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Tags: ron johnson | mcconnell | senate | republicans

Sen. Ron Johnson to Newsmax: Pick Fiscal Conservative as Leader

By    |   Saturday, 02 March 2024 01:34 PM EST

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's plans to step away from his party leadership role this fall gives the chamber's Republicans the opportunity to establish goals, come up with new plans for moving forward, and pick a more fiscally conservative leader, Sen. Ron Johnson said on Newsmax Saturday. 

"I come from the private sector," the Wisconsin Republican told Newsmax's "America Right Now." "In business you also have to have a mission statement. You need to establish goals, and everybody in the organization needs to understand their role in achieving that mission and accomplishing those goals."

Johnson added that he wants to see a more fiscally conservative senator take over the leadership role.

He said that when McConnell became the party leader nearly two decades ago, the United States had less than $10 trillion in debt, but "now we're pushing $35 trillion."

"I think that's one of my biggest issues with the Republican conference," Johnson said. "We have not had strong fiscal conservatives at the helm that are trying to hold the line.

"Over the last four years, we've gone from $4.4 trillion spending to $6.4 trillion. And even worse, we've increased other mandatory spending. This isn't Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid but other mandatory spending by $700 billion a year in just four years. ... We need a stronger fiscal conservative approach toward pushing back on the free-spending Democrats."

But Congress, he said, is "completely dysfunctional" because of the number of bureaucrats in office who have no experience in the private sector. 

"Even worse, they've never even been a functioning organization," said Johnson.

He added that he appreciates what McConnell has done in the Senate, particularly with his role in bringing more conservatives into the Supreme Court, and is thankful that his announcement about his departure leaves time for the Republican conference to develop its plans. 

"I would say that I think our primary function must be at this point is to effectively counter the policies and ideology of the radical left that is destroying this country," said Johnson. "Democrat governance is destroying America. And we need far more effective counterbalance from Republicans in Congress, including the Senate."

There is already a list of potential successors for McConnell's role as Republican leader, including Sens. John Cornyn of Texas, John Thune of South Dakota, John Barrasso of Wyoming, Rick Scott of Florida, Tom Cotton of Arkansas, and Steve Daines of Montana.

Johnson said he does not envy whoever takes on the role. 

"I don't envy, whether it's the speaker of the House or the minority or majority leader, of their task," said Johnson. "It's not easy herding cats, so it's a very difficult job. From my standpoint, I want to drive a process. I'm trying to lead that process of developing that mission statement. Those goals. So that in that process, leaders will emerge."

He said that he backs Scott for the role, as he has a "phenomenal background."

"He has certainly led," said Johnson. "He's shown his ability to lead — but, again, through that process. I don't want to immediately turn [this into] a popularity contest. ... You have to go through the process of figuring out what direction now our conference is going to go into."


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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's leaving his party leadership role gives the chamber's Republicans the opportunity to establish goals, come up with new plans for moving forward, and pick a more fiscally conservative leader, Sen. Ron Johnson said.
ron johnson, mcconnell, senate, republicans
Saturday, 02 March 2024 01:34 PM
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