The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Reporters Must Reject Republicans Unearned “Fiscal-Hawk” Self-Branding

In response to Mike Johnson’s emergence as Speaker of the House, Revolving Door Project Research Director Timi Iwayemi released the following statement:

“Amidst the rush of reporting to educate the public about the previously anonymous politician who is now Speaker of the House, one timely aspect of his extremism has been overlooked. Mike Johnson is committed to supercharging the decades-long GOP onslaught against a functioning executive branch. Budget plans such as his bill to slash Internal Revenue Service funding reflect Republicans’ ongoing desire to weaken the federal agencies and departments that limit the whims of plutocrats while seeking to paint a picture of the federal government as an over bloated, bumbling entity.”

“In truth, it’s everyday Americans who will deeply feel the real-life consequences of these seemingly abstract budget cuts. Sclerotic funding at the IRS like Johnson has proposed are intended to let wealthy tax cheats off the hook. Insufficient funding and capacity at our environmental agencies would allow corporations to freely pollute our air and water. Meager capacity at our labor agencies would free corporations to take further advantage of workers.”

“There are many more examples of how the GOP budget ideas would ruin millions of lives. Reporters should not remain credulous about the faux responsibility of budget cuts. Indeed, as colleagues have written, at ‘many agencies, enforcing the law against corporate wrongdoers is a money-making proposition for the federal government.’ The media should reject unearned ‘fiscal hawk’ self-branding and demand Johnson and other Republican leaders address how their attacks on the capacity of the executive branch are deleterious for all but the richest and most rapacious among us.”

The Revolving Door Project (RDP) scrutinizes executive branch appointees to ensure they use their office to serve the broad public interest, rather than to entrench corporate power or seek personal advancement.