Where Mike Johnson Stands on Ukraine, Abortion, L.G.B.T.Q. Issues and More

Speaker Mike Johnson, the little-known congressman from Louisiana who won the gavel on Wednesday, is deeply conservative on both fiscal and social issues, reflecting the G.O.P.’s sharp lurch to the right.

Mr. Johnson, a lawyer, also played a leading role in former President Donald J. Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, helping to push a lawsuit to throw out the results in four battleground states he lost and then offering members of Congress a legal argument upon which to justify their votes to invalidate the results.

He has a career rating of 92 percent from the American Conservative Union and 90 percent from Heritage Action for America.

Here’s where he stands on six key issues.

Government funding

Mr. Johnson is a fiscal conservative who believes Congress has a “moral and constitutional duty” to balance the budget, lower spending and “pursue continued pro-growth tax reforms and permanent tax reductions,” according to his website.

He voted in favor of the deal in May to suspend the debt ceiling negotiated between former Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Biden administration. But alongside 89 other Republicans, Mr. Johnson voted against the stopgap funding bill Mr. McCarthy put forth last month to stave off a government shutdown just hours before it was to commence. That bill ultimately passed with more Democratic than Republican support and cost Mr. McCarthy the gavel.

In a letter this week, before he was elected speaker, Mr. Johnson proposed a short-term funding bill to avoid a shutdown and an aggressive calendar for passing yearlong spending bills in the interim. But he did not specify what spending levels he would support in the temporary bill, and many Republicans have refused to back such measures without substantial cuts that cannot pass the Democratic-controlled Senate or be signed by President Biden.

Ukraine aid

Mr. Johnson came out forcefully in support of Ukraine when Russia first launched its war, saying in a statement at the time that Russia’s invasion “constitutes a national security threat to the entire West.”

He added that the U.S. should impose “debilitating sanctions on Russia’s economic interests” and “exclude Russia from global commerce and international institutions.” In April last year, Mr. Johnson voted in favor of legislation that made it easier for the United States to supply weapons to Ukraine.

But Mr. Johnson has more recently opposed additional aid to Ukraine. In May 2022 and last month, he voted against bills that would provide more funding.

“American taxpayers have sent over $100 billion in aid to Ukraine in the last year,” Mr. Johnson wrote on social media in February. “They deserve to know if the Ukrainian government is being entirely forthcoming and transparent about the use of this massive sum of taxpayer resources.”

Asked after his election as speaker if he would support more aid to Ukraine, he said, “We all do,” but then added that aid would have to come with “conditions.”

L.G.B.T.Q. issues

Mr. Johnson, an evangelical Christian, has spoken out harshly against gay rights. In 2004, he called homosexuality an “inherently unnatural” and “dangerous lifestyle,” and he wrote that same-sex marriage is “the dark harbinger of chaos and sexual anarchy that could doom even the strongest republic.”

He opposed legislation to mandate federal recognition for same-sex marriages.

Last year, Mr. Johnson introduced a bill that would bar the use of federal funds to provide education to children under 10 that includes discussion of L.G.B.T.Q. topics. Critics called the proposal a national version of Florida legislation that is widely known as a “Don’t Say Gay” law.

He led a hearing in July on the “dangers and due process violations of ‘gender-affirming care’ for children.” In his opening statement, he argued that “teachers, professors, administrators and left-wing media” were waging an effort to force gender transitions among young people.

“Sex isn’t something you are assigned at birth,” he said. “It is a prenatal development that occurs when every unborn child is in its mother’s womb. You can’t surgically free yourself, or someone else, from this fact of life.”


Mr. Johnson has voted for a national abortion ban and co-sponsored a 20-week abortion ban, earning him an A-plus rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America.

Before he was elected to Congress in 2017, Mr. Johnson served as an attorney and spokesman for the anti-abortion and anti-gay group Alliance Defense Fund — now called the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Climate change

Mr. Johnson has called climate science into question and consistently voted against climate change and clean energy legislation. Oil and gas companies provided Mr. Johnson with more contributions than from any other industry last year. His district includes Shreveport, a former oil town.


Mr. Johnson, who has a 92 percent rating from the National Rifle Association, has sought to defend and expand gun rights while in Congress. He opposed a bipartisan gun law last year to make it harder for dangerous people to obtain guns. He co-sponsored legislation that would allow individuals with a concealed-carry permit in one state to carry a firearm in another concealed-carry state and co-sponsored a bill in 2019 that would have allowed firearms sales across state lines.

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