Holding on to House majority

Johnson: Louisiana could have influence in next Congress

The six sitting Louisiana congressmen are “positioned really well to have a lot of influence in the next Congress,” U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson said Tuesday.

Johnson, R-Benton, told the American Press editorial board that House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, has a “very good chance” of becoming the next speaker of the House if the GOP holds onto the majority in the House. Johnson said he is in a race to be the next chair of the Republican Study Committee, the largest caucus of conservatives in the House with roughly 150 members.

What the Louisiana House delegation lacks in numbers and seniority, they make up with a teamwork approach, he said.

Despite what people think about President Donald Trump’s personal life or his “tweeting habits,” unemployment rates are low, and consumer confidence is high, Johnson said. Most of that is because of the tax and regulatory reforms.

“Everything is trending in the right direction,” he said. “He is following through on his promises, and that’s what the people elected him to do.”

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be “an exceptional member of the court,” Johnson said.

“We have too many activist judges in this country,” he said. “A judge is supposed to be impartial; they’re not supposed to pick winners and losers.”

While sexual assault claims should be taken seriously, Johnson said there was no evidence to back up Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her while they were in high school in the 1980s.

“While we have great compassion for her and what she’s obviously suffered somewhere in her life, I don’t think you can bring down a good man with an extraordinary record going back decades because of this allegation that’s unfounded,” he said.

Johnson said he is fearful that the precedent set by the Kavanaugh hearings will scare off future qualified Supreme Court nominees.

More than 150 lawmakers have signed Johnson’s “Commitment to Civility.” He spoke of the need to tone down the negativity among lawmakers.

“If we lose that, our system doesn’t operate,” Johnson said.

Fort Polk is an “underutilized asset,” and Johnson said he is advocating to have more missions held there.

Johnson said he continues to fight for long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. The program is set to expire at the end of November.

“We’ve got colleagues across the country who think the whole thing is unnecessary and wasteful,” he said. “If we don’t take care of the coast and floodplains of Louisiana, the whole country suffers from that.”

If the GOP holds its majority in Congress, Johnson said an infrastructure package could be expected in the first quarter of 2019. One major concern, however, is the federal government expecting some matching funds from the states.

“As we stand today, Louisiana might be the least best situated state to have that negotiation because we don’t have our house in order,” he said. “Our style of state government is not working very well. We have to prioritize spending.”””House majority

SportsPlus

Local News

First Titanic voyage in 14 years is happening in the wake of submersible tragedy

Local News

Kennedy, Judiciary Republicans demand Durbin hold hearing on Trump assassination attempt

Local News

Open house set for Enterprise Boulevard Extension Project

Crime

7/15: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

Trump announces Vance as vice president pick

McNeese Sports

Davey earns first preseason honor

Local News

High insurance premiums affect home-buying decisions

Business

Jeff Davis getting two new economic districts

Local News

UPDATE: Motive of man who tried to assassinate Trump remains elusive

Local News

Federal judge dismisses Trump classified documents case over concerns with prosecutor’s appointment

McNeese Sports

Former Cowboy MacIntyre wins again

Local News

UPDATE: Man killed at Trump rally ‘died a hero’

Local News

UPDATE: Fire chief who died at Trump rally used his body to shield others

Local News

UPDATE: Trump calls for unity after assassination attempt

Local News

Iowa Mayor Neal Watkins speaks about effort to oust him from office

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Local News

UPDATE: Trump says bullet pierced right ear

Local News

UPDATE: Shooting at Trump rally being investigated as assassination attempt

Local News

UPDATE: Trump ‘fine’ after being whisked off stage

Local News

Trump rushed off stage by Secret Service as bangs heard at Pennsylvania rally

Local News

Unrestrained driver, passenger killed in Beauregard crash

Local News

School Board gives Van Metre four-year contract

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Traffic cameras are targeted

Crime

UPDATE: Victim identified in Sulphur officer-involved shooting