In the News

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson lands spot on 'weaponization' of federal government panel

Shreveport Times: Greg Hilburn

Republican Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson landed a coveted spot on the new select House Weaponization of the Federal Government Committee Tuesday, a high-profile assignment on a panel that the GOP says will scrutinize what it believes is an overreach of government agencies from the FBI to the IRS.

Johnson, who represents the 4th Congressional District with Shreveport-Bossier City as its hub, blamed Democratic President Joe Biden's administration for guiding federal agencies to "turn against" citizens rather than keep Americans safe.

"It's important work," Johnson said in an interview with USA Today Network. "We have a serious job and I think people will see it's importance."

In a statement, Johnson said: "The Biden Administration has used counterterrorism resources against the parents of school children, raided the homes of political opponents, targeted conservative states over their election integrity laws, inflated domestic extremism statistics and instituted illegal vaccine mandates, just to name a handful of examples. Our new committee will do the crucial work of examining how this has happened, how to correct it and how to make sure it cannot happen again."

Democrats have claimed the creation of the committee by Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy gives the Republicans a license for witch hunts, but Democrats have said they won't boycott their spots on the panel.

The "weaponization" committee has been compared to the Jan. 6 select committee that investigated the attack on the Capitol, which drew millions of TV viewers and attention for its members.

“The government has a responsibility to serve the American people, not go after them," McCarthy said in a statement. "Unfortunately, throughout Democrats’ one-party rule in Washington we saw a dangerous pattern of the government being used to target political opponents while they neglected their most basic responsibilities. The 118th Congress marks a new beginning for this institution. Republicans’ governing agenda will be based on transparency, accountability, and solutions."

Johnson's appointment on the panel continues his rapid ascent in House GOP circles.

He is also the vice-chairman of the Republican Conference, or caucus, and last week was named deputy whip for House Republicans.