Now that the dust has settled on the election for House Speaker, it’s time to learn more about the man the House chose to lead it. Who is Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), and why is he a good choice to lead the House?
Mike Johnson is a 51-year-old attorney from Benton, La., who has represented Louisiana’s 4th district since 2017. That district stretches from the northwest corner to the center of the Pelican State. It’s a solid red district that has stayed Republican since 1997, and Johnson lives there with his wife, two daughters, and two sons.
It is the honor of a lifetime to have been elected the 56th Speaker of the House.
Thank you to my colleagues, friends, staff, and family for the unmatched support throughout this process.
It has been an arduous few weeks, and a reminder that the House is as complicated and…
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) October 25, 2023
But beyond the surface, there are plenty of reasons why Johnson is a wise choice for House Speaker. Here are just a few of them.
He’s a faithful Christian who fights for life and religious liberty.
Johnson doesn’t hide his deep Christian faith, and he allows it to guide his policy-making decisions. He’s solidly pro-life and has called for a nationwide ban on abortion. (Yes, I know your mileage may vary on that tactic, but it does demonstrate how committed he is to protecting the unborn.) He also unabashedly supports the traditional family.
“A just government protects life, honors marriage and family as the primary institutions of a healthy society, and embraces the vital cultural influences of religion and morality,” reads Johnson’s House website.
Johnson even put his money where his mouth is when it comes to his faith, serving as an attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, an effective legal organization that helps protect religious liberty.
“So we are talking about a self-consciously committed evangelical Christian,” Albert Mohler summarized in his Briefing on Thursday. “We’re talking about an attorney who has put his reputation on the line to defend religious liberty. We’re talking about someone who clearly is willing to identify with evangelical Christians as an evangelical Christian, and he comes with a great deal of experience, not only as a legislator, both in Louisiana and now in the House of Representatives, but also as a litigator and attorney with Christian commitments.”
Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani writes in the New Republic, “Johnson is also an evangelical Christian who has said, ‘My faith informs everything I do.’” And that sets off alarm bells on the left. That alone is enough to make conservative Christians love him even more.
He stood up for Donald Trump when Democrats impeached him.
Both Johnson and Trump came into office in 2017, and their relationship got off to a rocky start. Johnson found himself unable to support the GOP’s Trump-backed legislative efforts to repeal Obamacare because he thought it was “haphazardly drawn,” but he and Trump became staunch allies when Johnson helped file an amicus brief supporting the president during the 2020 impeachment proceedings.
President Trump called me this morning to let me know how much he appreciates the amicus brief we are filing on behalf of Members of Congress. Indeed, “this is the big one!” https://t.co/eV1aoNlpvq
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) December 9, 2020
This led the Shreveport Times to refer to Johnson as “a trusted member of Donald Trump’s inner circle.” Why is this important? The way things stand right now, Trump looks to be the most likely Republican nominee for 2024. Having the support of key Congressional leaders like Johnson could help sway some reluctant voters to the former president’s side.
He supports Israel and questions the blank-check approach to Ukraine.
One of Johnson’s first acts as House Speaker was to pass House Resolution 771, “Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.” An overwhelming 410 members of Congress voted in favor of it.
House Republicans PASSED the resolution, reaffirming our support for Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.
We will ALWAYS stand with our great ally Israel. pic.twitter.com/nXqwnAnQIn
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) October 25, 2023
Johnson also has expressed his concerns about the fact that the U.S. is passing money to Ukraine hand over fist with little accountability. “Like other conservatives, he has voiced concerns over freely handing out money like party favors to Ukraine and wants to see more accountability for where that money is and who it is going to,” notes Joe Cunningham at RedState.
American taxpayers have sent over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine in the last year.
They deserve to know if the Ukrainian government is being entirely forthcoming and transparent about the use of this massive sum of taxpayer resources. pic.twitter.com/pf0ZpjzU2f
— Speaker Mike Johnson (@SpeakerJohnson) February 28, 2023
“Republicans for Ukraine” gave Johnson a grade of F.
I knew I liked this guy! pic.twitter.com/KYMqVsutmE
— Rep. Mike Collins (@RepMikeCollins) October 25, 2023
I’m sure the new House Speaker is losing sleep over that.
He has the support of conservatives in Congress.
During Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) brief tenure as House Speaker, everyone cast a suspicious eye on him. Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), and Steve Scalise (R-La.) couldn’t gin up enough support to get over the line. But Johnson has the support of many conservatives in the House.
“I am proud to congratulate my friend, Mike Johnson, on becoming the 56th Speaker of the House of Representatives. A fellow conservative and a man of deep Christian faith, Mike believes in this country, our Constitution, American values, and the American way of life — and he isn’t afraid to fight for them,” said Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) in a statement.
Roy added, “It is time to lead. It is time to fight. It is time for the American people to win again. We have a solemn duty upon us and a great task ahead of us; I look forward to continuing that work with Speaker Johnson and the rest of my colleagues. Onward.”
My congressman, Rep. Mike Collins (R-Ga.), said, “Today, I proudly voted for now-Speaker Mike Johnson on the House floor. After ten months of infighting over personalities and politics, I am grateful that our majority has rallied behind a strong conservative, an effective legislator, and a trusted, well-liked man to lead our conference. Mike Johnson is simply the right man for this moment, and I look forward to working with him to put America First and get our country back on a path to fiscal and economic prosperity. Let’s get to work!”
My colleague Spencer Brown at Townhall detailed some more of the reactions:
“Mr. Johnson is a proven conservative,” said Rep. Michelle Fischbach (R-MN). “I was honored to work with him on the Judiciary Committee, and I am confident that, as speaker, he will move forward with an agenda that reflects the values and priorities of the American people.”
Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) said Johnson “is honorable, smart,” and has “done a good job of bringing together members of different viewpoints to deliver conservative victories for the American people.”
“Throughout his time in Congress, Speaker Johnson has been a consistent and passionate champion of conservative principles, and I look forward to working alongside him and all House Republicans to deliver on the promises we made to the American people,” stated Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO).
These sorts of encomia are hard to ignore. Conservatives have a lot of confidence in Johnson, and so should we.
Wait, wut? Isn’t a Speaker of the House supposed to be a bulldog and an aggressive go-getter? That might be the case most of the time, but Johnson’s demeanor, which is part of his Christian lifestyle, can help him tremendously.
For starters, Johnson’s niceness makes it easier for people to get along with him, even when they don’t agree with him. An easygoing personality can defuse a lot of difficult circumstances.
Mohler explained the other aspect of Johnson’s nice disposition: he hasn’t made enemies so far in his time in Congress. He also pointed out that Johnson reflects his Christian faith in the way he comports himself.
“Now you say, it might not be the most important thing that the Republicans would elect a speaker who is nice,” Mohler stated. “On the other hand, that is also a biblical issue. The biblical issue simply tells us that we are to treat people with respect. We are to seek to get along with people in goodwill. That is a matter of Christian testimony.”
I believe that Mike Johnson is the man that we need holding the gavel at this time. In the Old Testament book of Esther, Queen Esther’s uncle told his niece, “And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” This is Mike Johnson’s time. Pray for God to give him the strength to succeed.