The election of lawmaker Mike Johnson as the new president of the US House of Representatives has placed the ally of former president Donald Trump (2017-2021) in power in that chamber, who for the Democrats is one of the worst conservatives. party.
The representative from Louisiana, 51, served in the state Legislature from 2015 to January 2017 and later moved to the federal legislature, where he is the vice president of the Republican Conference, the body that oversees the selection of Republican leadership. -approve the tasks of the committees. and the development of communication strategy.
An ultra-conservative evangelical Christian, married since 1999 and father of four children, he describes himself on his website as a lawyer “who has dedicated his life and career to fighting for fundamental freedoms and traditional values.”
His coming to power in the chamber succeeding fellow conservative Kevin McCarthy, was dismissed on October 3 after a motion against him presented by the radical Matt Gaetz, ending the parliamentary chaos that has existed since then, which described by Democrats as. a “circus.” “.
Initially, Steve Scalise was appointed as the “number two” candidate for the Republicans in the Lower House, and then the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan. The first withdrew before even bringing his candidacy to the plenary session, realizing that he would not get the necessary votes, and the second after three failed attempts.
The last victim was Tom Emmer, elected on Tuesday, who abandoned his candidacy four hours later due to an internal boycott, which was fueled by Trump’s public criticism of him.
Although the former Republican president did not give his open support to Johnson, saying that he would not position himself in favor of any of them, he congratulated him when he was nominated and later after being elected.
“He will be a great speaker and we will be happy to help him. I have known him for a long time. He is an amazing leader. He is going to make us all proud,” he said this Wednesday about the lawmaker, who has a degree in Business Administration and a Doctorate in Jurisprudence.
For Democrats, the new speaker is the “architect” behind the scenes of what they call Trump’s “Big Lie.” The lawmaker helped spread election conspiracy theories and led an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election, in which Democrat Joe Biden won.
Johnson was actually a member of Trump’s legal team when he was impeached.
The Democratic National Committee accused him of being an “anti-abortion extremist who has repeatedly supported and co-sponsored national legislation” against voluntary termination of pregnancy, and who has spent “his entire political career to try to take reproductive freedom away from women and imprison doctors for providing medical care.”
Johnson works with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-LGBTQ+ group.
For Marco Frieri, spokesman for the Democrats, he could be the most “MAGA” leader the Lower House has ever had. That’s the acronym for “Make America Great Again,” Trump’s campaign and Presidency slogan.
He is part of the former president’s “inner circle” and according to progressives “he has no problem using the power of his office to carry out his orders”, leading other efforts to cut funding for programs such as of Social Security.
Johnson, however, was able to overcome internal divisions. The previous candidates gave up either of their own will or were forced due to the lack of support from nearly twenty of their colleagues, and in this Wednesday vote the support received was unanimous.
His first statement in his new role explained his goals: “We will advance a comprehensive conservative policy agenda, fight the damaging policies of the Biden Administration, and support our allies in out of the country. And let’s restore sanity to a government that desperately needs it. Let’s get back to work,” he said on X (formerly Twitter).
The interim presidency has so far been in the hands of conservative Patrick McHenry, who was appointed by McCarthy, but without a president in the chamber, new bills or resolutions cannot be approved, amid the need to negotiate budget for the current fiscal year. or help Israel. or Ukraine.
The first bill he sponsored as a “speaker,” as he detailed, was precisely in favor of Israel, but managing the Mexican border and the fentanyl trade were among his priorities.