Friday, October 27, 2023

Who is New House Speaker Mike Johnson? Louisiana Attorney Known as Religious Conservative; New Speaker Mike Johnson Made His Name as Cultural Conservative

NY POST: Who is new House Speaker Mike Johnson? Louisiana attorney known as religious conservative:
Rep. Mike Johnson pulled off a feat few believed possible Wednesday by becoming the 56th House speaker — with the full support of his GOP colleagues.
Barely known outside the Beltway, Johnson (R-La.), 51, was first elected to Congress in 2016 after fewer than two years in the Pelican State’s legislature.
Even some prominent Republican senators didn’t seem to know much about him, with Susan Collins of Maine telling reporters Wednesday morning that she planned to Google the new speaker.
But among House Republicans, Johnson is no unknown quantity.
Before his rapid ascension to speaker, he served as Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, making him the No. 5-ranked GOPer in the lower chamber.
Prior to that, Johnson chaired the Republican Study Committee between 2019 and 2021.
Who is Mike Johnson?
After receiving his undergraduate and law degrees from Louisiana State University, Shreveport native Johnson made a splash in the legal arena during the early 2000s.
He worked as a partner in North Louisiana’s prominent Kitchens Law Firm and served as a spokesman for the pro-religious liberty Alliance Defense Fund, now called the Alliance for Defending Freedom.
At one point, in 2004, Johnson publicly supported an amendment to ban gay marriage in the Louisiana Constitution.
In 2015, he ran unopposed for a vacant seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. The following year, Johnson sought and won Louisiana’s 4th Congressional District seat, which had been held by GOP Rep. John Fleming before he gave it up to pursue an unsuccessful Senate run.
Johnson has been compared to former Vice President Mike Pence for his staunch Christian faith and cool public demeanor.
While in Congress, Johnson has championed anti-abortion legislation, including a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy; proposed legislation restricting federal funds from sex education courses for children under 10 that discuss LGBTQ issues; and opposed a bill to codify same-sex marriage nationally.
Johnson is married to Kelly Lary and has four children. --->READ MORE HERE
Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty
WSJ: New Speaker Mike Johnson Made His Name as Cultural Conservative:
In choosing Mike Johnson as the new House Speaker, Republicans have cast their lot with a little-known congressman from Louisiana who has made his name pushing conservative positions on cultural issues and who played a key role in unsuccessful legal efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
After 22 days without a speaker, House Republicans came together to elect Johnson for the post Wednesday after three other better-known nominees failed to unite the fractured conference.
Johnson, 51 years old, represents Louisiana’s deep-red fourth district, in the state’s northwest that includes Shreveport, where he grew up. Johnson is the son of a firefighter who was critically burned and disabled in the line of duty. He is the father of four children of his own.
Johnson was elected to Congress in 2016 after serving in the Louisiana state legislature. He has been an attorney with a focus on social conservative issues, including defending the state’s same-sex marriage ban before the Louisiana Supreme Court. His opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion along with support for religious freedoms has continued to guide him as a legislator.
As vice chairman of the House Republican Conference, Johnson was one of seven elected leaders for the party. However, he was seen as far enough removed from the top positions that members looking for new leadership—even more moderate lawmakers who might differ with him on some issues—were supportive of him taking over.
“Mike Johnson is a person who I think everybody respects, he’s a very principled human being,” said Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R., Fla.). Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R., Mo.) said Johnson “represents all of us, not just a particular group within the conference.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R., Fla.) has been seatmates with Johnson since the two were both elected in 2016 and has served with him on the oversight and armed services committees. “He is not swampy,” said Gaetz, who launched the vote that first ousted former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.). “He is not beholden to the lobbyists and special interests. Even when we disagree, it comes from a place of sincerity, not whoever’s donated to his campaign.”
Democrats called Johnson an extremist. They said his opposition to abortion and efforts to overturn the 2020 election results had been losing issues for Republicans in the 2022 election. When at least one Republican who will have a tough election next year voted for Johnson, a Democratic voice could be heard shouting “bye! bye!”
Rep. Pete Aguilar (Calif.), the chair of the House Democratic Caucus, said on the House floor Wednesday that Republicans were choosing a person who “can pass their extreme litmus test to oppose marriage equality, enact a nationwide abortion ban without exceptions, gut Social Security and Medicare, support overturning a free and fair election.” --->READ MORE HERE
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