Senator Johnson says he is a "NO"

November 16, 2017

And here we go again… Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin became the first Senate Republican to announce he’ll vote against his own party’s plan for tax reform. He told the Wall Street Journal, “I’m not going to vote for this tax package. If they can pass it without me, let them.”

Of course, as we’ve seen with a long string of broken promises to Republican voters, it’s impossible to pass anything in the Senate with only a 52-vote majority when you have four or five ostensible Republicans who stand up and oppose their own party. They often claim that while they mostly support the bill, there are just one or two parts of it that they simply can’t reconcile with their principles, and so they kill the entire bill, making the perfect the enemy of the good and leaving the American people cursed with wretched boondoggles like Obamacare or the current indecipherable tax code.

I don’t want to pick on Sen. Johnson personally or attack anyone for standing by his principles, but I think I’m hardly the only one who’s fed up to the gills with self-appointed statesmen grandstanding at the country’s expense. We know that the Senate bill and the House bill will have to be reconciled before either becomes law, which means a lot of compromises and rewriting are yet to occur. But that won’t take place if a handful of holdouts in the Senate keep preventing bills from moving beyond stage one. I thought most Republicans were opposed to abortion, but aborting every important reform that comes along is okay with some of them.


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What’s particularly grating to me, and I imagine to most Republican voters, is that high-handed comment: “If they can pass it without me, let them.” Pardon me, Senator, but did the voters of Wisconsin, who helped put Donald Trump in the White House to Hillary Clinton’s shock, send you to the Senate to stymie what Trump promised them by refusing to do your job? If you don’t like the bill, then you’ll just take your ball and go home and leave it to other people to try to get the job done without you? What about the idea of voting for a bill you find imperfect, and then working doubly hard to insure that the final bill addresses your concerns?


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A famous Republican once criticized his fellow party members who demand everything they want right now, and if they can’t get it, refuse to compromise and won’t accept anything. He said, “If you got 75 or 80 percent of what you were asking for, I say you take it and fight for the rest later.” That traitor to conservative principles was Ronald Reagan.

As only the third Republican elected Governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction, I came into office facing a state legislature that was nearly 90% Democrat and not at all happy about having to deal with me. It would’ve been easy to throw up my hands and say, “You guys just pass something without me.” But the state was facing a number of crises, and I knew that its failed, corrupt system had to be reformed. So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. It meant reaching out to people who probably couldn’t stand me and having to convince them I was sincere about working with them. It sometimes required compromise, sometimes arm-twisting. But by the time I finished my second term, I’d managed to enact most of my agenda. I think it worked out pretty well, if you look at the number of Republicans in office in Arkansas today compared to when I was first elected to office.


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The point is, it didn’t happen overnight or by refusing to accept anything that wasn’t 100% of what I wanted. Senators are paid $174,000 a year and a lot of perks. If you like the gig, then it’s time to prove to the voters that you’re worthy of keeping it. Get to work!!

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Comments 1-31 of 31

  • GK Epperosn

    11/28/2017 03:03 PM

    Let's give Senator Johnson the benefit of his doubts about this bill. He is representing the people in his state. Perhaps he has taken the time to read all the way through the bill and finds enough negatives to give him pause. I know what I have read so far looks like to me that although we are in the lower middle class range we will pay more taxes not less, on this new tax plan. After reviewing it I found it has enough negatives that I am not seeing many merits. Yes it would help if corporations got a break on taxes..but foreign owned companies in the USA would also be getting those same reductions....do we really think foreign corporations are going to put money back into our economy instead of theirs?
    From what I understand President Trump personally didn't come up with this plan. Ryan is pushing it... I am not sure Ryan cares if it makes the president look bad come election day. I realize POTUS is trying to keep his promises but I hope the senate can make changes to the tax bill that will better benefit the middle class.
    Love your newsletters Gov. Huckabee and thanks for the website.

  • Clifford Wendell Randall

    11/24/2017 05:29 PM

    Has anyone informed Senator Johnson of how many US based companies are currently registered in countries like Ireland (about 700 at present) because they pay much lower corporate taxes there than when registered in the USA? The key to restoring our economy, and jobs for people, is to get those companies registered back here in our own country. They won't do it until the corporate taxes go down considerably from where they are today. If Senator Johnson can't do the math on that, he should resign from the Senate and let someone else do the job that has a better grasp of basic principles.

  • Patsy Baker

    11/20/2017 01:01 AM

    I like your sense of reality as well as your sense of humor. I know I really like your honesty, too, as well as your wealth of knowledge. You might say that I like you a whole lot and it's why I signed up for your great newsletter. I share it with many of my friends.

  • Bob Travis

    11/19/2017 11:06 PM

    A man of principle, always with sincerity and just the right side of humor, encouraging others. I Like Mike!

  • Margaret Kost

    11/19/2017 01:32 AM

    Well stated, Governor Huckabee. It is the truth. Not fake, not folklore, not let's whine and by the way, would you like a little cheese with that whine? Give and take! Work on compromises that work for the good. The people are tired of a paralyzed government. Especially since it is not because 'I can't move, I can't change,' etc. It is because I want to spite the other party or some in my own party, to do the opposite of what they want, being contrary, then everyone ends up suffering because of gridlock. Step out of the forest and see the trees, get a different perspective before the people get a different candidate to run for your position. Hopefully Senator Johnson and other government employees will read your website along with some of the comments submitted and know that even though some of us may not be Wisconsin's, we all think alike. Work and get something accomplished!

  • Charles Spellman

    11/18/2017 09:24 PM

    I have been a lifelong Republican, but If the senate can't pass tax reform thanks to Senator Johnson and a few of his potential allies, I'm going to be permanently disenfranchised from politics. Words can't describe my disgust.

  • Candy King

    11/18/2017 09:01 PM

    If he is your senator folks, call him and email him. Tell him you voted for him so he would work together to get things done, not pout like a baby. Calls and emails work!

  • Rosalie Gilliland

    11/18/2017 12:18 PM

    Johnson is indeed grandstanding. This RINO doesn't seem to care how hard it is for Americans currently under Obamacare, and anything would be an improvement. He can't justify his salary, so I hope his constituents are smart and vote for his opponent in 2018. In the current climate of anger and resolve among voters, I'd say that's a pretty good prediction.

  • Kathy Barnes

    11/18/2017 11:51 AM

    Well said Mike Huckabee, I agree completely. If Senator Johnson is up for reelection we must replace him with a conservative senator that is willing to give and take a little to get new policies passed.

  • Kathy Masek

    11/18/2017 11:11 AM

    I voted for Senator Johnson based on his promises to America. This is very troubling. Either he doesn't understand the Bill or he's grandstanding. Wisconsin along with the 49 other States need tax reform. I hope he changes his mind once it's tweaked in the Senate.

  • Sharon Stilp

    11/17/2017 04:12 PM

    I hope he will not be too when he is up for reelection when the voters say "NO" !

  • Todd Lambert

    11/17/2017 01:56 PM

    The perfect is the enemy of the good.

  • Suzie Baker

    11/17/2017 01:54 PM

    I read and enjoy your newsletter. Is there anything that we the voters can do to force our Senators to do the job we elected them to do. We need affordable healthcare and tax breaks. I am so sick of placing my faith in politicians and giving them my vote, only to have them turn on me or try to pretend they know what is better for me than me. I promise, if they had to live on $20, 000 a year and still provide their own medical insurance instead of that fat $174,000 a year they get and all the perks they can stand, then they can tell me what I need. I am hanging on by my fingernails. I am a 57-year-old widow. My husband died six years ago from a brain tumor. This wasn't how my life was supposed to be. I am sick of Politicians pretending they know what is good for me. I have lived this hell. Not them. Until then, they need to get off of their high horse and LISTEN to us. I have been so disgusted with the Republicans since Trump went into office that I have changed my affiliation from Republican to Unaffiliated. I have been a Republican for many many years, but now I am so ashamed of them. I am pleading them to give me a reason to rejoin the ranks and support them again.

  • Rick McGee

    11/17/2017 09:02 AM

    Well said! How is it possible for a GOP Senator to grandstand at this late date? Does he not understand how voters feel about the complete lack of accomplishments by Congress? I don't solely blame this one senator, surely the leadership and process they execute are part of the problem. The sad conclusion is people like me (moderates, independents) will never again vote Republican if they fail to govern.

  • Jean Brown

    11/17/2017 06:34 AM

    AMEN, Mr. Huckabee! Between the scandals and voter frustration, I think that the face of our congress will be changing, and the sooner the better.

  • Donna Coggins

    11/17/2017 02:02 AM

    I wish you were in the Senate, that was an excellent article, hope more will read it and FYI your common sense must run in the family, we just love Sarah at this house.

  • Tricia Kennemer

    11/17/2017 01:15 AM

    WHEN is our Congress going to begin representing the PEOPLE instead of THEMSELVES?

  • Brian Tacoma

    11/17/2017 12:09 AM

    Sorry Mike, I love ya and usually agree with you but not on this. If what I read is true (and I take everything I read with a grain of salt), this tax reform contains a whole lot of perks for the wealthy. Just read tonight about a break for "private jet owners" ?! I voted for President Trump and I'm thankful every day Clinton doesn't occupy the White House but really??! My dreams of "hope and change" are fast fading. I'll never become a Democrat but when Republicans and this administration continue to shoot themselves in the feet kowtowing to the rich and powerful at the expense of the average Joe.........we're going to lose all we gained last year!

  • Walter L. Zimmerman

    11/16/2017 11:51 PM

    Speaker Paul Ryan (D), Sen. Ron Johnson (D) both FAKE (R)epublicans, that is one of our problems. Are Wisconsin folks not awake & seeing the back stabbing & turning there nose up to those that put them into the office that these con-men are pulling? By the way they can have Bret Bielema back in Wisconsin, but since they have contindued to win....naw! If only congress would do what they said they would to get elected if we put them back in power..... how dumb of us. Also, the so-called two-party system is out-of-date. We The People know it is FAKE also, they argue & put on their dog & pony show but we know they are owned by The World Bankers since Woodrow Wilsons being backed by them in 1913 as President. Then he sold them our Federal Reserve which he claimed he was sorry..... of course, after he was caught. Last account I had our city Police protect their Fiat Money. Thank you & your family for being American Patriots. Have a wonderful & blessed weekend.

  • Carolyn Ayres

    11/16/2017 11:48 PM

    Senators who vote against their own party should be voted out. What a traitor to those who elected him.

  • John Metcalf

    11/16/2017 11:23 PM

    Amen! Appreciate you greatly. We are at a point if the Republicans do not come through with the Tax Rewrite and the ObamaCare Mandate repeal it will bring back the Obama-Hillary-Schumer-Pelosi government that will destroy the United States as we know it.

  • Brenda Kirste

    11/16/2017 10:55 PM

    So many of these Senators have never shown any willingness to compromise and get legislation enacted to benefit the American people. Their motives are suspect and probably being controlled by special interest. The Washington Swampers are dangerous and are out to impede President Trump and those who wish to enact legislation for the betterment of our country.

  • Brenda Kirste

    11/16/2017 10:53 PM

    So many of these Senators have never shown any willingness to compromise and get legislation enacted to benefit the American people. Their motives are suspect and probably being controlled by special interest. The Washington Swampers are dangerous and are out to impede President Trump and those who wish to enact legislation for the betterment of our country.

  • Janice Sullivan

    11/16/2017 10:44 PM

    Right on, Governor Huckabee! I hope Senator Johnson sees your comment and reconsiders his vote. Compromise, pass the bill, then reconciliation.

  • Debbie Warren

    11/16/2017 10:25 PM

    My husband (recently retired FBI agent) & I were just saying this very thing this afternoon. Why are a small group of Republicans going against their own party? It’s crazy!

  • Larry Bookwalter

    11/16/2017 10:23 PM

    These Senators think we will forget about their votes by the time they are up for election again> I for one will not forget! Get with the program and MAGA!

  • Renee Tindall

    11/16/2017 10:08 PM

    I am so tired of all this fighting in our government. I was very upset when we had to struggle through Obama’s Presidency. Now that we voted Trump in and the things he promised is what got him elected. What’s happening to the Republicans? They won the majority only to end up throwing it away. I’m sick to my stomach to see the chance God gave us by keeping Clinton out only to have these greedy politicians ruin it. Well people if things don’t come together soon everything will go down the tubes. Is that what the people want that put Trump in office? We are going to loose our chance that was given to us by allowing these liberals and media win. STOP THIS FIGHTING.

  • Pamela Hall

    11/16/2017 10:03 PM

    I totally agree!

  • Susan Dyar

    11/16/2017 09:59 PM

    You can read Comments under several posts and Republicans fully expect the Senate to fail on this. I hope Roy Moore wins the race in Alabama and shakes the place up. I’m so SICK of the Senate, they are no better than when Harry Reid was there and tabled all the bills.

  • Randy Leonard

    11/16/2017 09:54 PM

    Senator Johnson has just left his seat open for defeat. Seems a lot of republicans will be retiring in the not so distant future.

  • Sarah Menne

    11/16/2017 09:48 PM

    Well said! You speak for most Republicans. We Republicans need laws in place that allow us to replace a Congressman/woman if he/she refuses to work with our Republican Party for the best interests of the American people and constituents. Frankly, we're pretty fed up with this kind of self-serving self-righteous attitude. There will likely never be a "perfect" law - there is always compromise involved to please the most interest groups possible. Individuals and and interest groups are just too different to please everyone. We need more honest, trustworthy and wiser people in office.