After Ron delivered a prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention last Tuesday about the need for strong leadership to defeat terrorism, he spent the rest of the week travelling around the state talking with voters about economic and national security, getting results for Wisconsinites, and holding Washington accountable.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, said security seems to be a key issue for residents he talks to as he campaigns in the state.
“It’s not just national security or homeland security, it is retirement security, job security, income security, healthcare security,” Johnson said during a stop at the Heavy Bombers event at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport Friday. “That is what is on most people’s minds in such uncertain times.”
Johnson said that reducing the $2 trillion annual burden for companies to comply with federal regulations was a major emphasis of his economic plan, as someone who comes from a manufacturing background. He explained that he knew the difficulties of running a business and providing salaries for employees while trying to comply with these regulations.
“Two trillion dollars per year to comply with federal regulations, divide that by the number of households and that is $14,800,” said Johnson. “Would you rather have the $14,800 feeding the federal bureaucracy, or in your paycheck, providing for your family? I think answer is obvious.”
“I’ve actually accomplished something, in my short term versus Senator Feingold’s three terms. What did he ever do?” Johnson asked. “Campaign finance reform, but that’s been an abject failure.”
Johnson cited his own success as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs as an example of his accomplishments that separate him from Feingold.
“We’ve put out 83 pieces of legislation through my committee — 27 have been signed into law,” Johnson said.
“We have to defeat ISIS … our efforts have not reduced their terrorism,” Johnson said Thursday. “We are allowing them to exist … they train children to behead people.”
He said that after defeating ISIS, the country needed to lead a “committed coalition to find terrorists wherever they are and destroy them.”
On local issues, Johnson said pollution of the Great Lakes watershed was a concern but is best handled by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), not the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, which is currently overseeing efforts in Kewaunee County to reduce groundwater pollution.
‘Maintaining a clean environment is a goal we all share,” said Johnson. “It is a top priority.”
He criticized a proposal by his opponent in the November election, former senator Russ Feingold, to have the federal government regulate intermittent streams in Wisconsin.
“It would have been disastrous having to run to the EPA or Corps of Engineers to get permits that would have taken years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” he said.
He said he had talked with the large farm owners and other residents and he thinks the solution should be found at the state and local level.
“The DNR is a pretty strong agency here,” he said. “Here in Wisconsin we can take care of ourselves without the federal government butting in.”
“So again, I think I’ve got a pretty good story to tell, one of accomplishment and results over five years. Senator Feingold, in 18 years, what did he accomplish? You got campaign and finance reform, and a lot of that was ruled unconstitutional.
“I’ve had accomplishments and results. You want to know why? Because I’m a business guy. I’m used to getting results. I know how to do it. I’ve used the approach to find areas of agreement that unify us. As (Homeland Security) Committee (chairman), in order to pass 83 pieces of legislation, you know how you do that? In a bipartisan fashion. Unanimously. You do it by identifying problems, that everybody agrees is a problem, and you try to find a bipartisan solution and get it past the committee and shepherd it through the Senate and Congress.”