Saturday, April 13, 2024

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson addresses critical issues at Minden town hall meeting

by BIZ Magazine

By Amber McDown | Minden Press-Herald

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson held a town hall meeting at the Community House in Minden on March 4, where he discussed a range of critical issues facing the United States. Johnson was joined by elected officials and community leaders for the event.

In an interview before the meeting, Speaker Johnson highlighted several key concerns, stating, “Crime is top of mind; the open border is top of mind — those things are related in many ways. The cost of living, and the general concern that people have about the safety and security of our country now, and what the future of our children is going to be because the conditions are so terrible right now.”

Johnson expressed confidence in the ability to address these issues through policy changes, stating, “The solution is to make better policy choices. And we offer that. I think Donald Trump is going to be re-elected president and I think the Republican party is going to win control of the Senate and I think we’re going to grow the majority in the House. We can’t do that soon enough. You’ve got a snapshot of that here [in Louisiana]. Look what [Governor] Jeff Landry’s done right out of the box. His special session of crime was a great success. 

“What I’m for is decentralizing the federal government to allow and empower our state and local officials to be able to do what they need to do. State and local officials are more in tune with the needs of our communities and our states, and they should be empowered to do that. We need to get the federal government out of the way to allow for that. That was really our founders’ vision for how it was supposed to work, but we’ve deviated from that at our peril.”

Regarding election integrity, Johnson referenced the 2020 election and stated that Republican-led legislatures have worked to strengthen election systems. “After the debacle that was the 2020 election and all of its irregularities, all of the Republican-led legislatures got immediately to work to fix and shore up their election systems. There were about 400 pieces of legislation that were signed into law around the country to ensure that the irregularities of the 2020 election never happen again.” He emphasized the importance of training election personnel and encouraged early voting.

Johnson also discussed his role as Speaker of the House, noting the scope of responsibilities and the constant demands of the position. “It’s a never ending, 24-hour-a-day job. It’s just a constant barrage of activity and high-pressure demands,” said Johnson. He expressed concerns about the state of the nation, stating, “The state of the nation is in decline. Because of the lack of leadership, poor leadership, failed leadership in the White House everything is in decline. We’re declining in our stature on the world stage as well, because we project, through the Biden administration, weakness on the world stage. That is what has made all of our adversaries act so provocatively, and it’s emboldened the terrorists and tyrants around the world and put us in a very serious situation. We’re declining in our liberty, in our opportunity, and in our security, and we have to have a change.”

In addressing the border situation, Johnson provided startling statistics: The official numbers over the past three years state that there have been about 8 million encounters at the border and about 2.5 million “got-aways.” Over 300 people who were already on the terrorist watch list were stopped. “Those numbers do not include the numbers of people who got in undetected, and there’s a whole bunch of them.” 60%-70% of the people who are stopped are single adult males of military age and capability. Young children who are unable to identify parents or guardians are being sent off with non-governmental organizations. “The White House admits that they have lost track of at least 86,000 unaccompanied minors once they get past that point in the system.” Johnson is guessing that 15 million people have come across the border in the last three years. “We have no idea where they all are,” he said.

Johnson also raised concerns about the federal debt and its impact, stating, “We are going to be spending more money on interest on the federal debt next year than we spent on the entire department of defense budget.”

Regarding natural gas, Johnson criticized President Biden’s decision to pause LNG exports, stating, “What you’re doing with LNG is terribly disruptive to America and to the world.” Safe Energy for Europe has a multi-billion dollar contract to buy LNG from the United States for countries in Europe. Since we can no longer provide it, they are now buying it from Russia, which aids them in their war against Ukraine.

Speaker Johnson’s town hall meeting provided a platform to address pressing issues and offer insights into his vision for addressing these challenges in the upcoming year.

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