Congratulations pour in for newly elected Speaker

Published 2:13 pm Wednesday, October 25, 2023

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana, easily secured enough votes to be elected House speaker on Wednesday, ending three weeks of political chaos in Washington.

Johnson — elected to Congress in 2016 by the largest margin of victory in his region in more than 50 years — is from Bossier City and served as legal counsel for Louisiana Right to Life and chief counsel of Freedom Guard, a not-for-profit, public interest law firm that “works to defend religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, marriage and the family.”

A constitutional law attorney, Johnson has served as vice chair of the House Republican Conference since 2021 and also is the Deputy Whip for the 118th Congress. He serves on the House Judiciary Committee, and is the chairman of its subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government. He also serves on the Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, and on the House Armed Services Committee. Johnson’s district includes Barksdale Air Force Base, Fort Johnson and Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Site.

As a freshman congressman, Johnson led the effort to change the tone in Washington by asking his fellow lawmakers to sign the Pledge of Civility.

As a freshman congressman, Johnson led the effort to change the tone in Washington by asking his fellow lawmakers to sign the Pledge of Civility. The late civil rights leader John Lewis also dotted his name on the line.

“We need to listen to each other; people expect us to act like grown-ups, and we should,” he told the American Press in 2018.

Johnson has co-sponsored multiple pieces of pro-life legislation and is the lead sponsor of the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act.

“National Right to Life congratulates Speaker Mike Johnson,” stated Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, said in an email to the American Press on Wednesday. “Speaker Johnson is committed to the right to life, and he will make the right to life and protecting women and their unborn children a priority in Congress.”

Prior to serving in the U.S. House, Johnson served in the Louisiana Legislature from February 2015 to January 2017.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards sent his congratulations to Johnson Wednesday afternoon.

“In Louisiana, despite our differences, we have found ways to work across party lines to guide our state through challenges and deliver progress for our people. I hope that Speaker Johnson can bring these Louisiana values to Washington.”

Johnson also received accolades from U.S. Sens. Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, both of Louisiana.

“Congratulations to my good friend Mike Johnson on becoming the Speaker of the House,” Kennedy said. “My House colleagues have selected an outstanding leader to navigate an unprecedented time. Mike isn’t just a consistent conservative — he’s a courageous one. He loves God, his family, and his country more than anything, and he has devoted his life to serving them faithfully. American families share Mike’s Louisiana values, and they deserve his confident, principled leadership.”

Louisiana Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin said Wednesday was a great day for the state.

“Our state and nation will be well served by his leadership in this important role,” Ardoin said. “I am especially pleased that the two highest positions in the House of Representatives are now held by Louisianians.” (U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is the House Majority Leader.)

Prior to Johnson’s election to speaker, the House was without a leader for 21 days after ousting Kevin McCarthy for striking a deal with Democrats to pass a 45-day stopgap funding bill to avert a federal government shutdown.