House speaker highlights foreign policy approach at D.C.… | WORLD
Sound journalism, grounded in facts and Biblical truth | Donate

House speaker highlights foreign policy approach at D.C. institute

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., participates in a ceremonial swearing-in for Rep. Michael Rulli, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill Tuesday, June 25, 2024, in Washington. The Associated Press/Photo by Mariam Zuhaib

House speaker highlights foreign policy approach at D.C. institute

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., on Monday spoke on foreign policy at the Hudson Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative think tank. Johnson advocated for his own policy priorities to address what he characterized as rising threats from foreign nations. A few protesters gathered on the sidewalk, criticizing Johnson for inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress later this month.

What was discussed? The speaker argued China poses the most significant threat to national interests, but identified emerging coalitions between the Chinese Communist Party, Russia, Iran, and North Korea as additional concerns.

Speaking of the Middle East, Johnson cited strategic and faith-based reasons to support Israel’s war with the terrorist group Hamas. He also praised the passage of the national security supplemental package in April, which dedicated $26.3 billion to Israel’s defense.

How did this fit with domestic priorities? While affirming strong support for foreign allies like Ukraine and Israel, Johnson added that strength at home is an important facet of his foreign policy approach. As part of a three-part strategy, he said lowering the national debt and closing the U.S. southern border are keys to achieving long-term foreign policy goals to deter China and Russia.

“National security begins at home. It’s pointless to talk about deterrents if you don’t have your own border secure,” Johnson said.

Johnson highlighted the exploitation of the southern border as a means of inviting enemies into the United States. He said he was concerned about increased rates of immigration from China. He also argued that unleashing domestic energy and decoupling from China’s economy would bolster the United States’ position on the world stage.

What else did Johnson say? The NATO Summit is taking place in Washington this week, and Johnson is scheduled to meet with several dignitaries and heads of state. He promised to put pressure on member nations that are not contributing at least two percent of their annual gross domestic product to defense, per their agreement with NATO.

“There needs to be a renewed sense of commitment,” Johnson said, referring to NATO members, “but we’ve got to make sure there’s an entrance fee to this. Everyone cannot ride along the coattails of America.”

Johnson also criticized the Biden administration and President Biden specifically, whom he accused of projecting weakness. He defended the House vote to hold Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in contempt of Congress, characterizing him as the single worst cabinet secretary in the history of America.

Johnson said he aims for Congress to pass bipartisan China-related legislation by the end of the year, including bills he said would empower the next administration to hit the economies of America’s enemies on the president’s first day in office.

“To be sure, the Republican party is not one of nation builders or careless interventionists. We don’t believe we should be the world’s policemen,” Johnson said, “Today, when our adversaries don’t need to cross oceans to harm our people, we need a new policy of peace through strength for the 21st century.”

Dig deeper: Read Katelyn Walls Shelton's commentary for WORLD Opinions explaining how Johnson presides over the most complicated House since the Civil War.

Catherine Gripp

Catherine Gripp is a graduate of World Journalism Institute.

An actual newsletter worth subscribing to instead of just a collection of links. —Adam

Sign up to receive The Sift email newsletter each weekday morning for the latest headlines from WORLD’s breaking news team.

Please wait while we load the latest comments...