Republicans Elect Mike Johnson as Speaker, Highlighting Far-Right Influence
After a series of unsuccessful nominations, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have chosen Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson as their speaker. This decision underscores the significant influence of the far-right within the party.
Party Line Vote Elects Mike Johnson as Speaker
The vote, which followed the withdrawal of Tom Emmer, Steve Scalise, and Jim Jordan, was divided along party lines, with 220 Republicans in favor and 209 Democrats opposed. This shift in leadership comes in the wake of a few far-right Republicans breaking ranks to support the removal of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the previously elected speaker.
Affirmation of MAGA Movement
Representative Matt Gaetz declared, “MAGA is ascendant.” Gaetz, referring to the “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan of former President Donald Trump, highlighted the dominance of this movement within the Republican Party. Despite ongoing criminal cases, Trump remains the frontrunner for the party’s 2024 presidential nomination.
Controversy Surrounding Mike Johnson
Some concerns raised about Mike Johnson, the newly elected speaker and vice chair of the House Republican Conference, are related to his involvement in the January 6, 2021 insurrection, which was incited by Trump and his allies. Critics argue that Johnson’s record of election denial and attempts to overturn the will of the people make him unfit for such a position.
Response to Speaker Election
Following the vote, Stand Up America founder Sean Eldridge criticized the decision, stating, “Today is a dark day for American democracy.” Eldridge emphasized that those who have undermined democracy should not be trusted to lead it. Similarly, Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires, described the elevation of Mike Johnson as reprehensible and disqualifying.
Opposition from Advocacy Groups
Advocacy groups focused on reproductive freedom, climate action, and protecting programs like Social Security have also voiced opposition to Johnson’s speakership. Social Security Works executive director Alex Lawson highlighted Johnson’s hostility towards Social Security and Medicare, while Food & Water Action deputy director Mitch Jones criticized Johnson’s anti-truth and anti-science views, particularly regarding climate change.
Criticism of Johnson’s Stances
NextGen America expressed concerns about Johnson’s denial of the 2020 election results and his support for a national abortion ban, labeling him a threat to the future and democracy. Public Citizen executive vice president Lisa Gilbert accused Johnson of leading efforts to deny the certification of President Biden’s victory and overturn a democratic election, asserting that House Republicans have shown their contempt for democracy through their election denialism.
Read More of this Story at www.commondreams.org – 2023-10-25 18:47:29
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