Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was one of nine Republicans who joined Democrats to pass the compromise budget
in the Senate on Wednesday. He did it, he said, to give the economy "a little bit of certainty."
Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly
told Johnson he was the only Republican who would agree to appear on her show to explain his vote.
"I give you credit for coming on, because we called a lot of people who voted for this, and to be perfectly honest, they were cowards," Kelly said. "They didn't want to come out and defend it, and you did. You're a stand-up guy."
Johnson said he doesn't defend cuts to military pensions of wounded veterans, which the bill's crafters called a "mistake." But he said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid refused to allow amendments, so the only choice was to vote yes or no.
He voted yes, he said, because it had been two years since Congress passed a budget, and federal agencies need to be able to make spending plans.
"I thought it was about time to provide a little bit of certainty – just a little bit – to our economy so that we can provide some confidence to business leaders so that they can actually create the jobs," he said.
The bill does not take effect until 2015, giving Congress plenty of time to find other places to cut, Johnson said.
He also said he will "work tirelessly" to make sure the veterans' benefits portion of the bill is reversed.
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