Crockett says House Speaker Johnson’s ties to Trump could devastate Black Americans

“To have a speaker of the House that simply plans to do whatever [Trump] tells him to do is harmful, especially when the speaker has a district that is approximately 33% African American,” said Crockett, D-Texas.

U.S. Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, is calling out former President Donald Trump as “the ringleader” of House Republicans, which she fears could have detrimental impacts on marginalized communities.

The Texas congresswoman’s comments come a week after House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., took a trip to the former president’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to endorse him for the 2024 presidential election.

Rep. Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas,
UNITED STATES – NOVEMBER 13: Rep.-elect Jasmine Crockett, D-Texas, speaks during a news conference with newly elected incoming members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus at the AFL-CIO building in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, November 13, 2022. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Crockett told theGrio that Johnson, a MAGA supporter who led a House Republican effort to deny President Joe Biden’s legitimate win the 2020 presidential election, “is absolutely inexperienced and in over his head” as the speaker of the House.

“In my opinion, he should have a better grasp upon what needs to be done than the twice-impeached former president,” said Crockett, who is an attorney. 

“To have a speaker of the House that simply plans to do whatever [Trump] tells him to do is harmful, especially when the speaker has a district that is approximately 33% African American,” she added. 

Crockett believes Johnson’s ties to Trump have and will continue to have a negative impact on marginalized communities. She noted that when it came time to pass a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown in November and September, Black and brown communities had the most to lose.

She believes Trump played a hand in the looming shutdowns threatened by far-right members of the Republican Party. Just before the looming shutdown in September, Trump told Republicans to “shut it down!” after he said the GOP “got nothing” in the debt ceiling agreement with President Biden earlier this summer.

“[The House GOP] wanted to cut everything that those who are struggling the most need. House Republicans wanted to cut access to HUD in general…the policies that they have been putting forward are not helpful,” said Crockett.

House Speaker Mike Johnson,
WASHINGTON, DC – OCTOBER 23: U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) arrives at a House Republican candidates forum where congressmen who are running for Speaker of the House will present their platforms in the Longworth House Office Building on Capitol Hill on October 23, 2023 in Washington, DC. Members of the GOP conference will hear from the now eight candidates who hope to succeed former Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was ousted on October 4 in a move led by a small group of conservative members of his own party. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“Same thing on student loans. They want to basically defund public education and minimize access to resources for those that are pursuing degrees,” she added. “So that those who come out end up with more debt then they would’ve.”

Earlier this month, Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, told theGrio that House Republicans threatened the livelihoods of Black federal workers, adding, “Not surprisingly, this is a workforce frequently demonized by conservatives.” 

Brown also noted that “1.6 million Black women and children receiving WIC benefits and over 11 million Black Americans receiving SNAP.”

A prolonged shutdown, she said, would’ve jeopardized WIC and SNAP benefits, putting millions of people at risk of hunger, food insecurity, and financial harm,” she added.

In September, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., told theGrio that House Republicans’ behavior is “reckless” and if they don’t take action, a government shutdown would harm Black Americans. 

Parts of the government are currently being funded through Jan. 19 and Feb. 2. Congress will have to pass additional legislation to avoid any further threats of shutdown.

In an earlier interview with theGrio, Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, said the Republican-controlled House has been dysfunctional.

“The eleven months of Republican-led dysfunction in the House stands in stark contrast to the previous historic two years that delivered investments in communities across the country to lower costs, increase wages, and create more jobs,” said Horsford.

Dysfunction in the House aside, Congresswoman Crockett said, “Democracy is on the line” as it pertains to Trump’s influence in Congress.

She added, “I just don’t think that we can afford to not take it seriously.”

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