Avatar
All Posts by Empower Wisconsin

Johnson’s Columbus Day kerfuffle

Empower Wisconsin | July 6, 2020

By M.D. Kittle 

MADISON  — In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. 

In July 2020, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson was skewered by his fellow conservatives after he proposed a substitute amendment ostensibly crafted to swap Columbus Day for Juneteenth on the crowded list of federal holidays. 

What was missing in the rash coverage and the hyperbolic response, Johnson told Vicki McKenna last week on her Madison talk show, is the fact that the Oshkosh Republican was trying to slow down a fast-moving Senate vote that would have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year the federal government doesn’t have. 

“What senators wanted to do was run this through the hotlines and pass it by unanimous consent, not even vote on it,” Johnson said. “Not even debate it, don’t discuss it. Just create a new holiday that will cost federal taxpayers $600 million (a year) in perpetuity.” More money piled on to the $22.6 trillion U,S.debt.

Johnson said he’s not opposed to Juneteenth, that it’s certainly right to celebrate the emancipation of slavery. But federal employees already receive 10 paid federal holidays, including a lot of holidays most Americans in the private sector don’t get. 

He said he had just a few minutes to pick a holiday for the amendment, with the ultimate idea of holding up the vote. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) signed on. 

The plan worked. They stalled the vote, but they earned the ire of conservatives who thought the senators were caving into the Cancel Culture to knock out another symbol the radical left finds offensive. That wasn’t their intent, Johnson said. He picked Columbus Day because most Americans — other than the approximately 2 million federal workers — don’t get the day off, and certainly not as a paid holiday. 

On Friday, Johnson and Lankford withdrew their substitute amendment, and Wisconsin’s senior senator announced he would introduce a modified substitute amendment to “achieve the same goal should the Senate decide to celebrate Juneteenth Day by giving federal employees another paid day off.”

Instead of eliminating a current holiday to make room for Juneteenth Day, Johnson said he would propose reducing the number of paid leave days federal employees receive, to offset the cost of the new holiday celebrating emancipation. 

“Although the substitute amendment I offered to the Juneteenth holiday bill had the desired effect of slowing down the passage of a new paid day off for federal workers, many were not happy with the proposal to swap a holiday celebrating emancipation with Columbus Day,” Johnson said in a press release, explaining his modified proposal.

He reiterated that he was in no way deprecating Christopher Columbus’ achievements or “expressing a value judgment” regarding the explorer’s place in history. 

“As I stated in an interview with the Milwaukee Press Club last Friday, I do not support efforts to erase America’s rich history — not the good, the bad or the ugly,” Johnson said. 

Listen to Vicki McKenna’s interview with Sen. Ron Johnson here. 

Listen to more:

Explore More
Biden’s stagnation plan

Biden’s stagnation plan

If you like stagnation and recession, you’re going to love Joe Biden’s tax plan. That’s according to Larry Kudlow, President Trump’s top economic advisor. 

Read More »

October 21, 2020
All Woke Up: AP’s quiet riot

All Woke Up: AP’s quiet riot

The Associated Press, which likes to think of itself as the “definitive source of independent journalism,” is now advising against reporters using the term “riot” when describing, well, a riot. 

Read More »

October 21, 2020
UW students paid to take COVID tests

UW students paid to take COVID tests

University of Wisconsin-Madison students can pick up a quick $10 — if they agree to take a COVID-19 test. A source this week told Empower Wisconsin that some students were earning as much as $40 per COVID test, so we checked into it.

Read More »

October 21, 2020
1.8 million ‘ghost voters’

1.8 million ‘ghost voters’

Judicial Watch has released a comparison study of Census Bureau population statistics and state voter registration data to reveal a notable disparity. The watch dog group is now warning of potential voter fraud and “dirty” voter rolls.

Read More »

October 21, 2020
Stoughton teaching racist antiracism

Stoughton teaching racist antiracism

For parents who believe fleeing liberal cities for the suburbs will free their children from the racist Woke indoctrination smothering public school curriculum, think again. 

Read More »

October 20, 2020
Facebook turns lights out on La Crosse Republicans

Facebook turns lights out on La Crosse Republicans

On Monday evening, the La Crosse County Republican Party learned that the social network giant had turned the lights out on its Facebook page — just two weeks before the November election. 

Read More »

October 20, 2020

1 thought on “Johnson’s Columbus Day kerfuffle

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *