Welcome Speaker Johnson

Welcome Speaker Johnson
Newly elected Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) speaks in the House chamber after his election at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Oct. 25, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Newt Gingrich
10/26/2023
Updated:
10/26/2023
0:00
Commentary

The system works.

It took three weeks, but a free people operating without a dictatorship found the right person at this time to be Speaker of the House. It’s important to remember that several smart, good people (and friends of mine) tried to become Speaker. In the end, each of them was blocked by one faction or another.

Then partly out of exhaustion and partly because they tried all the big names, they stopped and they looked around. They found a remarkable candidate in Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana. He was the vice chairman of the Republican Conference, former head of the Republican Study Committee, and a three-time congressman. He has an impeccable record as an effective conservative lawyer before he came to Congress.

Now, he is the 56th speaker of the House. The Republican National Committee just put out seven principles for new House Speaker Johnson. I think they’re pretty darn good. And I think they give you a flavor of what the new Speaker is about.

The principles include: freedom, limited government, the rule of law, peace through strength, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and human dignity. Ronald Reagan would have agreed with each one of these principles. Those of us who wrote the Contract with America would agree with each one of these principles.

I think it speaks well of Speaker Johnson that he can represent a solid conservative position of deep faith and commitment—and do so in a positive, friendly way that doesn’t alienate people. This approach could open up a dialog and help him achieve his goals as speaker.

It’s going to be an interesting speakership. Speaker Johnson said something important in his opening statement to the House after becoming speaker. He said he was going to decentralize power and allow the committees to make more decisions. Legislation will come from the ground up, not from the top down. That’s important because when you have a narrow margin, you must have people talking with each other.

The right place to talk is at the committee level. If you’re the speaker with a narrow margin, you want most of the arguments taken care of by the committee chairs before they get to the Speaker’s Office. This keeps unnecessary pressure off of you, so you can listen, learn, help, and lead.

The speaker can then set the direction of the ship, but then let the team solve problems and sail it.

This is a healthy approach for the Republican team—and Congress and America at large. It reminds me of an approach Speaker Sam Rayburn would have taken (who was the longest-serving speaker in history).

It’s going to be fascinating to watch Speaker Johnson’s leadership. I have a feeling it will be good for the party and good for America.

From Gingrich360.com
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Newt Gingrich is an author, commentator, and former Georgia congressman who was the 50th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He ran as a presidential Republican candidate in 2012.
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