Sen. Johnson faces criticism from Democrats over child care comments

Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:36 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 26, 2022 at 8:38 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

KAUKAUNA, Wis. (WBAY) - Republican Senator Ron Johnson is doubling down on comments he made to a La Crosse television station saying he doesn’t feel it’s society’s responsibility to care for other people’s children.

This was in response to a question asked about a massive subsidy for child care supported by Democrats and included in President Biden’s Build Back Better Act. Right now the bill is stalled in Congress.

On Wednesday, Johnson was in Kaukauna to speak with students at St. Ignatius Catholic School.

Afterwards Action 2 News asked him if he was standing by his previous words that society shouldn’t pay for child care of working parents.

“I believe that parents are responsible for their children and I really don’t want government gaining greater control over families. I think that’s pretty basic. I don’t see anything controversial about that. We’re $29 trillion in debt. The last thing we should be talking about is having government spend more money in getting greater control over families,” Johnson said.

That subsidy, if passed in the Build Back Better Act, would ensure no one working would have to pay more than 7 percent of their income for child care.

However, the House version would also cut faith based providers out of the subsidy, even those who currently receive some federal funding.

Johnson’s opponents wasted no time in speaking out.

“I would hope this is something we could all agree on, and that’s simply that families need our support and they need our support especially in this day and age with COVID and all the challenges families are facing,” Outagamie County Executive and Senate candidate Tom Nelson said.

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes also jumped on Johnson.

He said, “We aren’t elected to take care of our own problems as he said, it’s not my problem. We’re supposed to take care and represent the needs of everybody in this state. Working families continue to struggle because of this pandemic.”

Johnson says it’s the growing deficit that’s driving inflation and hurting families most.

He added, “I would just take a look at government programs in general. Have they fixed the problem?”

This was Johnson’s first appearance in Northeast Wisconsin since announcing that he would seek a third term just a couple weeks ago.

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.