Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)

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Ron Johnson
Ron Johnson.jpg
U.S. Senate, Wisconsin
In office
Term ends
January 3, 2017
Years in position 4
PredecessorRuss Feingold (D)
Base salary$174,000/year
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Bachelor'sUniversity of Minnesota
Date of birthApril 8, 1955
Place of birthMankato, MN
Net worth$23,755,008
Office website
Campaign website
Ron Johnson (b. April 8, 1955, in Mankato, Minnesota) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Wisconsin. Johnson was first elected to the Senate in 2010.

Johnson was part of the wave of tea-party Republicans elected in the 2010 midterm elections.[1]

Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Johnson is one of the most reliable Republican votes, meaning he can be considered a safe vote for the Republican Party in Congress.


After earning his bachelor's from the University of Minnesota, Johnson worked as an accountant for a couple years before starting a plastic sheeting business with his brother-in-law.[1] He worked in the business until becoming a U.S. senator.

Committee assignments

U.S. Senate


Johnson serves on the following Senate committees[2]:

  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
    • Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
    • Subcommittee on Science and Space
    • Subcommittee on Competitiveness, Innovation, and Export Promotion
    • Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet
    • Subcommittee on Aviation Operations, Safety, and Security
  • Committee on Foreign Relations
    • The Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
    • The Subcommittee on International Operations and Organizations, Human Rights, Democracy and Global Women's Issues
    • The Subcommittee on European Affairs Ranking Member
    • The Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs
  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce
    • Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight
    • Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship


Johnson was a member of the following Senate committees[1]:

  • Committee on the Budget
  • Committe on Appropriations
    • Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
    • Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Agencies
  • Special Committee on Aging
  • Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
    • Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Disaster Recovery and Intergovernmental Affairs
    • Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security
    • Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia


Specific votes

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Syria authorization

See also: United States involvement in Syria

Nay3.png On September 4, 2013, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved an authorization for President Obama to use limited force against Syria.[3][4]

The vote came after a three-hour briefing with top Obama administration officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.[5]

Of the nine Democratic members and eight Republican members that make up the committee, seven Democrats and three Republicans voted in favor, while five Republicans and two Democrats opposed the authorization.[5] A single "present" vote was cast by Ed Markey (D). Johnson was one of the five Republicans who opposed the authorization.[6]

Fiscal Cliff

Voted "Yes" Johnson voted for the fiscal cliff compromise bill, which made permanent most of the Bush tax cuts originally passed in 2001 and 2003 while also raising tax rates on the highest income levels. The bill was passed in the Senate by a 89 - 8 vote on January 1, 2013.[7]


See also: United States involvement in Syria

Johnson blasted Obama saying he "backed America into a corner" and failed to lead on the situation in Syria in September 2013. Johnson said, "I am hoping that through these hearings, through this discussion with the American people, the president can make a strong case and that we can get America behind him and behind the actions that, quite honestly, nobody wants to take." He added, "He dithered, he didn’t act decisively right off the bat, so based on, with all the leaks, with all the discussion going on, yeah I didn’t see any reason for real quick action. He’ll be in a far stronger position if he makes the case and convinces the American public and Congress.”[8]

After voting no on the Senate resolution, Johnson said, ""I'm highly concerned that the administration's action will be ineffective. And I think ineffective action would be actually worse than no action whatsoever. I really did not get any kind of comfort level that this administration has adequately planned for the reprecussions" of a strike against Syria. They may be able to provide me with that comfort over the next couple of days before we take the final vote. But right now I simply did not have the information or the answers to the questions I needed to even allow me to consider voting yes on this resolution."[9]

Drones filibuster

See also: Rand Paul filibuster of John Brennan's CIA Nomination in March 2013

On March 6, 2013, Senator Rand Paul (R) led a 13-hour filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan. Paul started the filibuster in order to highlight his concerns about the administration's drone policies. In particular, Paul said he was concerned about whether a drone could be used to kill an American citizen within the United States border without any due process involved. Paul and other civil liberties activists were critical of President Obama for not offering a clear response to the question. A total of 14 senators joined Paul in the filibuster -- 13 Republicans and one Democrat.[10][11][12]

Johnson was one of the 13 Republican senators who joined Paul in his filibuster.[13][14]

According to the website Breitbart, 30 Republican senators did not support the filibuster.[15][16]

The day after the filibuster, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a letter to Paul, responding to the filibuster. Holder wrote, "Does the president have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on U.S. soil? The answer to that is no."[17]

August 2013 ad about Johnson

League of Conservation Voters

The League of Conservation Voters spent $2 million on ads against Johnson and other climate change deniers in August of 2013. According to the LCV president, Gene Karpinski, "The American people are tired of Washington politicians ignoring basic scientific facts and standing in the way of action on climate change. This ad campaign shows that members of Congress won’t be able to sweep their extreme, anti-science voting records under the rug." Johnson responded to the ads saying, "The League of Conservation voters is not an organization with a balanced approach to a cleaner environment. "They are an extreme left group on an environmental jihad."

Presidential preference


See also: Endorsements by state officials of presidential candidates in the 2012 election

Ron Johnson (Wisconsin) endorsed Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. [18]


Full history

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Johnson is available dating back to 2010. Based on available campaign finance records, Johnson raised a total of $15,235,898 during that time period. This information was last updated on April 25, 2013.[20]

Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)'s Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2010 U.S. Senate (Wisconsin) Won $15,235,898
Grand Total Raised $15,235,898
Breakdown of the source of Johnson's campaign funds before the 2010 election.

Johnson won election to the U.S. Senate in 2010. During that election cycle, Johnson's campaign committee raised a total of $15,235,898 and spent $15,043,252.[21]


Like-minded colleagues

The website OpenCongress tracks the voting records of each member to determine with whom he or she votes most and least often. The results include a member from each party.[22]

Johnson most often votes with:

Johnson least often votes with:

Ideology and leadership

See also: GovTrack's Political Spectrum & Legislative Leadership ranking

Based on an analysis of bill sponsorship by GovTrack, Johnson is a "rank-and-file Republican," as of July 5, 2013.[23]

Lifetime voting record

See also: Lifetime voting records of United States Senators and Representatives

According to the website GovTrack, Johnson missed 3 of 580 roll call votes from January 2011 to April 2013. This amounts to .5%, which is better than the median of 1.7% among current senators as of April 2013.[24]

Congressional staff salaries

See also: Staff salaries of United States Senators and Representatives

The website Legistorm compiles staff salary information for members of Congress. Johnson paid his congressional staff a total of $1,427,919 in 2011. He ranks fourth on the list of the lowest paid Republican senatorial staff salaries and ranks fourth overall of the lowest paid senatorial staff salaries in 2011. Overall, Wisconsin ranks 24th in average salary for senatorial staff. The average U.S. Senate congressional staff was paid $2,529,141.70 in fiscal year 2011.[25]

Net worth

See also: Net Worth of United States Senators and Representatives


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Johnson's net worth as of 2011 was estimated between $8,767,016 and $38,743,000. That averages to $23,755,008, which is higher than the average net worth of Republican senators in 2011 of $6,358,668. His average net worth increased by 3.51% from 2010.[26]


Based on congressional financial disclosure forms and calculations made available by, Johnson's networth as of 2010 was estimated between $8,181,014 and $37,718,000. That averages to $22,949,507. The average net worth of Republican senators in 2010 was $7,054,258.[27]

National Journal vote ratings


Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Johnson was 1 of 2 members who ranked 22nd in the conservative rankings in 2012.[28]


See also: National Journal vote ratings

Each year National Journal publishes an analysis of how liberally or conservatively each member of Congress voted in the previous year. Johnson ranked 2nd in the conservative rankings.[29]

Political positions

Voting with party


Johnson voted with the Republican Party 92.4% of the time, which ranked 4th among the 46 Senate Republican members as of June 2013.[30]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Ron + Johnson + Wisconsin + Senate

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Johnson lives in Oshkosh, WI. He and his wife, Jane, have three children.[1]

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Official Senate website "Biography," Accessed October 17, 2011
  2. Congressional Quarterly "Senate Committee List" Accessed January 22, 2013
  3. Politico, "Senate panel approves Syria measure," accessed September 5, 2013
  4. USA Today, "Senate committee approves Syria attack resolution," accessed September 5, 2013
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named syriacommitteevote
  6. Politico, "How Senate Foreign Relations Committee members voted on Syria," accessed September 5, 2013
  7. U.S. Senate "Roll Call Vote on the Fiscal Cliff" Accessed January 4, 2013.
  8. Politico, "Ron Johnson: Obama ‘not leading’ on Syria", accessed September 2, 2013
  9. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Ron Johnson explains vote against resolution on Syria strike", accessed September 5, 2013
  10. CNN, "Rand Paul says he's heard from White House after filibuster," March 7, 2013
  11. USA Today, "Rand Paul filibuster ranks among Senate's longest," March 7, 2013
  12. ABC News, "Rand Paul Wins Applause From GOP and Liberals," March 7, 2013
  13. The Blaze, "Here Are All the GOP Senators That Participated in Rand Paul’s 12+ Hour Filibuster… and the Ones Who Didn’t," March 7, 2013
  14. Los Angeles Times, "Sen. Rand Paul ends marathon filibuster of John Brennan," March 7, 2013
  15. Breitbart, "AWOL: Meet The GOP Senators Who Refused to Stand With Rand," March 7, 2013
  16. Politico, "Rand Paul filibuster blasted by Sens. John McCain, Lindsey Graham," March 7, 2013
  17. Washington Post, "Eric Holder responds to Rand Paul with ‘no’," March 7, 2013
  18. Seattle PI, "Wis. Sen. Ron Johnson endorses Mitt Romney," April 1, 2012
  19. U.S. Congress House Clerk, "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 2, 2010," accessed March 28, 2013
  20. Open Secrets "Donor history for Ron Johnson" Accessed April 25, 2013
  21. Open Secrets "2010 Race: Wisconsin Senate," Accessed November 26, 2011
  22. OpenCongress, "Ron Johnson," Accessed August 8, 2013
  23. Gov Track "Ron Johnson," Accessed July 5, 2013
  24. GovTrack, "Johnson," Accessed April 11, 2013
  25. LegiStorm "Ron Johnson"
  26., "Johnson, (R-Wisconsin), 2011"
  27., "Ron Johnson (R-WI), 2010"
  28. National Journal, "2012 Congressional Vote Ratings," February 28, 2013
  29. National Journal, "Searchable Vote Ratings Tables: Senate," February 23, 2012
  30. OpenCongress, "Voting With Party," accessed July 2014
Political offices
Preceded by
Russ Feingold
U.S. Senate - Wisconsin
Succeeded by