Mike Johnson

Mike Johnson, United States Representative, LA 4th District

When Tuesday’s election gave the Democrats a majority in the House, it also shifted around some positions in the Republican leadership, but some of those changes were expected.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin was stepping down regardless, and the implication of that for Louisiana was a potential promotion for Steve Scalise, the congressman from Jefferson Parish who was majority whip. Now that his party is in the minority, he runs again for whip, which is the No. 2 position for the smaller party in the House.

He is likely to win, although there may be a challenge to Kevin McCarthy of California for minority leader.

Another Louisiana Republican, Mike Johnson of Benton, was also planning to run to head the Republican Study Committee, a conservative caucus in the GOP. As a second-termer, he may not be a slam-dunk for the position but we nevertheless wish him well.

Heading the RSC is not formally part of the leadership. Like U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond’s position as head of the Congressional Black Caucus, it is nevertheless an influential role.

Louisiana’s small delegation in the House, only six members and only Richmond in the majority party, means we need all the influence we can get.