The office of Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) is denying that he sent the House home early a week before a government shutdown so that he could go to a right-wing conference in Paris.
The New Republic reported:
Johnson’s early dismissal on Thursday may have been because he needed to get his talking points in order for the Worldwide Freedom Initiative. The New Republic could not confirm whether he delivered his keynote speech as scheduled.
Johnson spokesman Raj Shah tweeted that the Speaker was not attending “any events in Paris or anywhere overseas this weekend.” When contacted by The New Republic for additional comment, he said that the House schedule had already been set to dismiss on Thursday. Shah refused to explicitly confirm whether Johnson had spoken virtually, or why the Speaker was featured so prominently on WFI social media and event publicity if he did not speak.
Some outlets including the initial New Republic report, ran with Johnson going to Paris, but there is no confirmation that Johnson was actually in Paris, and in the age of Zoom, the Speaker could have delivered his address over video to the conference.
The more important question is why is the Speaker sending the House home early when the government is going to shut down in less than a week.
The only logical explanation is that House Republicans want to shut the government down over the holidays. The House GOP thinks that it will have leverage to get cuts and the priorities that it wants by harming the American people.
It doesn’t matter to people on Social Security, government employees, members of the military, and millions of other Americans if Mike Johnson is in Paris. What matters is that Johnson is not doing his job.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association