A Republican sweep in the midterms due in part to Americans’ opposition to the president’s executive order on immigration and a federal judge’s ruling in Texas blocking the order don’t seem to be prompting Democrats to budge on the issue, Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said Wednesday on "America’s Forum" on Newsmax TV.
"Democrats are pretty well chained together in denying the Senate's ability to bring a bill on the floor for discussion, for debate, for the purpose of trying to find some measure of compromise or accommodation so that we can do what everybody wants us to do We want to keep this nation safe. We want to fund the essential activities of the Department of Homeland Security," said Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, referring to the partisan standoff on DHS funding.
Republicans want to fund the agency with the exception of money for programs related to the executive amnesty order. Democrats are refusing to remove those items from the budget. If no agreement is reached by the end of the month, DHS risks a shutdown.
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"It really is Democrats that are blocking even bringing a bill on the floor to begin that discussion or debate," Johnson said.
He says he’s holding out hope that Democrats "will relent and we can figure out some way of funding the essential elements of the Department of Homeland Security. That's what every Republican wants and hopefully Democrats will agree."
Johnson also addressed a new policy that will allow the government to sell armed drones to allies.
He said he has not been briefed on the decision and wants more information, such as who we will be selling to and what level of control the U.S. will maintain over the operation of drones.
"I want to make sure that the sales of these drones is controlled," he said. "I'm supportive of killing terrorists and there's no doubt that the policies that this administration has been employing so far have not been effective."
Johnson pushed for the president to clarify his objective concerning the Islamic State, which he noted has been degraded in some areas, while expanding in others.
"I'm concerned his definition of defeat is kind of contain them and trying not to let ISIS get too far out of control," said Johnson. "It's his predecessors that are going to have to carry the burden of wiping these people off the face of the planet.
"If you have a hornet's nest in your backyard, are you going to take it out or are you going to poke it with a stick for a couple of years? I don't think we can afford to poke ISIS with a stick. We've got to get ISIS in the position where they're shown as losers and a losing side.
"Until we do that, they're going to continue gaining strength and that's for the entire civilized world."
It’s imperative that the strategy to eradicate ISIS is a global one, he said.
"These are evil barbarians that have to be stopped and we need a coalition. This can't just be America, this has got to be the Muslim world rising up against this extreme version of Islam," Johnson said. "We've got to defeat it and we've got have members of Arab states denouncing them."
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