The senator opposed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and recently said he would not fight to locate new jobs in Oshkosh.
When President Joe Biden visits northern Wisconsin on Wednesday, readers who follow the trip via the Superior Telegram will notice the president has some firepower supporting his message. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) is doing a “digital takeover” of the site, placing a barrage of ads about Biden’s bipartisan victory on an infrastructure package and criticizing Republican Sen. Ron Johnson for opposing it.
Biden used Tuesday night’s State of the Union speech to bring attention back to his domestic agenda, including the infrastructure plan that will bring more than $5 billion in projects and jobs to Wisconsin. Johnson, who told a conservative radio host last summer, “I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t read the thing,” is running for a third term this fall despite an earlier pledge that he would not.
“From voting against the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that is creating good-paying jobs and ensuring the US can out-compete countries like China, to refusing to support the creation of more than a thousand good-paying jobs in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson keeps showing Wisconsinites he’s only looking out for himself,” said DSCC spokesperson Amanda Sherman-Baity, “and that’s exactly why they’ll fire him in 2022.”
The DSCC will put pressure on Johnson throughout the year in an effort to promote the eventual winner from a field of candidates competing in the August primary to challenge Johnson and maintain or boost Democrats’ razor-thin control of the US Senate.
A Biden administration state-by-state breakdown of infrastructure benefits from the law said Wisconsin is due to receive, at minimum over the next five years, $5.2 billion in federal highway aid, $225 million for bridge repairs and replacements, $79 million to expand the network for charging electric vehicles, $100 million to boost high-speed internet coverage, $841 million to improve drinking water infrastructure, and $592 million to improve public transportation options statewide. The state can also compete for additional funds.
Although 19 Senate Republicans supported the infrastructure jobs package, Johnson was among 30 who voted against it, claiming the legislation isn’t fully paid for. Johnson had no deficit concerns about a 2017 tax bill that cost taxpayers more than $2 trillion, although he opposed the bill until a provision was added for “pass-through” companies—a benefit for Johnson and a handful of very wealthy donors.
The DSCC is trying to build momentum around the idea of Johnson not fighting for Wisconsin jobs because of his recently stated opposition to lobbying Oshkosh Defense to locate a new project in his hometown. “It’s not like we don’t have enough jobs here in Wisconsin,” he said.