Connect to Congress: Sen. Ron Johnson on immigration, healthcare, Russian sanctions

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WLUK) - Republican Sen. Ron Johnson took time out to address the issues making headlines on Capitol Hill on Wednesday Aug. 2, 2017. Earlier in the day President Trump announced new immigration legislation that would allow immigrants into the country on a more merit-based system.

"Well I've traveled around the state of Wisconsin the last six years, obviously visiting dairy farms as well as manufacturers. There's not one manufacturer that can hire enough people. We have extremely low unemployment rates today. We're a nation of immigrants, so from my standpoint, I'm all for merit based and skills based immigration, and a legal immigration system. But we need to make sure we have an immigration system, a legal system that allows enough people into this country to make sure we can obviously staff manufacturers and dairy farms and all of our organizations that grow our economy. So'I'm concerned about economic growth if we limit that by too much," said Johnson.

Republican Senators have fallen short in their attempts to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

"ObamaCare remains a mess. The problem's not going away, the issue is not going away so for my part I''m continuing to work with my colleagues in the Senate and House, Governor Walker and the White House to see if we can't bridge the differences and come up with a solution to fix the mess that is ObamaCare," said Johnson.

Johnson also addressed President Trump's threat to cut off payments that insurers are owed for lowering deductibles under ObamaCare.

"It's important to understand a U.S. court has already ruled those payments are illegal because the ObamaCare law was so flawed it didn't actually allow that to be other then through appropriations and the money hasn't been appropriated. So for my standpoint if we're going to throw money at the failure that is ObamaCare we certainly should expect some structural reforms to help bring down premiums so the American taxpayer isn't put on the hook for bailing out insurance companies," said Johnson.

Johnson also commented on the president signing the sanctions that Congress voted on against Russia. There had been some speculation whether Trump would sign the measure sanctioning Russia for meddling in the 2016 presidential election, since the Trump campaign is under investigation for possible collusion with the Russians to influence the election.

"It certainly points out there are two branches of government involved in governing this country and foreign policies. So I think Congress spoke with a pretty loud voice that we are not going to tolerate Russia interfering in our election. And we're not going to tolerate the misbehaving, and that's to put it mildly, of North Korea and Iran in terms of destabilizing world peace. So Congress has a legitimate role to play. I appreciate the fact President Trump recognizes that and that he signed the sanctions," said Johnson.

Also making headlines is the continued shakeup in the White House this past week with a new Chief of Staff for the President. Johnson addressed the departure of former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and his replacement John Kelly.

"Reince is a friend of mine. I think he's a person of real integrity. I'm a big Reince Priebus fan. That being said, the President wanted to make a change. I'm also a huge fan of Secretary Kelly. he's a gold star parent, a four-star general. I hate to see him leave as Secretary of Homeland Security, the committee I have oversight jurisdiction and legislative jurisdiction over, but I also think he's going to make a first class Chief of Staff, bring some real order to the White House and I think he's already demonstrated that," said Johnson.

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