Open Thread | Why Doesn’t the New Speaker of the House NOT have a Bank Account Reported?

He makes $174K a year. The wife works too. They’ve been on the right-wing grift train before he got to Congress.

He lives in bumblephuck Louisiana, so his expenses should be low.

No bank account?

Yeah, something ain’t right.

From The Washington Post:

“What’s up with Speaker Johnson not reporting a bank account?”:
By Catherine Rampell

… Johnson’s recent launch from obscure congressional backbencher to one of the most powerful people in the country has come with a wave of scrutiny. Reporters are combing through his past and finding weird stuff — his curious arrangement with his son to monitor each others’ digital devices for porn, for instance.

One less salacious but perhaps more consequential discovery involves his finances. In his most recent annual financial disclosures, released last year, Johnson (R-La.) reports no assets at all…

There are no retirement accounts, no money-market funds, no stocks, no crypto, not even a basic checking or savings account. Even more peculiar, his disclosures have never listed any checking or savings accounts on any of the forms he has filed going back to 2016, the year he was elected to Congress.

This is confusing. Where is his congressional salary being deposited? How is he paying his bills?…

… Rank-and-file federal representatives… draw a sizable congressional salary of $174,000 (which gets bumped up to $223,500 for the speaker).

That’s not Johnson’s only income, either, as he earns another $30,000 annually for teaching at Liberty University. His wife receives multiple salaries, too; the exact amounts of her salaries were not disclosed in Johnson’s most recent financial reports, but based on prior years’ data, the household is likely pulling in at least $211,000 total. That’s close to the 90th percentile. And note that other members of Congress of “modest” backgrounds still somehow report having bank accounts…

Johnson’s office did not respond to questions I sent about his financial disclosures by publication time. Then, early Tuesday morning, Politico reported that his office told its own reporter that Johnson does indeed have a bank account. His account does not pay interest, though, which makes it exempt from House disclosure rules.

Holding your family’s entire savings in a non-interest-bearing account is a strange choice for a high-income household, particularly during a period of high inflation. But more important, this arrangement still leaves voters in the dark about Johnson’s financial well-being. Whatever Johnson’s motivation for managing his money this way, the effect is to obscure what his resources actually look like and whether he’s under the kind of financial strain that other parts of his disclosures might suggest.

People of all levels of income have money troubles, of course, and it’s usually no one’s business. But those who hold the public trust are different. Whether it’s the leader of the free world or the leader of the people’s house, the public has a right to know whether their elected officials are facing serious financial difficulties — particularly ones that might make them targets for unsavory characters and influence-buying or that might tempt them to misuse campaign funds. This is not exactly unprecedented.

This is why we have financial disclosures in the first place: so Americans can judge whether public servants are truly serving the public interest or their own. Yes, a loophole allows Johnson to keep secret the value of his financial assets. If Johnson wants to prove he’s worthy of his unexpected promotion, though, he should release more information about what’s really happening with his finances.

This doesn’t pass the smell test. And, it’s only because he’s a Republican that he and every member of the GOP Caucus aren’t being asked about this. Because, rest assured, if this had been a DEMOCRAT who had just been chosen to be SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, and they didn’t appear to have a Bank Account….EVERY DEMOCRAT in Washington, DC would be asked about it anytime they got in front of the camera. House or Senate. And, someone would be asking it at the White House Press Briefing everyday.

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3 Responses to Open Thread | Why Doesn’t the New Speaker of the House NOT have a Bank Account Reported?

  1. rikyrah says:

    Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) posted at 1:10 PM on Thu, Nov 09, 2023:
    “These deals are game changers, not only for UAW workers, but for all workers in America. Just ask the folks at @Toyota, which last week announced it would significantly, finally increase wages for their workers. They had no choice because of what you did,” Biden at UAW event

  2. rikyrah says:


    Barb McQuade (@BarbMcQuade) posted at 6:35 AM on Thu, Nov 09, 2023:
    GOP lawmakers are suing Michigan to block state constitutional amendment to reproductive rights, a ballot initiative approved by voters, arguing voters can’t create new rights. They fail to understand the basic concepts of democracy.

  3. rikyrah says:

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