Johnson hopeful about GOP reaching health care agreement
Talks manufacturing jobs, praises McCain at Business Alliance luncheon

By Hannah Weikel - Freeman Staff

July 23, 2017

 U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson speaks to the Waukesha County Business Alliance at the Sheraton Hotel in Brookfield on Friday afternoon.
Hannah Weikel/Freeman Staff

BROOKFIELD - Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, largely focused on health care reform during a luncheon speech with the Waukesha County Business Alliance at the Sheraton Hotel on Friday.

Johnson was part of the dissent of the most recent GOP health care solution, but said he's hopeful an agreement will be reached in the next week or two.

"We're not giving up, I'm not giving up," Johnson said. "We are working hard and we have to succeed on this one."

Johnson repeated that he won't let perfect be the enemy of the good and that he will vote on a bill that puts the health care system in a better position than it is today.

An audience member asked Johnson about the Joseph Project that he started to connect unemployed people to manufacturing jobs around Wisconsin, including Waukesha and Milwaukee counties.

He said the program is a success and it needs more people who are dedicated to help fill jobs and inspire people in Wisconsin to make good wages.

When asked about Sen. John McCain's recent announcement that he has brain cancer, Johnson said:

"John is just a giant, he's larger than life. One of the true honors of being able to serve with him, getting to know him, travel overseas with him where in many countries he's a national hero as well. He's an unbelievable fighter, a true maverick and a true fighter ... He's feisty, he's already talking about coming back right away ... He'll fight this hard and certainly all of our prayers are with he and his family."

Johnson was then asked about President Donald Trump's intent, laid out in his preliminary budget, to cut the Community Development Block Grant, which allots federal funding to Waukesha County and is distributed to Waukesha and other municipalities for projects like the downtown rebranding effort and the Meals on Wheels program.

Johnson said he supports the president's intent to chip away at the budget deficit, but doesn't think Congress will allow funds for CDBG to fall by the wayside.