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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

 11:50 AM 

Johnson promises to pursue hard spending cap

U.S. Senator-elect Ron Johnson said today that he will work to pursue "a very hard spending cap" on the federal government, adding that he would support a constitutional amendment to accomplish it.

"Until we establish a hard spending cap, it's not realistic that members of Congress are going to step up and start cutting spending," Johnson told reporters at a 15-minute press conference at his campaign headquarters in his hometown of Oshkosh.

Johnson, the CEO of a plastics manufacturing plant and political newcomer who spent millions of his personal funds on the campaign, defeated three-term incumbent U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold in Tuesday's election with 52 percent of the vote.

Voters across the nation sent Washington a strong message that the federal government needs to get its fiscal house in order, Johnson said. He said one idea to do that he could support would be to limit federal spending to 25 percent of GDP.

Johnson said, as he did throughout the campaign, that one of his top priorities will be the repeal of the federal health care reform bill. He also said that any unspent stimulus funds should be applied to the federal deficit instead of more government spending.

Despite saying he would attack two of President Obama's signature legislative accomplishments, Johnson said he is willing to work with the administration.

"I will work with anybody who understands this spending and debt is unsustainable," he said. "I certainly hope the Obama administration got the very clear signal the American people sent."

Johnson said he spoke with Wisconsin's other U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, and told him he is looking forward to working with him to improve the economy.

Asked if he would help Governor-elect Scott Walker in his plans to stop an $810 million federally funded high speed train project between Madison and Milwaukee, Johnson responded "I would totally support him in those efforts."

Johnson said the next couple weeks will be spent on the transition to office and getting staff in place.

-- Greg Bump

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