FACT CHECK: No, Mike Johnson Is Not A Member Of The House Freedom Caucus
House Judiciary Democrats claimed Republican Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson is a member of the House Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Mike Johnson is a member of the far-right Freedom Caucus, which has pushed a budget proposal to defund the FBI. pic.twitter.com/UfzTxvxQ3k
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) October 25, 2023
Johnson is not a member of the House Freedom Caucus, according to a spokesperson and his congressional website.
Johnson was elected House Speaker Oct. 25, three weeks after 8 House Republicans and all House Democrats, led by Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz, voted to oust former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, according to the Associated Press.
The House Judiciary Democrats claimed on X that Johnson is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of hardline conservatives who often feud with the leadership of the Republican conference. (RELATED: Does Video Show Recent Arrests Of Pro-Palestine Jews In Israel?)
Check Your Fact researched this claim and found it to be false. First, Johnson is not included in the House Freedom Caucus’ list of members compiled by LegiStorm. Johnson’s name also does not appear on a Sept. 28 letter from the caucus to then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy requesting information and a plan regarding appropriations ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline to avert a government shutdown. A copy of the letter is available to read via the House Freedom Caucus’ verified Facebook page.
In addition, Johnson was not among the new members added to the caucus back in July. Republican Reps. Diana Harshbarger (Tennessee) and Eric Burlison (Missouri) joined the caucus at the time, with their admittance being anonymously confirmed by two Republicans to Politico. The Pew Research Center lists Johnson on a list that contains House Freedom Caucus members and allies. The Pew Research Center does not identify which members are part of the House Freedom Caucus and which are allies.
Furthermore, Johnson’s own congressional website does not list him as a member of the House Freedom Caucus. It does say he is a member of the Congressional Sportsmen Caucus, Natural Gas Caucus, Western Caucus, Working Forests Caucus and the Republican Study Committee, among others.
Griffin Neal, Johnson’s press secretary, told Check Your Fact that the House Judiciary Democrats’ claim was “incorrect.”
“Congressman Johnson has never been a member of the freedom caucus,” Neal said.
A senior GOP aide also told Check Your Fact that Johnson was not a member of the House Freedom Caucus. The New York Times reported that Johnson was supported by the House Freedom Caucus when he was elected in 2017 but that he never joined the group.
The House Freedom Caucus called for cuts in the Department of Justice and FBI’ funding in August 2023, according to Axios. The White House accused the House Freedom Caucus of proposing to defund the FBI by eliminating funding for 11,000 FBI agents in a March 2023 statement.
Check Your Fact reached out to a House Freedom Caucus spokesperson and a House Judiciary Democrats spokesperson for comment and will update this article if responses are provided.
Elias Atienza and Christine Sellers contributed to this report.