Summer Lee Votes No on Dangerous Right-Wing Speaker Mike Johnson

Oct 25, 2023


October 25, 2023 


Summer Lee Votes No on Dangerous Right-Wing Speaker Mike Johnson

(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Summer Lee (D-PA-12) released the following statement on her third vote for Speaker after Republicans voted to elect Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA as their next Speaker of the House, ending the three week saga without a Speaker which included four internal elections and two failed votes. Once again, Republicans have nominated someone with documented instances of serious homophobia, empowering the violent January 6th insurrection, and is the architect behind Republican efforts for a national abortion ban.

Lee said, “Over the past month, we saw Republicans kick out Speaker McCarthy because he didn’t work to shut down the government. We are now 19 days away from another government shutdown and spend 26 of the past 45 days being forced to vote for increasingly fringe, right-wing Republicans as Speaker of the House. Let me be clear: no Republican candidate with documented ties to white supremacy and antisemitism, who seeks to restrict abortion access, who seeks to villainize and rip rights away from LGBTQ folks, and who seeks to overturn the election will ever receive my vote for Speaker of the House. The clearest way to govern and address the crisis we face is to enter a power-sharing agreement between Republicans and Democrats who are committed to ensuring Congress fulfills, at the very least, its most basic duties.”

Lee continued, “Mike Johnson has dedicated his public life to fighting right-wing cable news culture wars, waging wars on vulnerable people, and taking on his party’s most extremist battles. It should be unacceptable to allow someone who peddles replacement theory and stood with violent insurrectionists to overturn the election to be our Speaker. It should also be unacceptable for someone with disparaging remarks against people who have gotten abortions, who has such vile views on LGBTQ folks, should not be occupying the third-most powerful position in our country. It should be unacceptable to cut Social Security benefits, try to privatize it, and reduce cost-of-living adjustments when seniors across the country are struggling to make ends meet. I will never vote for a Speaker who is more committed to fighting right-wing ideological projects than working to address the actual problems Western Pennsylvania families face. For the third time, I voted for Hakeem Jeffries.”

Lee was the first to call for Republicans to reject the caucus’ first pick for replacement Speaker, Steve Scalise who spoke at a Neo-Nazi conference in 2002 long before he called himself “David Duke without the baggage.” After Scalise failed to secure the votes and House Republicans nominated Jim Jordan, Lee led an effort joined by a coalition of anti-hate groups condemning Jordan’s use of his Chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee to tweet in support of Kanye West during his antisemitic tirades that got him removed from social media and peddle great replacement theory that motivated the murders of 11 beloved members of her community in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting five years ago this week ,10 Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo, 23 Latino community members in El Paso, and 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch.

Background on Mike Johnson 

  • Peddling white nationalist and antisemitic replacement theory
    • Johnson has spent the last two years promoting white nationalist conspiracy theories and replacement theory on social media and cable TV. Replacement theory inspired multiple domestic terrorist attacks, including the horrific 10/27 Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting five years ago this week, shooting targeting Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo, Hispanic shoppers in El Paso, and Muslim Worshipers in Christchurch. Click here for a full list.
  • Election Denialism
    • Johnson led an amicus brief signed by over 100 Republican members of Congress backing a lawsuit from the state of Texas that demanded the Supreme Court overturn the election.
    • Johnson joined his colleagues in voting to overturn the 2020 election.
  • Homophobia/Transphobia
    • Mike Johnson was the primary sponsor of the national version of Florida’s homophobic and transphobic “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would prohibit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Anti-Abortion Extremism
    • Mike Johnson has signed onto a bill that would ban abortions nationwide everytime he’s been elected to Congress. 
    • Mike Johnson celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade by tweeting: “And now… FINALLY… because Roe v. Wade was overturned last summer and Louisiana is now a proudly pro-life state— we will get the number of abortions to ZERO!! EVERYONE deserves a birthday. Thanks be to God.”
  • Social Security
    • Mike Johnson was chair of the Republican Study Committee, which produced right-wing budget priorities on Social Security including:
      • Raising the Social Security eligibility age to 60
      • Reducing Cost-of-Living-Adjustments (COLA) because he believes one of the biggest problems about Social Security is the fact that its benefits adjust with inflation.
    • Mike Johnson has also been a part of efforts that take aim at the program.
      • Continuously supported cuts to the Social Security Administration, making it harder for people to access their disability benefits, meaning many people won’t see the benefits they earned.
      • Voted to create a fast-track commission to cut benefits to people, like Social Security and Medicare

Tom Emmer:

Steve Scalise

  • Called himself David Duke without the baggage
  • Spoke at a white supremacist convention in 2002. The group’s vile views included
    • “The Jewish media and Jews in general will attack us for wanting to restore White America. The Jews are the enemy of the White race, and they are largely responsible for the ‘browning’ of America. The Jews want to rule over a multi-racial brown America that is too ignorant to ever rebel against them.”
    • “The beautiful Germany of the 1930s with blonde children happily running through every village has been replaced with a multi-racial cesspool. Out of work Africans can be seen shuffling along the same streets, which used to be clean and safe in the days of the National Socialists. One day, people in Germany will grow tired of the politically correct police state that is destroying their lives. They will recover their national pride and start speaking the truth about their past regardless of what the militant lesbians or thought police tell them.”
    • “So, the unvarnished truth is that we suffered the terror of September 11 because of our support of the criminal policies of Israel. We have let our country be controlled by a foreign lobby that has worked against the best interests of the American people. Israel has time and again proven it is not really our friend. It has conducted covert terrorist activities against America such as the Lavon affair in Egypt. It has deliberately attacked the USS Liberty with unmarked fighters and torpedo boats causing 174 American casualties in an attempt to blame Egypt and garner American support during the war of 1967. It has spied on us and stolen our greatest secrets, such as in the Jonathan Pollard affair. It has sold secret American technologies to the Communist Chinese. It has stolen nuclear materials from the United States. It has tricked America into bombing other nations such as in the attack on Libya in 1986. I could go on and on about Israel’s treachery against America.” — David Duke, 2001 essay

Jim Jordan

  • As chairman of the House Judicary Committee, Jordan tweeted from the committee twitter account in support Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, after months of controversy over his antisemitic remarks. “Kanye. Elon. Trump,” read the tweet, which held up Ye alongside Elon Musk, the new owner of Twitter, who has been bringing back right-wing figures who were once banned, and former President Donald Trump.Helped cover up college wrestlers he was coaching being abused by the team doctor.
  • Spread antisemitic tropes on Twitter in 2019
  • Accused a ten-year-old rape victim of lying to get an abortion and refused to apologize when her rapist was found 
  • Introduced a bill to ban abortion nationwide 
  • Voted to extend a government shutdown longer than 16 days in 2013
  • Voted to overturn the results of the 2020 election and finish the coup attempted by an armed mob of white supremacists and antisemites on Jan 6
  • Has more Fox News weekday appearances than any other member of Congress 
  • Asked for a pardon for his role in the insurrection on the very same body he now wants to lead.
  • Cassidy Hutchinson said “Jim [Jordan] can’t be trusted with the Constitution. He can’t be trusted to represent.” 

Liz Cheney slammed Jim Jordan, who has put his name in the ring to become the next Speaker, saying that “no one knew more about what Trump had planned for January 6th” than him.”

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