After an historic vote to remove Kevin McCarthy from his position as Speaker of the House and the tumultuous weeks of voting that followed, the Republican-majority House of Representatives finally found its new House Speaker in Louisiana — Representative Mike Johnson.
Since 2017, Mike Johnson has served as a representative for the 4th district in Louisiana, and his rise to power came seemingly out of nowhere. He had no original intention of running, but after what he deemed to be “much prayer and deliberation,” he found the ability to rise to the challenge. With the infighting amongst the Republican Party, competition was incredibly stiff — but Johnson had a crucial Republican ally to help him cement himself as the party front runner: former President Donald Trump.
Though his presence has not been as well known as other Republican representatives — like Lauren Boebert or Marjorie Taylor Greene, for instance — his policies are very similar. Johnson allies himself strongly with Donald Trump and his positions fall on the far right, just as many others in his party now do. He opposed certifying the 2020 election and told Donald Trump to “stay strong” and “keep fighting.” Additionally, he was against actions of states to provide voting accommodations.Johnson also holds anti-abortion beliefs, standing firmly in favor of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Adding to his list of far-right social policies, he introduced a bill preventing discussion of any subjects related to gender identity and sexual orientation in any institution receiving federal funds. Lastly, he has supported a ban on gender-affirming care for those under the age of 18.
Johnson’s election as Speaker of the House is one part of a continued rise of far-right conservative power. His appointment – which should continue for at least a year unless Congress is struck with another speaker removal – should be monitored carefully by constituents. With the looming end of the agreed-upon budget leading to yet another risk of shutdown, as well as the impending 2024 Presidential election,Johnson’s decision-making power and representation of the U.S. House of Representatives could become ubiquitous.
Sophomore Chessie Bovasso is a Staff Writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.