House Speaker Mike Johnson shrugs off questions about his finances
“I’m a man of modest means” ~Speaker Johnson
NEW YORK POST
Freshly crowned House Speaker Mike Johnson on Sunday brushed aside questions about his finances — insisting that he’s a man of modest means.
Johnson (R-La.) didn’t report having a bank account in his name or list valuable assets in financial disclosure forms dating back to 2016 — drawing consternation from critics about whether he’s been transparent, according to The Daily Beast
“I’m a man of modest means,” Johnson told “Fox News Sunday.”
“I was a lawyer, but I did constitutional law. And most of my career has been in the nonprofit sector,” he added.
“We have four kids — five now — that are very active and I have kids in graduate school, law school [and] undergraduate … We have a lot of big expenses, but I can relate to everybody else,” Johnson continued.
“I think that helps [the GOP] be a better leader because we can relate to every hardworking American family.”
Rank-and-file lawmakers in Congress earn around $174,000 a year, but as speaker, that paycheck will jump up to $223,500 annually.
Prior to ascending to the speakership late last month, Johnson was a little-known congressman from Louisiana.
Many critics from the left, such as the Democratic National Committee, have raised alarms over past comments Johnson has made opposing gay marriage and calling for restrictions on abortion.
“There are entire industries built on taking down, tearing down people like me. I understand that comes with the territory and we’re not fazed by it,” Johnson said in response Sunday. “I’ve been labeled all kinds of stuff, but these people don’t know me.
“We’re going to continue to love all people. We’re going to continue to bless even those who persecute us because that’s our worldview and that’s how we operate,” he added. “Everybody take a breath, give us a chance and you’ll see what principled governance looks like.”
When asked about specific allegations that he’d crack down on contraception and in vitro fertilization, Johnson was perplexed by the accusations.
“I don’t think so. I’m not sure what they’re talking about,” he told Fox News about IVF. “No, no, of course not. No. That’s something that’s blessed a lot of families who have problems with fertility. Of course, that’s a great thing.”
Johnson emphasized that while his pro-life stance is important to him, his focus at the moment is grappling with the impending government shutdown crisis.
Congress has until Nov. 17 to avert a shutdown.
Johnson has previously publicly backed plans for a stopgap continuing resolution to buy time to pass the remaining five of 12 appropriations bills to fully fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“We’re committed to bringing 12 bills to the floor.”
Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) brought forward a CR in the twilight hours before a shutdown back in September, then hardliners ousted him.
But this time around, House Republicans appear to be more amenable to a CR because Johnson inherited a situation and they don’t want to get railroaded with a Christmas omnibus bill.
Header featured image (edited) credit: Johnson/Fox News screen shot
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