Every Iowa Republican in the US House of Representatives last week voted to elect Mike Johnson as the new Speaker of the House, elevating an extreme, anti-abortion and anti-LGBTQ candidate to the most powerful position in Congress.
Reps. Randy Feenstra, Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, and Zach Nunn all voted for Johnson, an evangelical conservative and former attorney who’s been dubbed “MAGA Mike” by both allies and opponents.
Johnson is one of the most conservative speakers ever and the least experienced speaker in 140 years–he’s in just his fourth term, and has never served in a senior party leadership position or as a full committee chair. In his short amount of time in office, he’s developed a staunchly conservative voting record, earning himself a rating of 92% from the American Conservative Union and 90% from Heritage Action.
In addition to helping lead the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election and supporting cuts to Social Security, Johnson supports a nationwide abortion ban and has a long history of anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
Johnson has long opposed reproductive freedom and spent years working at the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-abortion, anti-LGBTQ legal organization that helped overturn Roe v. Wade. During his time at the group, he fought to shut down an abortion clinic in Louisiana.
He has consistently opposed abortion rights in Congress, earning himself an “A+” rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a group that seeks to end abortion in the United States.
After being elected to the House, Johnson pushed former President Donald Trump to appoint Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court so that she would vote to overturn Roe. When Barrett and her fellow conservative Justices on the Court did overturn Roe, Johnson celebrated, calling it a “historic and joyful” day.
Johnson also signed onto a nationwide abortion ban after Roe was repealed.
Johnson also opposes gay marriage and during his time at the Alliance Defending Freedom, he filed a lawsuit defending Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.
CNN also reported last week that Johnson has a history of using inflammatory, anti-gay language in editorials, columns, and op-eds written during his time at Alliance Defending Freedom.
For example, Johnson called homosexual relationships “inherently unnatural,” “ultimately harmful,” and “costly for everyone” in a 2004 editorial in support of a Louisiana amendment banning same-sex marriage. That same year, he predicted that same sex marriage might doom America in another editorial.
“Experts project that homosexual marriage is the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic,” he wrote in the latter piece.
Democratic lawmakers across the country have spoken out against Johnson’s election and the Republicans who voted for him.
Iowa Democrats responded to the election of Johnson as House Speaker in a statement.
“After managing to waste most of October on their chaotic inability to elect a speaker, House Republicans finally chose Mike Johnson to replace the ousted Kevin McCarthy,” the statement reads. “While Iowans likely aren’t too familiar with him, we are. Johnson led the efforts to overturn the 2020 election, wants a total abortion ban, and has fought to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. There is no doubt that Zach Nunn, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson, and Randy Feenstra just elected a speaker who satisfies the MAGA crowd requirements but certainly doesn’t reflect what’s best for Iowa.”
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