In the News: Blog

As we find solutions to the humanitarian crisis at our southern border, it’s important to ask how many unaccompanied minors and, primarily, adults and children presenting themselves as families we could see crossing our southern border illegally if we do nothing to change the situation.


Earlier this year, media in Guatemalan reported the results of a poll that asked Guatemalan citizens about migration.


The answer: 25.3 percent of Guatemalans surveyed told pollsters they intend to migrate out of the country in the next three years. In another question, 85% of those asked to name a country they had thought to emigrating to picked the United States.

Guatemala has about 17.6 million people. If 85 percent of that quarter of them planning to emigrate indeed do choose to move here, that implies that about 3.7 million Guatemalans may come to the United States – more than a fifth of that country’s population.


You can see the results of the survey, in Spanish, on slides 38 and 39 here

It isn’t just Guatemala. The Gallup organization reported in December 2018 that 158 million adults worldwide -- 21% of those polled -- desire to immigrate to the United States.


Gallup reported that 750 million adults worldwide (that is, 15%) told pollsters they want to move permanently to another country. The United States is the most-named destination. Gallup said 27% of adults in Latin America and the Caribbean say they want to move to another country, and that total reaches 52% of adults in El Salvador, 47% in Honduras.


Gallup doesn’t say what share of those large percentages specifically want to emigrate to the United States. But the polling organization estimates that if all adults worldwide could migrate as they wish, the U.S. adult population would rise by 46%. You can see Gallup’s result here.

One of the great successes of the Trump administration has been to reduce the regulatory burden on American job creators and spur economic growth like we haven’t seen in years. The numbers are startling – as I mentioned during an interview with "Meet the Press" Sunday, Republican policies have led to business investment growth that’s 10 times faster than what we saw under President Obama. That seems hard to believe, but the numbers don’t lie.


During the final two years of President Obama’s second term, real business investment growth increased by just 0.6 percent annually. Under the Trump administration, business investment has increased by more than six percent. That is a 10-fold increase made possible at least in part because we’ve cut red tape and gotten the federal government out of the way.


Check it out for yourself. You can find the data here. You want to look at table 5.3.1, and the figure you need is “private fixed investment, nonresidential.”

Sen. Johnson spoke on the Senate floor Wednesday about the harm Obamacare's failures have caused Wisconsinites, notably with the unsustainable levels of Medicaid spending. During his remarks he outlined an amendment he is offering to preserve traditional Medicaid for future generations.

Video of Sen. Johnson's remarks can be found here.

Graphs that were used during his remarks are below:

Senator Johnson recently sat down with The Wall Street Journal for an interview regarding his ideas for tax reform. Simply put, “this entails cutting taxes on corporations while raising them on shareholders. Citing studies that find corporate taxes are partly borne by a company’s workers, Senator Johnson says that ‘Rather than make the employees pay the tax, let the owners pay the tax,’ he says, referring to it as ‘a true Warren Buffett tax’.”

“Senator Johnson would like corporate shareholders to be taxed at the same rate as ‘pass-throughs,’ entities such as limited-liability corporations, whose profits are taxed in the hands of the owners at individual rates. The corporation itself wouldn’t owe tax. Instead, it would notify each shareholder of its share of annual profits and then forward that shareholder’s estimated tax to the Treasury.”


To read the article in its entirety, follow the link below.

A Plan B for the GOP: Raise Warren Buffet's Taxes

Wall Street Journal

March 8, 2017

Read the story here.

During Sen. Johnson's Feb. 16 teletown hall, a constituent asked a question about the existence of voter fraud. Below is a link to a piece in the Wall Street Journal on the issue, as well as a compilation of cases of cases of prosecuted and convicted voter fraud. 

Voter Fraud a Myth? That's Not What New York Investigators Found
Wall Street Journal
February 7, 2017

Read the story here.

A Sampling of Election Fraud Cases From Across the Country

Read about the cases here.

Some have questions about the role of one of the president’s advisers, Steve Bannon, and the National Security Council. This is the latest background on the facts of the situation from the Congressional Research Service, the nonpartisan research arm of the Library of Congress. 

Trump Administration Changes to the National Security Council: Frequently Asked Questions

January 30, 2017

On January 28, 2017, the Trump Administration issued National Security Presidential Memorandum (NSPM) 2: Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council. The memorandum details how the executive branch intends to manage and coordinate national and homeland security issues among relevant departments and agencies. In keeping with the practices of prior administrations, the White House issued the memorandum early in its tenure. Since the memorandum was signed, some media reports have incorrectly characterized the manner in which the Trump administration appears to be organizing itself to manage national security matters. These FAQs are intended to clarify the terms and structures associated with the National Security Council (NSC).

What is the National Security Council?

Since its inception in 1947, the National Security Council, and the institutions that support it, has evolved from a statutorily-mandated meeting of cabinet-level officials into a complex system of coordination, adjudication, and in some instances formulation (as in the case of Dr. Kissinger's tenure as National Security Advisor) of policies among relevant departments and agencies. As a result, when individuals refer to the "NSC," they variously refer to the decisionmaking body created in statute in the 1947 National Security Act, the staff that supports that decisionmaking body, or the processes used by the White House to discuss and adjudicate decisions across different agencies of the executive branch.

  • The National Security Council is the President's statutory advisory body on matters related to national and international security. Pursuant to Title 50 U.S.C §3021, the NSC's statutory members are the President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, and Secretary of Energy. Other senior officials, including the National Security Advisor, participate in NSC deliberations at the President's request. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Director of National Intelligence are the NSC's statutory advisers. The National Security Council is chaired by the President.
  • The National Security Council Staff. The NSC's activities are coordinated and directed by the Presidentially-appointed National Security Advisor (NSA). They are supported by a National Security Staff (NSS, or NSC staff) comprising permanent employees of the Executive Office of the President and "detailees" from other government agencies serving temporary assignments. It is organized into offices that focus on a variety of long-term strategic issues and ad hoc working groups that address emerging topics. Each President configures the NSC to address risks to U.S. global security interests according to proscribed policy priorities. The size of the NSC staff and ratio of political appointees to detailees has varied with each administration. In P.L. 114-328, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017, Congress limited the number of policy-focused individuals serving on the NSC staff to 200 persons. During the Obama Administration, the Homeland Security Committee and National Security Council staffs were combined into an organization called the National Security Staff.
  • Decisionmaking committees. Coordinating and managing U.S. national security affairs requires routine coordination and discussion among relevant departments and agencies. Most administrations have therefore set up a hierarchical system of committees designed to discuss, and when appropriate decide, national security matters. These committees meet as frequently as the White House deems necessary. The design and composition of the committee structure is the prerogative of the President, but the approach has often included some variant of the following:

The Principals Committee (PC) is a level below the NSC, convened by the National Security Advisor. The PC does not need to include all statutory NSC members, but generally includes the heads of departments or agencies involved with the subject matter being discussed at a given meeting.

The Deputies Committee (DC) is convened by the Deputy National Security Advisor, and generally includes the deputy heads of departments (i.e., the Deputy Secretary of Defense or Deputy Secretary of State) involved with the subject matter being discussed at a given meeting.

Policy Coordination Committees (PCC) are established by the Deputies Committee and are responsible for day-to-day management of national security matters on a given region or topic at the Assistant Secretary level from relevant agencies. These are chaired by members of the National Security Staff whose subject matter portfolios are relevant to the issue at hand. Different administrations have used various titles for these committees; under President Obama, this forum was called the Interagency Policy Committee.

Overall, the NSC and its supporting processes and institutions are purposefully designed to be flexible in order to afford the President maximum latitude to create a security advisory body that suits his unique decisionmaking styles. Apart from appropriating its annual budget, Congress has little oversight over the Executive Office of the President, and the National Security Council system in particular, due to the fact that most national security positions within the White House itself (as opposed to the Departments and Agencies) are not currently subject to the advice and consent of the Senate. Some observers over the years have argued that the position should be subject to Senate confirmation and that the National Security Advisor should be available to testify before congressional committees as are officials from other Government departments and agencies. Others argue that a President is entitled to confidential advice from his immediate staff (see CRS Report RL30840, The National Security Council: An Organizational Assessment).

What is the history and relationship between the NSC and Homeland Security Council (HSC)?

The HSC was created by President George W. Bush soon after the terrorist attacks in the United States with the responsibility of "ensuring coordination of homeland security-related activities of executive departments and agencies and effective development and implementation of homeland security policies." Post 9/11 Administrations have undertaken different approaches to the interaction between the NSC and HSC. Under President Bush the NSC and HSC focused separately on international and domestic security issues. Soon after taking office President Obama merged the NSC and HSC into a National Security Staff with the focus of "support(ing) all White House policy-making activities related to international, transnational, and homeland security matters." The Trump Administration has returned to two separate entities with the NSC and HSC "responsible for the effective coordination of the security-related activities and functions of the executive departments and agencies."

NSPM-2: What's changed? What's stayed the same?

It is not yet fully clear how the Trump Administration intends to organize itself for national security matters, due to the fact that the White House indicated on January 30th that it intends to revise NSPM-2 to ensure that the CIA director (D/CIA) is included "in the NSC." Still, based on the existing documentation, the following key observations can be made:

  • Role of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). NSPM-2 language on the role of CJCS at NSC and PC meetings is nearly identical to that agreed upon by the George W. Bush Administration. In their roles as statutory advisors to the National Security Council, CJCS and DNI are invited to attend all National Security Council meetings. CJCS and DNI shall also attend meetings of the Principals Committee "where issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed." The Obama administration departed from its predecessor by making CJCS and DNI "regular members" of the Principals Committee. It is not clear whether the Trump administration's reversion to the Bush formulation amounts to an actual change to either the Chairman's or DNI's roles and participation in senior national security meetings, although CJCS himself maintains that he will "remain a full participant" in the national security interagency process. With respect to the White House's intention to add D/CIA to the National Security Council, it is unclear what effect this might have on DNI's role as statutory advisor to the NSC (once they are appointed and confirmed).
  • Inclusion of the Assistant to the President and Chief Strategist as a regular NSC and PC attendee. While previous Presidents have, upon occasion, requested the attendance of their chief political strategist at NSC meetings, the Trump Administration appears to be the first to include a political advisor as a regular, permanent attendee of such meetings. The law is silent on the inclusion of political advisors as NSC regular attendees.
  • Role of the Secretary of Energy. The Secretary of Energy is a statutory member of the NSC, and as such, is invited to attend all NSC meetings. In contrast with the Obama Administration (although in keeping with the George W. Bush Administration structures), the Secretary of Energy is not included in PC meetings in the Trump Administration. 

Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, a 28-year-old Wisconsin native, was killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan last month. At his memorial service in Brookfield, Wisconsin, his father and pastor read something Matthew wrote ten years ago, a list of "all the little things" that make life sweeter. In effect, 10 rules to live by. It shows striking maturity, especially for a young man still in his teens when he and his best friend wrote the rules.

1. Never grow up.

2. Learn.

3. Never have any regrets.

4. Live for the moment.

5. Do what you love.

6. Pursue with a passion.

7. Never settle.

8. Always take time to listen and to talk.

9. Keep a positive attitude.

10. I need God and will live for him

The Joseph Project - WI is an effort inspired by Robert L. Woodson Sr.’s book, “The Triumphs of Joseph,” about community-based initiatives. Churches host week-long class sessions to teach job-seekers the “soft skills” that help them in job interviews and in their beginning steps on the career ladder. Sen. Johnson has played a pivotal role alongside the church’s pastor, Jerome Smith, in facilitating the effort since it began in September 2015.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a trade deal involving the United States and 11 other countries, involving about 40% of the world’s markets. It’s meant to encourage trade, which is important for agricultural and manufacturing in Wisconsin, where we import and export in roughly equal measure and we rely on having the world’s markets open to our products.

But is the TPP a good deal? That’s much more difficult to say. It’s more than 6,000 pages long and has 30 chapters before you reach the “annexes” and “related instruments.” You can read it all here.