Editorials

Bloomington Pantagraph: “Keep Congress out of Illinois Gun Carry Issue” In December 2011, the Bloomington Pantagraph Editorial Board wrote, “Keep Congress out of Illinois Gun Carry Issue.” After Johnson argued that concealed carry is a constitutional right and, therefore, it is proper for the federal government to intervene, as it did to protect civil rights, the newspaper wrote, “Unless the U.S. Supreme Court steps in to say the state is violating the Second Amendment by not allowing concealed carry (a federal lawsuit on that question is pending in Springfield), this is a matter better left to the Illinois General Assembly — not Congress.” [Bloomington Pantagraph, 12/02/11]

Budget Issues
Said Republican Rhetoric Led to Lowering of the Nation’s Credit In an August 2011 interview, when asked if Nancy Pelosi was a member of the Center Aisle Caucus, Johnson railed against her rhetoric and added that Republicans have also in the past strayed from speaking fairly:, “We had a history as Republicans of increasing the rhetoric as well—people who point fingers more than solve problems. Members of Congress, just by their rhetoric alone, are part of the cause of Standard and Poor’s [lowering the credit rating].” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] When Asked to Not Cut Food Stamps Programs, “Everything will be on the table” In September of 2011, a spokesman for Johnson (who chairs the House agriculture committee's subcommittee on rural development) said that while Johnson supports safety nets for rural areas and smaller communities, "everything will be on the table" for budget cuts. His spokesman said, "Generally he's in favor of preserving those safety nets for those least able to help themselves." After constituents wrote their pleas on paper plates and gave them to the congressman, Johnson’s spokesman said the plates included "many very touching stories, but we're living in tough times. All these things are vulnerable." [News Gazette, 9/30/11] Supported Turning Federal Budget into a Two Year Agreement In August 2011, Johnson said he supported making the federal budget to a two-year cycle, arguing that avoiding an annual fight between lawmakers will make government more efficient and less partisan. [WJBC, 9/02/11] Responded to Credit Rating Decrease by Saying It Wasn’t His Fault In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “Why would I feel responsible when I voted against the bill that passed and then apparently triggered this? It was a cobbled-together bill. The cuts were, I think, far short of what is necessary to deal with our fiscal crisis in America. Also, it didn’t deal with the fact that we have already spent upwards of $2 trillion on three wars—or six wars, according to how you look at it. No end game, and we’re pouring gigantic amounts of money into something that I don’t think makes people in Bloomington or Decatur or Champaign any safer.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Johnson Was Looking for More Cuts to Defense after Debt Ceiling Deal In an August 2011 interview, when asked if he was looking for more cuts in defense, Johnson said, “Absolutely.” He continued, “I want to get out of Afghanistan. I want to get out of Iraq. We shouldn’t be in Libya. We shouldn’t be in Syria.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Said Republican Rhetoric Led to Lowering of the Nation’s Credit In an August 2011 interview, when asked if Nancy Pelosi was a member of the Center Aisle Caucus, Johnson railed against her rhetoric and added that Republicans have also in the past strayed from speaking fairly:, “We had a history as Republicans of increasing the rhetoric as well—people who point fingers more than solve problems. Members of Congress, just by their rhetoric alone, are part of the cause of Standard and Poor’s [lowering the credit rating].” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

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Criticized Obama’s Budget before Fully Reading It In February 2012, The Belleville-News Democrat reported that Johnson had “not had an opportunity to look at the budget in full detail.” Nonetheless, Johnson said of the budget, “it appears to be more of the same. More spending, more debt, more taxes. That is not a recipe for success.” [Belleville News-Democrat, 2/14/12] Said He Would Consider Revenue in Closing the Budget

Johnson said he is “not close minded on revenue” when it comes to closing the budget, but that taxes are not his preferred option. According to The Pantagraph, Johnson “hesitate[d]” to vote for tax credits for wind energy and called the payroll tax break – which he voted against - a “$100 billion drain on Social Security.”
[The Pantagraph, 2/23/12]

“Tax increases ‘are not my first avenue,’ Johnson said. ‘I am not willing to look out and create revenue with tax increases. I don't think that's the answer. Those tax cuts for the most part have engendered a robust economy. ... But I am not close-minded to the potential of looking for new sources of revenue.’” [NewsGazette, 3/18/12]

Suggested Defense Cuts to Close Deficit In March 2012, Johnson suggested defense spending cuts to pay down the national debt. According to the Herald Review, “Johnson cited defense spending, among other areas, as ways to lessen the national debt.”
[Herald Review, 3/08/12]

Said Cuts Need to be Made “Virtually Everywhere” In March 2012, Johnson said spending cuts needed to be made “virtually everywhere” to close the deficit. Johnson said “But the bottom line is, virtually everywhere, cuts need to be made.” [Herald Review, 3/08/12]

Business and Consumer Issues
Responded to Credit Rating Decrease by Saying It Wasn’t His Fault In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “Why would I feel responsible when I voted against the bill that passed and then apparently triggered this? It was a cobbled-together bill. The cuts were, I think, far short of what is necessary to deal with our fiscal crisis in America. Also, it didn’t deal with the fact that we have already spent upwards of $2 trillion on three wars—or six wars, according to how you look at it. No end game, and we’re pouring gigantic amounts of money into something that I don’t think makes people in Bloomington or Decatur or Champaign any safer.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

Campaign and Campaign Finance Issues
Said He Was Too Busy with Constituents to Deal with Republican Lawsuit against the Proposed Congressional Maps In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said he was not involving himself in the fight against the state’s proposed congressional redistricting maps because, “I’m too busy serving my constituents to get involved.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Refused to Join Challenge to Illinois Redistricting In August 2011, Johnson was the lone GOP congressman not to sign a letter to Congress criticizing the new Illinois congressional map because he did not believe a legal challenge to the map would be successful.

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A spokesman said, “While Congressman Johnson believes the redistricting process leading to this map was unfair and a distortion of the people’s wishes, these challenges have not ever succeeded, so he has decided to devote his energy and resources to his reelection campaign. He hopes that an impartial court will modify the map in a way that will better serve the voters of the state.” [Publius Forum, Blog, 8/04/11] Broad Group of Protestors Demonstrated Outside Champaign Office In July 2011, a broad group of protestors demonstrated outside Johnson’s Champaign office. According to a report in the Huffington Post, “MoveOn had put out an email saying to come to the office at noon, but when we arrived there were multiple people from other organizations. There were people with disabilities, people who lived on Social Security payments, and some people who had just come down because they couldn't get through on the phone.” [Huffington Post, Blog, 7/31/11] “Close, Personal Friend of Ron Paul” In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “I’m a close personal friend of Ron Paul, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. Ron Paul is the most principled man—or woman—who has ever run for office in America in my political lifetime. He is committed to a set of principles; he doesn’t deviate from those principles. His personal ethics are of the highest nature. Nobody has asked me to endorse them yet.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Pleaded with University Republicans for Assistance In a November 2011 town hall-style meeting with the University of Illinois’ College Republicans, Johnson told the students, “I’m going to need your help, your leadership, your involvement and your engagement.” [Daily Illini, 11/08/11] Rented Litchfield Apartment in Newly Drawn District

In October 2011, Johnson said he had rented a Litchfield apartment so that he may more easily travel throughout the redrawn 13th District. [Alton Telegraph, 10/05/11]
Congress Is “in a Food Fight” In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “This is a time that we should be working together, and we’re in a food fight. I completely agree with their anger.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

Debt Ceiling
Johnson Was Looking for More Cuts to Defense after Debt Ceiling Deal In an August 2011 interview, when asked if he was looking for more cuts in defense, Johnson said, “Absolutely.” He continued, “I want to get out of Afghanistan. I want to get out of Iraq. We shouldn’t be in Libya. We shouldn’t be in Syria.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Against Raising the Debt Limit In July 2011, a Johnson spokesman said the congressman is “firmly against an increase in the debt limit and has voted consistently that way since at least 2005.” In a May statement, Johnson had said, “We have seen under President Obama and the Democratic leadership, the largest budget deficits in the history of our country. Now they want to increase our borrowing again without even a nod to the notion of living within our means. The Republican majority in the House has identified approximately $1 trillion in cuts that are possible, practical and necessary to protect our solvency and to try and rebuild our way of life. Getting another credit card, or another blank check from American taxpayers, is exactly the wrong answer and will only bring us closer to default.” [State Journal-Register, 7/16/11]

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No Matter the Deal, Johnson Will Vote against a Debt Limit Increase In July 2011, Johnson said that no matter what spending cuts and revenue increases are negotiated by Congressional leaders, he will not vote for a debt ceiling increase He said, "My basic position is that the debt ceiling has been increased, I think, 74 times, including with opposition from President Obama. I have no intention of voting for an increase in the debt limit. I don't believe in the doomsday scenarios that some posit if we don't increase this by August 2. It would take a very strong and compelling compromise to even get me to consider it. So I think at this point I have no intention of voting for an increase in the debt limit." [News-Gazette, 7/08/11] Compared Debt Ceiling Increase to Alcoholism Johnson then added, "I kinda analogize it to opening a bar at 4 o'clock to somebody with an alcohol problem. You don't do that. You have to provide meaningful limitations. That's why we've had the debt limit historically." [NewsGazette, 7/08/11] Addressed His Previous Votes to Raise the Debt Ceiling

Johnson acknowledged that in in 2002, 2003 and 2004, he had voted in favor of increasing the debt limit. But, he claimed, that since 2005, he has voted on seven separate occasions against raising it. [News-Gazette, 7/08/11]
Said Raising the Debt Ceiling in the Current Environment Is a Doomsday Scenario Johnson said, "I believe that that debt alone and the consequences of it will potentially strangle our economy. When you talk about a doomsday scenario and you talk about borrowing 43 cents of every dollar that you spend and the effect of that debt and our credit rating as a result, and the potential it has on our social infrastructure, I don't think it's a good policy." [News-Gazette, 7/08/11] Said President Bush Was Not a Responsible Spender—Said He Will No Longer Allow the Can to Be Kicked down the Road In July 2011, Johnson said, "We continue to say, 'OK, only one more time, let me kick the can one more time.' And wherever the can lands we kick it one more time, and one more time. There has to be a point where we say enough is enough…While I don't think that President Bush and previous Congresses were particularly responsible in spending — I'd be the first to say that — this has taken fiscal insanity to a new level. I don't think the people of the 15th District or frankly, of the new 13th District, expect their congressman to put his vote on what I think is an irresponsible direction for America." [News-Gazette, 7/08/11] Supported Debt Ceiling Increase with Balanced Budget Amendment In July 2011, Johnson said he would support a debt ceiling agreement with a balanced budget amendment. [Pantagraph.com, 7/26/11]

District Issues
Rented Litchfield Apartment in Newly Drawn District

In October 2011, Johnson said he had rented a Litchfield apartment so that he may more easily travel throughout the redrawn 13th District. [Alton Telegraph, 10/05/11] Said while Calling New Constituents, He Had to Refuse to Help Them

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According to a November 2011 Roll Call story, Johnson’s hallmark as a legislator is that he has “helped adjudicate everything from veterans assistance claims to cockroach infestations for his constituents.” While cold calling the constituents in what would be his new district, Johnson said he cannot “solve problems” for them yet, so he refers them to the relevant agency or congressman. [Roll Call, 11/12/11]
Said Education Is What Is Important in the New District At a November 2011 appearance at a town hall-style meeting with the University of Illinois’ College Republicans, Johnson said, “Higher education — together with agriculture and small businesses — are essentially what makes up the demographics of this district.” [Daily Illini, 11/08/11] Pleaded with University Republicans for Assistance In a November 2011 town hall-style meeting with the University of Illinois’ College Republicans, Johnson told the students, “I’m going to need your help, your leadership, your involvement and your engagement.” [Daily Illini, 11/08/11] Said He Was Too Busy with Constituents to Deal with Republican Lawsuit against the Proposed Congressional Maps In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said he was not involving himself in the fight against the state’s proposed congressional redistricting maps because, “I’m too busy serving my constituents to get involved.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Said He Make anywhere from 50 to 250 Phone Calls to Constituents Per Day In August 2011, Johnson said he makes anywhere from 50 to 250 calls a day to residents of his district. [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

Not “Idly Sitting By” and Waiting for a Court Decision In August 2011, Johnson said he was not going to wait out the results of the Reublican’s court case against the approved Illinois congressional map. He said, “At the end of the day, I have to get into new areas that are going to be apparently part of a new district, so I can't sit idly by and wait for a court to make a decision.” [Pantagraph, 8/17/11]
Wanted to Get a Leg Up on Contacting New Constituents In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “I think the redistricting process was unfair; it wasn’t transparent, and I think the people of Illinois have been hurt. I’m not interested in the politicians; I’m interested in the people who’ve had a history of representation by one particular member of Congress, and now it’s dramatically changed. At the same time, I can’t go to somebody in Jerseyville, in the new district, and tell them, on the one hand, that I want them to vote for me, and on the other hand, I just filed a lawsuit asking that this map that includes that Jerseyville be eliminated. I hope the lawsuit succeeds.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

On New District: It’s Like Graduating from Law School But Returning to Undergrad Of his move to a new district, Johnson said, “It's challenging, and it's invigorating," he said. "In some ways, it's like you graduated from the law school of government and politics and then all of a sudden you're back in undergrad.” [Roll Call, 11/12/11]
Commented on Pujol’s Potential Exit from the Cardinals…Then Retracted Statement

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In a bizarre October 2011 exchange, Johnson’s office sent a letter addressed to St. Louis Cardinals’ chairman Bill DeWitt, Jr. to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch urging the St. Louis Cardinals franchise to keep player Albert Pujols but then called the newspaper to ask that the letter not be published. [St. Louis Post Dispatch, 10/17/11]

Economic and Financial Issues Education Issues
Said Education Is What Is Important in the New District At a November 2011 appearance at a town hall-style meeting with the University of Illinois’ College Republicans, Johnson said, “Higher education — together with agriculture and small businesses — are essentially what makes up the demographics of this district.” [Daily Illini, 11/08/11]

Energy Issues
Sent a Letter to Republican Leadership Opposing A.N.W.R. Drilling

In February 2012, six House Republicans including Johnson sent a letter to Republican leadership expressing their opposition to the opening of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling to help pay for a pending transportation bill. “Opening the refuge ‘for exploration and development raises serious questions from both a fiscal and environmental perspective,’ the letter said. ‘We believe that this measure can achieve broader support and better force Senate consideration if A.N.W.R. is removed.’” [New York Times, 2/9/12]

Environmental Issues Ethics Issues
Broke Two Terms Only Pledge In July 2011, the Huffington Post noted that Johnson had betrayed an earlier pledge he had taken to run only for two terms in Congress: “Our congressman also signed a pledge only to run for two terms, and he had no problem breaking that one.” [Huffington Post, Blog, 7/31/11] Johnson on the Center Aisle Caucus: To Demonstrate Civility In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said of the Center Aisle Caucus, a caucus he created in 2005 with Representative Steve Israel, “Our purpose—we have 40 to 50 members of Congress, approximately split between Democrats and Republicans—is to try to work for constructive compromise where we can, and, where we can’t, to demonstrate civility to our colleagues. The 24/7 media focuses on the anger and vitriol that gets you on MSNBC or Fox News.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Claimed He Goes out of His Way to Be Ethical

In a November 2011 Roll Call story centered around Johnson’s telephone calls to constituents, Johnson said of his constant calling and stashing of phones around the Hill to account for batteries that quickly dies, he

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said, “I'm not trying to pose as holier than Caesar's wife, but I do try to go out of my way [to] do everything ethically and aboveboard.” [Roll Call, 11/12/11] Said while Calling New Constituents, He Had to Refuse to Help Them According to a November 2011 Roll Call story, Johnson’s hallmark as a legislator is that he has “helped adjudicate everything from veterans assistance claims to cockroach infestations for his constituents.” While cold calling the constituents in what would be his new district, Johnson said he cannot “solve problems” for them yet, so he refers them to the relevant agency or congressman. [Roll Call, 11/12/11]

Foreign Policy Issues – Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, North Korea
Opposed Any Troops in Libya or Syria In March 2012, Johnson said he opposed sending any troops to Libya or Syria. He also supported ending military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the Herald Review, “Johnson said U.S troops should not be involved in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya or Syria.” [Herald Review, 3/08/12] Claimed He “Very Quickly” Joined ‘Get Out of Iraq’ Coalition In March 2012, Johnson claimed he “very quickly” joined the ‘Get Out of Iraq’ coalition after his vote in support of the war. Johnson said “[The vote to authorize the Iraq War] was a mistake… But I also very quickly became part of the ‘Get Out of Iraq’ coalition.” [Herald Review, 3/08/12] Johnson: Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan Did Not Make U.S. Safer

According to The Pantagraph, Johnson “wants a strong defense but thinks the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq wasted hundreds of thousands of lives and $3 trillion ‘without making the people of Normal or Piper City ‘one iota safer.’”
“I don’t think that at the end of the barrel of a gun we can impose our values on them,” he said, later adding, ‘I’m anti stupid wars.’” [The Pantagraph, 2/23/12] Johnson Claimed that He Has Consistently Voted In Appropriations Bill to Leave Iraq and Afghanistan

"I have consistently voted in appropriation after appropriation and bill after bill to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya," Johnson said. [The News Gazette, 9/28/11]

Health Care Issues
Favored Allowing Insurance Companies to Compete Across State Lines

In March 2012, Johnson said he was against Obamacare and suggested his own solution to reform health care. According to the State Journal-Register, Johnson supports “‘consumer, market-based approaches, such as allowing competition among insurance companies across state lines.’” Johnson “also wants to allow similar businesses to pool together to bid on insurance plans.” [State Journal-Register, 3/10/12]
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Immigration and Border Issues
Equated Undocumented Immigrants with Criminals In March 2012, Johnson told the Belleville News-Democrat, “Undocumented to me is another term for illegal … To me to expand (social services) to people who wantonly violate the law is something I do not support.” [Belleville News-Democrat, 03/04/12]

Israel Labor and Working Family Issues LGBT Issues
Supported a Constitutional Amendment Defining Marriage

In March 2012, Johnson told the State Journal-Register, that he was in favor of a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. [State Journal-Register, 3/10/12]

Other Issues
Said He was a Moderate-to-Conservative Congressman In October 2011, Johnson said he considers himself to be a moderate-to-conservative congressman. He boasted that he is a member of the Center Aisle Caucus and that he is "sick and tired" of the political bickering on Capitol Hill. [Alton Telegraph, 10/05/11]
Johnson on the Center Aisle Caucus: To Demonstrate Civility In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said of the Center Aisle Caucus, a caucus he created in 2005 with Representative Steve Israel, “Our purpose—we have 40 to 50 members of Congress, approximately split between Democrats and Republicans—is to try to work for constructive compromise where we can, and, where we can’t, to demonstrate civility to our colleagues. The 24/7 media focuses on the anger and vitriol that gets you on MSNBC or Fox News.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] “Close, Personal Friend of Ron Paul” In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said, “I’m a close personal friend of Ron Paul, and I have a huge amount of respect for him. Ron Paul is the most principled man—or woman—who has ever run for office in America in my political lifetime. He is committed to a set of principles; he doesn’t deviate from those principles. His personal ethics are of the highest nature. Nobody has asked me to endorse them yet.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11] Agreed with First Lady’s Initiative to Combat Childhood Obesity In an August 2011 interview, Johnson said the fight against childhood obesity was an issue near and dear to his heart. He said, “Contrary to what many Republicans believe, Michelle Obama’s focus on childhood obesity is a great focus. I think she is right on the money. I would join her in trying to deal with the obesity issue. And, no, I haven’t met her, and I have not been to the White House. I haven’t been invited.” [Chicago Magazine, 8/17/11]

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Proposed a Bill to Turn Congress into a Citizen Legislature In January 2012, Johnson proposed the “Citizen Legislators Act,” a bill to turn Congress into a part-time job instead of a fulltime position, which would create a less demanding legislative schedule. The bill would limit days in session to five per month (60 business days per session), halves the salary of representatives and senators, permits members to hold other jobs outside of Congress, cuts member office allowances in half, and cuts member salaries an additional 10 percent for every five business days Congress exceeds 60 business days in session. Johnson claimed the bill would save $2 billion a year. He also said the chance of passing the bill was slim. [WJBC, 1/14/12] Note: Audio of a radio interview discussing his part-time Congress plan is saved on the drive. Proposed Law to Make Himself “Look Good” In January 2012, Johnson introduced a bill that would “limit session days to 60 days a year, cut congressional salaries and office budgets in half and allow members of Congress to have outside jobs as well.” Johnson admitted “he likely will have difficulty generating support from other congressmen, and admitted he is proposing the law ‘to make myself look good.’” [News-Gazette, 1/13/12] Criticized Congress for Being “Out of Touch” In March 2012, Johnson criticized Congress for being “out of touch.” Johnson said “I believe that Congress is out of touch, as well as all of government, is out of touch with the people they represent, I think they’ve got to get back in touch, and that’s part of my job.” [Herald Review, 3/08/12] Claimed to be “Exception to the Rule” Because of Civility, Constituent Outreach In March 2012, Johnson claimed he was the “exception to the rule” in Congress because he communicates daily with constituents and formed the Center Aisle Caucus to promote civility between parties. [Herald Review, 3/08/12]

Second Amendment Rights
Proposed Concealed Carry Amendments In November 2011, Johnson proposed an amendment to the National Right to Carry Reciprocity Act that would allow residents who do not have a concealed carry weapons permit to obtain a permit from a state that does have a concealed carry law and then allowing that permit to be valid in a state that does not allow for concealed weapons to be carried. The measure however, was defeated. [Washington Times, 11/14/11]

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Entitlement Programs
Protecting Social Security and Medicare Benefits Is a “Top Priority” In July 2011, during the debt ceiling debates, Johnson said that protecting Social Security and Medicare benefits is a “top priority” In any debt ceiling vote he would take. [Pantagraph.com, 7/26/11] Supported Modest Changes to Social Security In March 2012, the Belleville News-Democrat reported that Johnson supported “modest changes to programs like Social Security.” [Belleville News-Democrat, 03/04/12] Johnson Supports Raising the Social Security and Medicare Retirement Age

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Johnson thinks Social Security and Medicare can be strengthened by gradually raising the retirement age. “To prevent the system from going bankrupt, there have to be modest changes for new workers in the system," he said. "For people who are entering the system tweaking the age of retirement, when it has stayed the same for decades, makes economic sense. Relatively small changes in the retirement age have a dramatic effect on the fiscal soundness of Social Security. I'm not suggesting we move the age to 75, but moving it to 67 1/2 over a phased-in period makes economic sense and moral sense." [The News Gazette,
9/28/11]

Stem Cells Tax Issues
Wary of Impact of Payroll Tax Cut on the Social Security Trust Fund In September 2011, Johnson said the Champaign-Urbana area would be impacted by the American Jobs Act as any part of the U.S. would and questioned the effect of the payroll tax cut on the Social Security Trust Fund. He said, “Any of the proposals in the President’s speech I’m open to considering. But until we see in a more specific way of what they are, what the cost is going to be, what the impact is going to be, I want to be able to be flexible and approach them each accordingly.” [Daily Illini, 9/14/11] Said Signature on Anti-Tax Pledge is No Longer Binding In March 2012, Johnson told reporters he did not consider his signature on the Americans for Tax Reform’s pledge binding. Johnson signed the pledge in 2002. [Roll Call, 6/7/12] Denied Signing the Pledge Until Roll Call confronted Johnson with his signature from the Americans for Tax Reform archives, Johnson denied having signed the pledge. [Roll Call, 6/7/12] ….Then Claimed He Didn’t Remember Signing the It and That It Was Not Binding In one interview he claimed both that he “didn’t even remember signing the pledge” and that “As I remember it … no one could … expect in their wildest imagination, expect you to sign something that was right before a primary election and then you’d be locked in on that position the whole rest of your career.” [Roll Call, 6/7/12] Claimed “Probably” Someone from His Office Signed on His Behalf Johnson claimed it was “probably” someone from his office that signed the pledge, not him. [Roll Call, 6/7/12] Supported Eliminating Tax Loopholes for the Wealthy

In March 2012, Johnson he was in favor of eliminating tax loopholes for the wealthy. “I favor wide tax reform and would not rule anything out,” Johnson said. He wants to “eliminate tax loopholes for the wealthy instead of targeting job creators without tax reform.” [State Journal-Register, 3/10/12] Johnson Was Willing to Look At Raising Taxes to Reduce the Deficit

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Johnson also suggested gradually raising the retirement age to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, and said he was willing to look at revenue measures, not just budget cuts, to reduce the federal deficit. [The News
Gazette, 9/28/11]

Tea Party
Said He was a Moderate-to-Conservative Congressman In October 2011, Johnson said he considers himself to be a moderate-to-conservative congressman. He boasted that he is a member of the Center Aisle Caucus and that he is "sick and tired" of the political bickering on Capitol Hill. [Alton Telegraph, 10/05/11]

Technology Issues Trade Issues Transportation Issues Veterans’ Issues
Groups Protested Johnson’s Poor Record on Protecting Veterans while Telling Public He Supports Them In November 2011, a group of 20 veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America protested Johnson’s voting record on veteran’s affairs. In 2008, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America had awarded Johnson with an “A” for his record on veterans but this year they gave him an “F.” The Civilian-Soldier Alliance cited Johnson’s votes against education benefits for children of troops who have died in war and a vote against mental health screening for soldiers returning home. [Daily Illini, 11/14/11]

Women’s Issues
Opposed Abortion in All Cases Except for Incest, Rape, and Risk to the Life of a Mother In March 2012, The Herald Review reported that “Johnson opposes abortion, except in the case of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is threatened.” [Herald Review, 3/08/12]

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