House Speaker Mike Johnson Decided to Turn Off Instagram Mentions After Ukraine Aid Criticism

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) disabled Instagram mentions on his official government account following a social media uproar over his approval of Ukraine aid.

Instagram users can no longer mention the leader of the so-called “People’s House” in posts on the popular app, a change that limits users’ ability to engage with Johnson’s official account.

The setting is uncommon for politicians, especially those on Capitol Hill, who typically strive to maximize their interaction with the people they represent.

Interestingly, Johnson follows Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) in disabling his mentions.

A spokesperson for Johnson was asked why the Speaker turned off mentions and whether the decision was permanent; however, no reply was received.

Johnson’s first post on his Instagram account appears to be February 8, 2017, a month after taking office.

Johnson had been a staunch opponent of providing further wartime aid to Ukraine for a considerable time, until his significant change in stance following a meeting with President Joe Biden at the White House on February 27. Before this, Johnson had sided with the majority of Republicans in emphasizing that the House would not deliberate on foreign aid without addressing the border crisis first.

Hours after Iran’s missile attacks on Israel, Johnson unveiled a scheme that enabled him to unlock over $60 billion in Ukraine aid by exploiting the urgency to aid Israel, one of the United States’s closest allies. That package passed the House Saturday with a majority of Republicans voting against Ukraine aid.

The procedural vote to permit votes on the package was also approved with greater support from Democrats than Republicans, marking a significant historical moment that effectively enabled the minority party to dictate the House floor agenda.

The Ukraine bill passed the Senate late Tuesday night and was signed into law by President Biden Wednesday.

“In the end, we did what America always does, we rose to the moment,” Biden said in praising Congress for handing him his first and long-sought-for major foreign policy achievement.

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By Hunter Fielding
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