Mike Johnson Elected US House Speaker: A Win for Conservativism Globally
Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana has been elected the 56th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. The Speaker is the leader of the House and is chosen by a majority vote of the Members of the House who are present and voting. After more than three weeks of drama and intrigue, the Republican Party finally came together, with every single one of the 220 Republican House Members giving their vote to the new Speaker.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the most powerful positions in the United States Government. The Speaker is the highest ranking legislative official in the U.S Government and is the political and parliamentary leader of the House of Representatives. According to the order of succession outlined in US Law, if the President and Vice President are both unable to carry out their duties, the Speaker would assume the role of President.
The Speaker controls the order of all institutional business on the House floor, and can therefore make or break a U.S. President’s legislative agenda. The Speaker is responsible for scheduling votes on legislation and can decide which Bills are brought to the floor for consideration. The Speaker can influence the legislative process by working with committee chairs to shape legislation and by deciding which members go to the conference committees whose role is to reconcile differences between the House and Senate version of Bills.
Considering the weight of the position, the ideological leanings of the new holder of this office was always going to be important. Rep. Mike Johnson might be the most ideologically conservative person to serve as Speaker in over two decades. Johnson is a Southern Baptist who was a senior spokesperson and attorney for the Conservative Christian Legal Group, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The ADF is responsible for many anti abortion and anti lgbtq laws in the United States. Its recommended legislation on how to ban abortion was adopted by Mississippi, and this led to the Supreme Court Case that ended up overturning Roe v. Wade. The ADF also successfully defended website designer Lorie Smith after she refused to build a wedding website for a LGBTQ couple, citing her personal and religious beliefs. The landmark case went all the way to the Supreme Court, who ruled that the First Amendment shielded Business Owners from speaking against their conscience.
When he was running for office for the first time back in 2016, Rep Mike Johnson told a Conservative Christian Website the following, “I’ve been called to legal ministry… I've been out on the frontlines of the ‘culture war’ defending religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and biblical values, including the defense of traditional marriage, and other ideals like these when they’ve been under attack.”
Rep. Johnson stayed true to his convictions when he was elected. He was vice chair of the House Republican Conference when he made it clear that he was opposed to the so-called “gender-affirming” care for minors. A bill he introduced would restrict any discussion related to gender identity, sexual orientation and gender dysphoria with children at federally funded institutions. On an X (Twitter) Post, the new Speaker has promised to “advance a comprehensive policy agenda, combat the harmful policies of the Biden Administration, and support our allies abroad…”.
All this is important because the current United States Government uses tax dollars to fund “liberal and progressive” programs abroad, programs meant to change the cultures of other countries. However, they cannot do so in a vacuum, any money spent on such ventures has to be approved in the House of Representatives.
For example, in July, the House Appropriations Committee had approved the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill. This annual bill allocates funding to many governmental programs and it affects the directions of U.S government agencies. Democrats had put in amendments in the Bill that would have directed American tax dollars to pay for abortions and LGBTQ activism abroad. Last year, in September 2022, the State Department gave money to an organization in Ecuador to “promote diversity and inclusion” through a drag show event. This is just one example of how the current Biden Administration would divert funds if there were no limitations placed on them by Congress.
The election of Rep. Mike Johnson as House Speaker is a definite win for Conservative and Christian voices around the world. There will be limitations on the State Department giving millions of dollars to causes that promote the LGBTQ and pro abortion agenda in foreign countries that do not wish to adopt these values.