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Who is Mike Johnson, the new Republican US House Speaker?

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© U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), the latest House Republican nominee for House Speaker, reacts to former Speaker nominee and current House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) voting for Johnson during another round of voting to pick a new Speaker of the U.

WASHINGTON () – U.S. Representative Mike Johnson has been elected by his fellow Republicans to serve as speaker of the House of Representatives, after three weeks of turmoil and three failed candidates.

Here are five facts about the fourth-term conservative lawmaker who is now the top Republican in Congress:

BIOGRAPHY

Johnson, 51, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana’s third largest city, the oldest of four siblings and the son of a firefighter who was badly burned and disabled in the line of duty.

Prior to Congress, Johnson was a lawyer who mainly worked on religious freedom issues, successfully defending Louisiana’s same sex marriage ban in 2004.

“I am a Christian, a husband, a father, a life-long conservative, constitutional law attorney and a small business owner in that order,” he told the Louisiana Baptist Message newspaper in 2016.

He was elected to the Louisiana statehouse in 2015 and ran for Congress successfully in 2016. He now represents Louisiana’s fourth congressional districts, which occupies the northwestern corner of the state and includes his hometown of Shreveport.

SOCIAL CONSERVATIVE

Johnson is a conservative who is perhaps best known for his defense of former President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

As a former constitutional lawyer, he signed an amicus brief in a case that attempted to throw out Pennsylvania’s election results, and called for Trump to “keep fighting.”

He opposes same sex marriage and introduced a bill in 2022 that would have banned schools from promoting or discussing gender identity.

He opposes abortion rights, calling the decision to overturn federal protections for abortions a “great, joyous occasion.”

OPPOSES UKRAINE AID

Johnson is opposed to sending Ukraine aid to defend itself against Russia, receiving an F from Republicans for Ukraine, an advocacy group that compiles a report card for lawmakers on their support.

LEADERSHIP EXPERIENCE

Johnson served as chair of the conservative Republican Study Committee and was elected vice-chair of the conference, but otherwise has no leadership experience – a potential hindrance as he enters into negotiations with the Democratic-controlled Senate and the White House.

He also has shown limited fundraising ability so far, typically a key part of the speaker’s role.

RELATIONSHIP WITH TRUMP

Johnson is an avowed supporter of Trump, as evidenced by his support for Trump’s attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Trump supported Johnson’s election as nominee.

(This story has been corrected to fix Mike Johnson’s number of terms in office to four, in paragraph 2)

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