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House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) criticized Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), the latest GOP nominee for Speaker, on Wednesday as appearing to be an “extreme right-wing ideologue” based on his legislative track record.
“I don’t know Mike Johnson well. Based on his track record, he appears to be an extreme right-wing ideologue,” Jeffries said in an interview on “CNN This Morning.”
Jeffries attacked Johnson for his positions on abortion access, Social Security and Medicare. He also attacked Johnson for his role in supporting then-President Trump’s efforts to remain in power in 2020.
Johnson was the first of more than 100 Republican signatories listed on a 2020 amicus brief supporting a Texas lawsuit that aimed to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Johnson also voted with nearly two-thirds of his conference not to certify the 2020 election in Arizona and Pennsylvania on Jan. 6, 2021.
“Mike Johnson wants to criminalize abortion care and impose a nationwide ban. Mike Johnson was one of the chief architects of trying to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Mike Johnson also wants to end Social Security and Medicare as we know it. Those are extreme views,” Jeffries said. “And House Democrats will push back aggressively against that.”
Jeffries said, however, that Democrats would be willing to work in a bipartisan way with Johnson, if he wins.
“However, at the same period of time, we’ve said from the very beginning of this Congress — and demonstrated — that we are ready, willing and able to find common ground with our Republican colleagues in order to advance bipartisan solutions to solve problems for hardworking American taxpayers,” Jeffries said.
“And all Mike Johnson will need to do is to meet us in a bipartisan way in that fashion, and we’ll be able to work together whenever and wherever possible,” he added.
Johnson is the fourth nominee the House GOP has put forward for Speaker in the past three weeks.
Reps. Steve Scalise (R-La.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) were the previous nominees. Jordan failed to win 217 votes in three attempts on the floor, while Scalise and Emmer dropped out before going to floor votes due to an expected lack of support.
Jeffries used similar arguments to attack Jordan when he was tapped as Speaker-designee, calling him a “a clear and present danger to our democracy.”
“He wants to end Social Security as we know it, he wants to end Medicare as we know it, doesn’t believe that President Biden was elected in 2020. That’s disrespectful to the American people. … Jim Jordan wants to impose a nationwide abortion ban, and he is the poster child for MAGA extremism,” he said at the time.