U.S. Sen. Johnson: Strong electric grid critical for Puerto Rico

CONTACT: Ben Voelkel, ben_voelkel@ronjohnson.senate.gov

WASHINGTON – In an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) spoke about the need for regime change in North Korea, and the ongoing hurricane recovery operations in Puerto Rico. As chairman on the committee with jurisdiction over FEMA, Sen. Johnson joined a Congressional delegation to Puerto Rico Saturday.

Excerpts from Sen. Johnson’s interview are below, and video can be found here.

On North Korea

“I think from my standpoint, the only thing that will work is getting China fully engaged, using all of their influence. I think eventually probably a regime change. Kim Jong-un is about maintaining his power and thinks a nuclear program, nuclear weapons, combined with intercontinental ballistic missiles will guarantee that.”

“There is no viable military option. It would be horrific and I don’t think anybody wants to contemplate that.”

On Puerto Rico recovery

“I was relieved to see devastation wasn’t what I was expecting. I had seen pictures of St. Maarten [and] it had been described that way. More than 70 percent of grocery stores and gasoline stations are open. There is no rationing anymore in terms of gasoline. I saw all kinds of cars on the road.”

“Here’s the main problem: the electrical grid. It was weak to begin with. That’s why there are so many generators that are being used now to open up hospitals. So I think the number one priority of the federal government is we have got to repair that electrical grid.”

“The greatest thing we can do for Puerto Rico is, if we are going to spend resources, stand up a resilient electrical grid that will actually satisfy the needs of their economy.”

“If we don’t get the electrical system going, you start seeing just an ever-increasing crisis in terms of the economy.”

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