Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin says his lawsuit targeting the Affordable Care Act has garnered the support of 38 Republican lawmakers — an "encouraging" sign that President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law may eventually be repealed.
"It's very encouraging. It's a pretty short time frame from when the amicus brief was written and how much time I really had to really talk to individual members," Johnson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
"What you have is 38 Republicans in Congress that are putting their personal financial interests aside and recognizing how incredibly important it is that we highlight the lawlessness of this administration," he said Wednesday.
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The lawsuit is controversial because it challenges federal subsidies that are granted to lawmakers and their aides to help pay their premiums. Many of those covered under the subsidies make salaries too high to qualify otherwise.
I use the words of [lawyer and legal analyst] Jonathan Turley: we are at a tipping point. We are at a constitutional crisis because of the unilateral . . . executive actions of this administration," he said.
"I am really pleased that 38 of my colleagues understood how important a point we're trying to make with my lawsuit."
Johnson admits the lawsuit could drag on for years.
"It could, particularly as it goes through the appeals process . . . I'm very optimistic. I've got a crack legal team, [they] did a great job," he said.
The future of the ACA will also be decided more swiftly if Republicans get a majority of the Senate in the coming midterm elections, Johnson says.
"It's really about elections, and we have to win a whole lot more of them. Again, I'm just heartened by the number of members that joined that amicus brief, I think it did a pretty good job of unifying the Republican Party there," he said.
Johnson said his fellow lawmakers read "probably on a daily basis" emails from "real people that have had real damage" caused by Obamacare.
"[There are] people who have lost doctors and treatments that have kept them alive, contrary to President Obama's promises. There are real Americans, millions being harmed," he said.
"Of course there are people benefiting from it, but we need to point out anybody who's benefiting from Obamacare, somebody's paying the cost of that.
"Either younger people who are paying higher-than-market-rate premiums or our kids and grandkids who are going to have to pay for this with the debt burden that's being placed on their back because we can't afford this. There's plus and minuses but it's primarily minuses and the tip of the iceberg has only been seen."
On the subject of Russia's ongoing military aggression in Ukraine, Johnson warned that the United States must act decisively.
"We can't keep our head buried in the sand. We did that when al-Qaida declared war ... as a result we had 9/11 and we've seen the slaughter of thousands of American Citizens," he said.
"We live in a very dangerous world. Let's face it, Europe, America, NATO, we don't want to be re-engaged to the Cold War, but that's what [Russian President] Vladimir Putin is doing.
"Unless we show strength and resolve, Vladimir Putin will continue to act aggressively with an expansionary tendency with impunity because we are doing nothing."
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Johnson said Putin will not respond to words, only to action.
"We've got to be far more robust in our actions and in our show of strength and resolve if we're going to deter him, which is really our primary goal," Johnson said.
But, he added, Obama's foreign policy has been ineffective.
"This foreign policy has always been to lead from behind, which most people view that as following and that doesn't work very good in the world," he said.
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