WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Thursday to discuss the importance of re-opening the American economy and the need to ensure stimulus funding makes it to the workers and businesses who need it most.
Excerpts are below and video of the interview can be found here.
On financial stimulus
“Now we can really take a look at what has not been spent, what has not been obligated, and let’s sharpen our pencils and let's try and direct future financial aid to those workers, those businesses that truly need it. And particularly those businesses that really are viable, can reopen, might need more capital. We just need to be smarter about how we approach it moving into the future.”
On reopening the economy
“I was a pretty early advocate of trying to keep as much of our economy open as possible, recognizing so much of our economy is integrated. If we want to keep hospitals and grocery stores open, we need all the distribution systems open as well. Every business, every organization is essential to somebody.”
“The goal here was to flatten the curve so we wouldn't overwhelm our health care systems, and by and large that hasn't happened. In fact, what's really happened is we've underwhelmed our health care systems. It’s important to recognize that an elective procedure for one person may be somebody's life saving diagnostic or treatment. So from my standpoint we really should try and keep as much of our economy open as possible, open as much as we can as safely as we can, recognizing the human toll of this economic devastation that we're undergoing right now.”
On possible next steps
“I would absolutely vote to redirect, repurpose, remedy part of the $2.9 trillion, but right now we do not need to authorize more spending. That's probably the last thing we need to do. But we do need to take a look at what we’ve already done. Again, not being critical of it – we had to do something massive and I think by and large that worked. But now we need to focus and really direct what we're going to do in the future based on what we're dealing with right now.”