Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson, poised to become chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee when the GOP takes control of the Senate in January, is a tea party-leaning fiscal hawk whose positions on deficit spending will be seen as worrisome among federal employees, The Washington Post
Johnson would succeed Delaware's Sen. Tom Carper, a Democrat. The current ranking Republican on the committee, Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, is retiring. Johnson, a freshman lawmaker, is currently one of seven members of the Republican minority on the committee, which oversees the government's workforce.
He is known to favor eliminating, consolidating or privatizing certain federal agencies — such as the Post Office. He thinks federal employees are overpaid, would reduce their healthcare and retirement benefits, and make them contribute more toward their benefit packages.
He would also eliminate cost of living adjustments for retirees, the Post reported.
He is on record as advocating a reduction of the federal workforce by 10 percent and cutting workers who contract for the government by 15 percent.
Johnson believes federal employees should not be represented by unions or have collective-bargaining rights, according to the Post.
Among the agencies he would eliminate are the Office of Special Counsel, the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Office of Government Ethics and the Federal Labor Relations Authority. Their functions would be taken over by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which he'd collapse into the Office of Personnel Management.
The federal workforce, however, is not Johnson's top priority. He plans to pursue bipartisan goals within the committee relating to border security and minimizing government regulations, the Post reported.
Speaking about the performance of the committee under the Democrats, Johnson said, "When you have a Democrat-controlled Senate with a Democrat in the White House, there's just a natural lack of curiosity — let me be kind," USA Today
reported. "I'm not interested in show trials. What I'm interested in is defining problems."
Johnson is one of the wealthiest lawmakers on Capitol Hill, according to the Post.
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