Speaker Johnson’s Background on Defense and Veterans Care

October 26, 2023

Many in Washington and across the country are learning about House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.). Here’s what we know about his work on defense issues, according to Military.com and other media reports.

  • Johnson is a member of the Armed Services Committee and the Readiness and Seapower and Projection Forces subcommittees. Speakers do not typically serve on committees, so he may step down.
  • Johnson’s district includes Barksdale Air Force Base, Fort Johnson and the Louisiana National Guard’s Camp Minden Training Site. That’s a heavier defense presence than in recent speakers’ districts.
  • He has been an advocate for larger defense budgets.
  • Johnson told his Republican colleagues shortly before the speaker vote that he was committed to passing a House-Senate compromise defense authorization bill.
  • Johnson has received an “F” from the advocacy group Republicans for Ukraine, which advocates for aid to Ukraine. Johnson has voted against additional Ukraine aid funding in recent months. This issue will be an early test of his speakership as the House considers the administration’s $106 billion funding request for Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and border security.
  • Johnson voted against the PACT Act last year. The measure expanded benefits for service members exposed to toxic substances.
  • He also voted last year against a package of military families provisions, including a mandate that states recognize service members’ and spouses’ professional licenses from other states.
  • Johnson has supported Republican-backed veterans bills, including the 2018 Mission Act allowing veterans to see health care professionals outside the Veterans Affairs system.

Getty Images photo by Justin Sullivan

October 26, 2023

Recent News

In Our Communities

In Our Communities

About 15 high school students and parents from Alaska’s Raven Homeschool toured the Army National Guard’s Combined Support Maintenance Shop and Bryant Army Airfield at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska last week, according to a DVIDS story. “The Guard does not...

Snap of the Week

Snap of the Week

Marine Corps Cpl. Gerald Wells III, a member of the Silent Drill Platoon, conducts a rifle inspection during a flyover of the Navy’s Blue Angels C-130 Super Hercules aircraft, nicknamed “Fat Albert,” at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona Feb. 13. Marine Corps...

Space Force Considers Eight-Year Commitment for New Recruits

Space Force Considers Eight-Year Commitment for New Recruits

The Space Force is considering asking prospective guardians to enlist for an initial eight-year term as a way to create a stable workforce, Military Times reported. That’s twice as long as the typical-first term enlistment. “I know eight years is a big commitment to...

DOD Awards REPI Challenge Funding at 22 Installations

DOD Awards REPI Challenge Funding at 22 Installations

The DOD Readiness and Environment Protection Integration Program has awarded REPI Challenge funds for 17 projects, benefitting 22 installations and many nearby communities, according to a recent announcement. DOD contributed $23 million to the projects, with more than...

PAST STORIES