsel for the group, Jeremy Tedesco, defended ADF as "one of the nation’s most respected and successful U.S.

According to another news report, Johnson said being gay was "morally wrong and physically dangerous."

While working as a senior counsel for the ADF, Johnson fought for an amendment in Louisiana to ban gay marriage, which was approved by voters in 2004 -- part of a wave of such restrictions that passed that year nationwide -- and he filed suit against a New Orleans law that provided benefits to same-sex partners of city employees. A state appellate court ultimately upheld the benefits.

Republican Rep. George Santos, the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress, was one of Johnson's earliest promoters for the speakership.

After Johnson was elected, Santos tweeted, "This is the man, right here."

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Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 25 Oct 2023, 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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25 Oct 2023, 7:41 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
In an address to Congress after his election, Johnson said the first bill he would bring to the House floor is a resolution expressing solidarity with Israel in its war against Hamas.
One he accomplishes this, I hope he gets impeached and dismissed.

No love for Hamas, Hezbollah, Iranian Leadership, Islamic Jihad, other Islamic terrorist groups, OR their supporters and sympathizers.


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25 Oct 2023, 7:55 pm

He's not even the craziest MAGA rep from Louisiana.

That would by Clay Higgins.

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