Johnson Leads Republicans in Cracking Down on College Protests

( – Right Wing previously reported that pro-Palestinian student groups are staging nationwide demonstrations at colleges and universities in response to the ongoing military conflict in Gaza. Clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials have intensified, with news agencies reporting the arrest of more than 1,300 students in the last couple of weeks. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) recently took charge of Republican-led efforts pushing back against those college protests.

On April 30, Johnson held a press conference to discuss a House-wide effort to crack down on antisemitic protests and hold university officials accountable for their failure to protect Jewish students. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), the head of the Republican Congressional Caucus, and other top GOP lawmakers and committee heads joined the speaker as he addressed journalists.

Johnson told reporters that the entire country knew about the protests, and “House Republicans are here to do something about it.” The speaker explained that lawmakers would probe the “generous tax benefits universities enjoy,” the Biden administration’s foreign student visa program, and the distribution of taxpayer funds to the nation’s colleges and universities, to apply pressure to end the student uprisings.

The speaker advised reporters that Republicans would spearhead those efforts through the House Oversight, Judiciary, Ways and Means, Education, and Workforce Committees. Additional panels include the Science, Space, and Technology Committees.

Rep. James Comer (R-KY) told press conference attendees the “radical” student-led demonstrations “threatening violence against Jews” weren’t an organic or natural occurrence. He claimed that “global elites” were financing those “hateful protests.”

Comer warned that the organizations funding those demonstrations were the same groups paying for efforts to force “soft crime policies” on the American people. He also said they finance other radical agendas like “diminishing America’s energy production.”

Judiciary Committee head, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), reminded reporters that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas released his department’s guidelines for enforcing immigration policies and statutes in late 2021. He said the overriding question his committee hoped to answer involved determining the protesters’ intentions.

Were they “advocating” for Israel’s destruction? he rhetorically asked. Do their actions constitute a “national security threat?” he quipped. If so, the protesters’ actions present a grave national security threat, making them eligible for removal from the country.

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