WATCH: Did Reporter Catch Mike Johnson Off Guard With THIS Question...

By Maria Angelino | Friday, 17 May 2024 01:50 PM
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Views 3.7K
Image Credit : Unknown photographer for Axios

In a recent news conference, House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Louisiana Republican, was confronted by a journalist over his stance on police support.

The journalist pointed out that the proposed budget from the influential Republican Study Committee (RSC) includes cuts to local law enforcement funding. Johnson responded by stating that he had not delved into the specifics of the RSC budget, but emphasized that supporting law enforcement is a fundamental part of their belief system.

The issue of police funding has been a contentious one in the United States, particularly following the murder of George Floyd by white police officer Derek Chauvin in May 2020. Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests and calls to defund the police, leading to funding cuts in several Democrat-controlled cities. Conservative critics have linked these cuts to a subsequent increase in violent crime, with cases rising from 363.9 per 100,000 people to 377.6 between 2019 and 2021, according to data from Statista.

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The journalist from HuffPost questioned Johnson, stating, "We've heard a lot this week about Democrats wanting to defund the police. The Republican Study Committee budget cuts the main federal program that local departments use to hire officers. How is that not defunding the police?"

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The RSC, comprising Republican members of the House of Representatives, publishes an alternative budget annually. The budget for the 2025 fiscal year, published on March 20, claims to cut spending by $17.1 trillion over ten years if implemented. HuffPost reports that the proposed RSC budget would cut the Community Oriented Policing Services program, the main federal government support program for local police, although it only constitutes a small portion of their nationwide funding.

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In response to the journalist's question, Johnson said, "I haven't looked into details of the RSC budget there's lots of nuances, they also plus up other areas where you support law enforcement because that's a central theme of what we believe. It's part of our world view, it's part of our party platform and it will always be consistent."

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Johnson further claimed that prominent House Democrats had initially supported the defund the police movement before retracting their support. He stated, "A lot of the Democrats in the House now are trying to revise history and pretend as though and even say that they never supported defund the police."

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A video of the exchange between the HuffPost reporter and Johnson was posted by journalist Aaron Rupar, garnering over 920,000 views.

Earlier in the week, Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern labeled Johnson "pathetic" after the Speaker appeared outside the Manhattan court where Donald Trump is on trial, expressing his support for the former president. Trump has pleaded not guilty to charges of falsifying business records related to allegations of hush money payments to a former pornographic actress ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

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Johnson defended his presence at the court, saying, "President Trump is a friend and I wanted to be here to support him. I'm here speaking with you outside because the court won't allow us to speak inside the building, that's just one of the many things that are wrong here."

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