Donald Trump And Mike Johnson Promote Bill Banning Thing That's Already Illegal

WASHINGTON ― Amid threats from the far right to his job, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) on Friday will appear with presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump at his ritzy Florida estate to promote a bill banning noncitizens from voting ― something that is already illegal.

Congress in 1996 passed a law banning noncitizens from voting in federal elections, though a few states allow noncitizens to vote in local elections only. And despite Trump’s fearmongering about migrants entering the U.S. to vote illegally, there’s virtually no evidence of noncitizen voting.

Johnson’s event with Trump on Friday ― which Johnson asked for ― is better viewed in the context of threats to his speakership from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and other far-right House Republicans.

Johnson’s detractors are angry that he, like his predecessor before him, has avoided government shutdowns by allowing the House to vote on funding bills that passed with Democratic support. The pressure on Johnson from the right has gotten even stronger as he contemplates putting to a vote more U.S. aid to Ukraine amid its struggle to survive from daily Russian bombardment.

Greene last month filed a motion to vacate Johnson from the speakership, but she hasn’t gone forward with forcing a vote on the matter, leaving Johnson twisting in the wind.

Johnson warned that a repeat vote to oust a speaker would mean more “chaos” in the House, pleading with his members to acknowledge the “reality” of not being able to get everything they want with Democrats controlling both the Senate and the White House.

“Some people back home don’t realize ― we have the smallest majority in U.S. history,” Johnson said at a Thursday press conference.

But Johnson’s words alone aren’t likely to ameliorate hardliners like Greene, leaving him scrambling and running to Trump, the GOP’s higher power.

President Joe Biden’s campaign, meanwhile, denounced Johnson’s event with Trump on Friday as a “sham” in a statement issued by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who co-chaired the House select Jan. 6 committee that investigated the 2020 election and Trump’s efforts to overturn it based on no evidence of widespread fraud.

“By virtually all measures, the 2020 election was among the most secure in our nation’s history,” Thompson said in the statement. “Donald Trump lost to President Biden by over seven million votes — fair and square. But Donald Trump still can’t admit it. The sham event at Trump’s country club should remind the American people of a dangerous truth: Donald Trump is a threat to our democracy and a danger to our Constitution.”

“Donald Trump and Mike Johnson don’t care about election integrity — they care only about helping Trump’s campaign of revenge and retribution to regain power at all costs,” Thompson added.