House Speaker Mike Johnson assured that the United States stands with Israel and that lawmakers and the Biden administration must work together to recognize that “God is not done” with America.
During his first interview since becoming speaker, Johnson told Fox News host Sean Hannity that the House is getting ready to present a $14.5 billion support bill for Israel, slightly more than what Israel has reportedly asked for through the White House.
The House appropriation, on the other hand, differs significantly from other forms of federal support in that it will be provided in exchange for “pay-for’s” in the budget rather than through the simple printing of money.
Johnson explained that the sum is a “very specific number tied to very specific measures” and that every additional dollar would have to be made up for by a decrease in spending somewhere else.
Johnson claimed that he had reminded President Joe Biden’s staff during a meeting at the White House on Thursday that, given Israel’s struggle to survive against Iran-backed Hamas, they have little power to directly respond without congressional approval.
He pointed out that the Constitution gives Congress, and not the executive branch, the authority to declare war because the Founding Fathers imagined a “multitude of wise counsel” in such matters.
While Americans talk about “existential threats” at home, Israel faces one or more every day, as Johnson noted, and the two have met before.
“Their neighbors want to eliminate them. America will back [Netanyahu] up – they tell us when we’re in Israel the reason we’re able to sustain ourselves and survive is because everybody knows our big ally is America,” Johnson said.
“But we have to take care of our own house first,” Johnson added.
“During the Trump administration, we had the greatest economy in the history of the world,” he said, adding it was “not by happenstance”—but through tax cuts, reining in regulation, and the expansion of energy production.
“We can achieve that again, but you have to do almost exactly the opposite of what the Biden administration is doing… we are trying to urge our Democratic colleagues to take a look at the basic facts…”
Johnson urged all Americans, both in and out of government, to have a “Ben Franklin moment” and find the humility necessary to face the upcoming difficulties head-on.
At the Constitutional Convention of 1787, Pennsylvania’s Franklin notably said, “the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see that God governs in the affairs of men [and] without his concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.”
In times of trouble, the Founders turned to “divine guidance,” as Johnson related, a practice that continued through the Civil War, the Great Depression, and both World Wars.
“We have ‘In God We Trust’ right above the rostrum [in the Capitol],” he went on, adding that the slogan is “not a quaint saying” but one that differentiates America from Communist, Marxist, and monarchical regimes.
After three weeks of squabbling among Republicans, Johnson was elected speaker on Wednesday. A member of Congress since 2016, the obscure backbencher has largely stayed out of the spotlight up until this week.
Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump announced his support for Johnson.
“I am not going to make an Endorsement in this race, because I COULD NEVER GO AGAINST ANY OF THESE FINE AND VERY TALENTED MEN, all of whom have supported me, in both mind and spirit, from the very beginning of our GREAT 2016 Victory,” Trump posted to Truth Social Wednesday morning. “My strong SUGGESTION is to go with the leading candidate, Mike Johnson.”
Johnson, a close Trump ally, spoke up in the former president’s defense during the impeachment hearings and challenged the outcome of the 2020 election results.