Skip to content
Search

Latest Stories

Top Stories

Speaker Mike Johnson is out of step with Americans, and his constituents, on climate change

Speaker Mike Johnson

Speaker Mike Johnson never voted in favor of pro-environment legislation in 2022, writes Fine.

Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fine is the project manager for the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and a Public Voices Fellow on the Climate Crisis.

When it comes to climate change, newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson may be on the same page as many of his fellow Republican lawmakers, but his views are far from those of most of his constituents in Louisiana, as well as most Republican voters and 81 of Johnson’s Republican colleagues who make up the Conservative Climate Caucus.

According to the League of Conservation Voters, Johnson never voted for pro-environment legislation in 2022 while the American Energy Alliance gave him a 100 percent rating in 2022. This is not surprising as the oil and gas industry has provided more funding to Johnson over his political career than any other industry.

Yet Louisiana is impacted by climate change in real time. The state just had its hottest and third driest summer on record, creating prime conditions for 500 large fires in August alone, which is almost the yearly state average. Most adults in Louisiana understand that climate change is happening and that it’s affecting the weather, and they are worried about it.


The majority of Louisianans say Congress should do more to address climate change. Yet when Congress passed its most significant climate legislation to date, the Inflation Reduction Act, Johnson relabeled it the “Inflation Expansion Act” and tweeted that it would “send hundreds of billions of tax dollars to green energy slush funds.”

Sign up for The Fulcrum newsletter

Support for the legislation is high across the country with 71 percent of American voters supporting the IRA, including 57 percent of liberal and moderate Republicans. Despite strong support for the meaure, one of the first actions in the House under Johnson’s leadership was to pass a bill cutting key pieces of the legislation. This is despite the fact that the IRA will bring $1.2 billion in investment and about one thousand new jobs to his home state for new major clean energy projects. Nationally, there is more investment in red states than in blue states thanks to the IRA.

In a 2017 town hall, Johnson claimed the climate is changing due to natural cycles in the atmosphere, not “because we drive SUVs.” Virtually all climate scientists disagree and only 28 percent of Americans agree with Johnson that climate change is mostly caused by natural changes in the environment. Those in the audience did not appear to be on the same page as Johnson either. Also, while Louisianans may indeed be driving SUVs, 74 percent of them support tax rebates for energy-efficient vehicles.

Unlike Johnson, many Republican voters and members of Congress want climate action. Twenty-seven percent of Republican voters are alarmed or concerned about climate change. They tend to be Republicans who are younger, female, moderates, people of color, or they live in suburban areas. Over the past 10 years, Republicans increasingly have said that global warming will harm people in the United States, with 64 percent of liberal and moderate Republicans and 32 percent of conservative Republicans currently holding this view.

Across party lines, from Louisiana to Los Angeles, the majority of people want a stable climate and support climate solutions. Our chances of successfully tackling climate change drop drastically with Mike Johnson as speaker of the House, given the power he exerts on the legislative process. If you, like most of the country, want cleaner air and a bright future for our kids, demand that our leaders in Congress listen to the will of the people, not lobbyist interests.

Read More

Wegovy box
Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

How Congress can quickly make Ozempic, Wegovy affordable

Pearl, the author of “ChatGPT, MD,” teaches at both the Stanford University School of Medicine and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a former CEO of The Permanente Medical Group.

A whopping one in eight U.S. adults have taken GLP-1 drugs like Wegovy and Ozempic for weight loss and related conditions. Their popularity and efficacy have sparked a prescription-writing frenzy in recent years, leaving both medications on the Food and Drug Administration's drug shortage list since May 2023.

Keep ReadingShow less
Man climbing a set of exterior steps

The author, Miliyon Ethiopis, following a court’s decision to grant his asylum request on June 18.

U.S. immigration court ruling on statelessness could have wide impact

Ethiopis is a co-founder of United Stateless, a national organization led by stateless people.

I feel like I have been born again, after a U.S. immigration court made a remarkable ruling in my “statelessness” case in June. I hope that my case will have significant, broader implications for other stateless people in America.

Being stateless means no country will claim you as a citizen. We don't belong anywhere. Stateless people are military veterans. We are Harvard graduates. We are Holocaust survivors. There are millions of stateless people around the world, and 200,000 such people in the United States.

Keep ReadingShow less
Bar graph of shopping carts
Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

This fact brief was originally published by Wisconsin Watch. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Have prices increased 40 percent to 50 percent since Trump left office?

No.

Cumulative inflation since former President Donald Trump left office in January 2021 through May 2024 was 20.1 percent according to data from the Federal Reserve’s Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, or CPI-U.

Trump told a crowd on June 18 in Racine, Wis., that "real inflation" is more than twice that.

Keep ReadingShow less
White House

Whoever occupies the Whtie House next year will have the opportunity to make the federal workforce more efficient.

DEA/M. BORCHI/Getty Images

Project 2025: Managing the bureaucracy

Breslin is the Joseph C. Palamountain Jr. Chair of Political Science at Skidmore College and author of “A Constitution for the Living: Imagining How Five Generations of Americans Would Rewrite the Nation’s Fundamental Law.”

This is part of a series offering a nonpartisan counter to Project 2025, a conservative guideline to reforming government and policymaking during the first 180 days of a second Trump administration. The Fulcrum's "Cross-Partisan Project 2025" relies on unbiased critical thinking, reexamines outdated assumptions, and uses reason, scientific evidence, and data in analyzing and critiquing Project 2025

Efficiency is not a word that often comes to mind when contemplating the federal bureaucracy. At almost 3 million workers strong, and representing an eye-popping 2 percent of the entire American labor force, the federal bureaucracy is a behemoth. Add to that eight times as many federal contractors and no one — not Democrats and not Republicans — can claim the bureaucratic sector is streamlined.

Donald Devine, Dennis Dean Kirk and Paul Dans, the authors of chapter 3 of the Heritage Foundation’s “Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” (aka Project 2025), understand the numbers. And the problem. Or at least I thought they did.

Keep ReadingShow less
Protestors call for health care beneifts

People demonstrate in support of health care in 2017 in Montana, which expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

William Campbell-Corbis via Getty Images

Has Medicaid expansion in states improved health outcomes?

This fact brief was originally published by EconoFact. Read the original here. Fact briefs are published by newsrooms in the Gigafact network, and republished by The Fulcrum. Visit Gigafact to learn more.

Has Medicaid expansion in states improved health outcomes?

Yes.

Studies have shown that Medicaid expansion in states does lead to improved health outcomes.

Keep ReadingShow less