Speaker Johnson on Campus Protests: “Enough is Enough”

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Encampments remain in place at prestigious universities across the country as university officials struggle to manage the protests. 

On Capitol Hill, lawmakers are now exploring ways to step in and handle the chaos. House Speaker Mike Johnson (R- LA) and Republicans were not shy with their criticism against the leaders of schools where protests continue to escalate. 

Republican leaders say universities like Columbia in New York City are fostering an environment for antisemitism, and that they’re violating the Civil Rights Act. Buildings have been occupied and Jewish students have been told not to go to class for their safety. Lawmakers on both sides are saying enough is enough. 

“Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen absolute lawlessness and chaos on college and university campuses across America,” said Speaker Johnson Tuesday afternoon. “We will not allow antisemitism to thrive on campus and we will hold these universities accountable for their failure to protect Jewish students on campus.” 

Democrats have urged university officials at Columbia to get the situation under control or step down. 

This afternoon, House Republicans said they’re exploring way to strip federal dollars from universities where they say the civil rights of Jewish students are being violated. 

“There is right and wrong here. There’s good and evil in my view, and we need to call it out for what it is,” said Speaker Johnson. “I think this is a time for decisive leadership. We’re living in fateful moments here. We do not have time for weakness,” Johnson added. 

All of this as tensions continue to rise and more clashes break out between pro-Palestinian protesters and law enforcement. 

“You’re watching young people that are paying $90,000 a year to go there. They don’t even know what they’re protesting. They don’t understand the conflict, they haven’t watched that video of what Hamas did that day,” said Rep. Nick Langworthy (R- NY). “Israel has a right to defend itself and to exist. And the people protesting this are rejecting that notion that Israel has a right to exist and defend itself. There was a ceasefire, it was on October 6. October 7, that ceasefire was broken. Israel has to finish off Hamas, period,” Langworthy added. 

Campus protesters are demanding their schools divest from Israel. Specifically, calling for university leaders to cut any financial ties with companies that have investments with Israel. Protesters say the humanitarian crisis in Gaza cannot be ignored any longer.