Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Illinois officials react to new House Speaker appointment

Daily file illustration by Carly Schulman
Mike Johnson was appointed speaker of the House after The House of Representatives went without a speaker for three weeks. Several Illinois officials have publicly responded to the appointment.

Following the appointment of U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) as the new speaker of the House on Wednesday, several Illinois officials released statements on the new role.

The House of Representatives has been without a speaker for three weeks, after voting to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). House Republicans have struggled to elect a speaker after unsuccessful bids by several candidates, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).

Johnson has been a House representative since 2016. Johnson supported former President Donald Trump and defended Trump throughout his impeachment hearings. He has a consistently conservative voting record, and he has previously opposed abortion access and the codification of same-sex marriage.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), who represents Evanston in Illinois’ 9th District, expressed her disappointment in Johnson’s appointment in a tweet on Oct. 25.

[Johnson] led the charge to overturn the 2020 election, wants to cut and privatize Social Security, & introduced a national ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill,” Schakowsky said. “This is the direction the extremists in the GOP want to take our country.” 

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.), who serves in Illinois’ 6th District, expressed disapproval about Johnson’s appointment due to his support for overturning 2020 election results in an Oct. 25 statement.

Mike Johnson didn’t just vote to overturn the results of a free and fair election,” Casten said. “He was the chief architect of the legal framework that his colleagues said empowered them to do so.”

Casten also condemned Johnson for his support of abortion bans, noting Johnson “proudly supported efforts in his home state of Louisiana to imprison doctors who perform abortions.”

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.), representing Illinois’ 11th District, expressed relief that Republicans were able to agree on a speaker after weeks without one in an Oct. 25 statement.

Foster noted that Johnson’s first address to the House had “several positive items,” including “a commitment to decentralize power from the Speaker’s office.”

However, he described Johnson’s lack of voiced support for Ukraine as “deeply troubling.”

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @LilyOgburn

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