In the News

Louisiana's Steve Scalise, Mike Johnson setting Republican tone in Congress

Shreveport Times: Greg Hilburn

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson continued the new Republican-controlled House's early march to address key conservative flashpoint concerns Wednesday with a bill condemning vandalism, violence and threats against anti-abortion rights advocates in the wake of last year's Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade.

Johnson, who is among the to GOP leaders in the House as vice-chair of the Republican Conference, said his resolution is a "call to action" for Democratic President Joe Biden.

Johnson's bill, which Republicans are set to pass Wednesday afternoon, follows other first-week, tone-setting legislation passed by the Republicans, most of which won't clear the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Among the other action taken by the GOP House led by Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Majority Leader Steve Scalise of Louisiana this week:

Creating a committee to investigate what Republicans describe as the "weaponization" of the federal government, particularly the FBI - "Long overdue oversight and accountability begins now," Scalise said;

Passing a bill to remove a $72 billion appropriation from the Inflation Reduction Act to the IRS, which Republicans said would prevent the agency from hiring 87,000 new agents to beef up audits of American taxpayers;

Creating a committee to investigate "strategic competition” between the U.S. and China;

Johnson's said his resolution addresses an "alarming trend" of intimidation and threats against ant-abortion rights advocates, pointing to an incident in Louisiana last summer where an the anti-abortion Women's New Life Clinic was vandalized.

"This isn't just a messaging bill; it's an important statement," Johnson said in an interview with USA Today Network. "There should be vigorous attention and prosecution. It calls on (Biden) to bring perpetrators to justice.

"There are 2,700 pregnancy care centers serving millions of women; they don't deserve this treatment. This is an important statement for Congress to make."

When asked if he similarly condemns violence from anti-abortion rights advocates, Johnson said yes, but he believes those crimes have been vigorously pursued.

"You have to be consistently against violence and in this case the left doesn't seem to care," Johnson said. "Rarely does the left support prosecution of threats against those who are pro-life."