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Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson, of Louisiana, meets with Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives are being targeted by their Democratic opponents for electing Louisiana Republican Mike Johnson speaker.

Johnson won the speakership Wednesday after every one of the 220 House Republicans voted for him. Johnson is an election denier who was involved in former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Johnson is also virulently opposed to abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.

“After weeks of partisan squabbles, abandoning our allies under attack, and pushing us dangerously close to a government shutdown – Republicans have chosen a MAGA acolyte to push an extreme agenda in the House at the expense of middle-class families,” Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a statement. 

Johnson spread lies about fraud in the 2020 election, including a baseless conspiracy theory about voting machines. 

“When you have a software system that is used across the country that is suspect because it came from Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, when you have testimonials of people like this, but in large numbers, it begs to be litigated and investigated,” Johnson said in an interview on Shreveport talk radio station KEEL after the 2020 election, according to New York magazine’s Intelligencer.

Politico reported that Johnson met with congressional colleagues on Jan. 5, 2021, to help convince them to join him in voting against certifying Joe Biden’s win.

“This is a very weighty decision. All of us have prayed for God’s discernment. I know I’ve prayed for each of you individually,” Johnson said at the meeting, according to Politico.

Johnson also authored an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a challenge by the state of Texas to the 2020 presidential election results in four states Biden won. The amicus brief urged the Court to nullify the presidential results in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, and order new elections be held in those states.

Johnson has also co-sponsored legislation that would ban abortion at the moment of conception.

And during a February hearing of the House Judiciary Committee, he said the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade was good because it would ensure that more babies are born who can later become productive workers and support the economy.

“We have an aging population here, we don’t have able-bodied workers, enough of them in the economy to support our programs, Social Security and Medicare for example,” Johnson said

Johnson has also supported anti-sodomy laws and made offensive comments about the LGBTQ+ community.

In a 2003 op-ed, Johnson criticized the Supreme Court’s decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which said a Texas law that criminalized gay sex was an illegal violation of the 14th Amendment. Johnson wrote that homosexuals lived “abnormal lifestyles” and engaged in “dangerous sexual conduct.” 

“By closing these bedroom doors, they have opened Pandora’s box,” Johnson wrote. 
In an op-ed in 2004, Johnson said that legalizing same-sex marriage would cause “chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.”

Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick and Scott Perry, two of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable House Republicans, voted for Johnson for speaker.

“He’s a Reagan Republican, not a Trump Republican,” Fitzpatrick said Wednesday on a press call organized by No Labels, a group that’s seeking to run a third-party candidate in 2024 and is funded by many Republican donors.

Ashley Ehasz, a Democrat running against Fitzpatrick in November 2024, slammed Fitzpatrick for voting for Johnson.

“Brian Fitzpatrick’s vote for Johnson shows you exactly who he is: a spineless creature of Washington, who caves to MAGA extremists,” Ehasz tweeted. “We can’t trust him to protect the right to abortion or the right to love who we love when he votes alongside Matt Gaetz and MTG. We must flip #PA01.”

Perry, meanwhile, tweeted on Wednesday: “Mike Johnson is a principled, devout, family man who loves and values the Constitution and our Nation. He will change the status quo. Full support.”
Janelle Stelson, a former news anchor and one of a handful of Democrats seeking to oust Perry in 2024, tweeted: “We hear you, @RepScottPerry… Full support for slashing SS & Medicare (Johnson’s “#1 priority”). Full support for imprisoning doctors who provide reproductive healthcare— ‘at hard labor.’ Full support for overturning elections you don’t agree with. We deserve so much better.”

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