Bryan Steil, Republican candidate in the 1st Congressional District, said he learned important lessons from his former boss, House Speaker Paul Ryan that he would take to Congress if elected.
Steil was a legislative aide to Ryan, whose retirement has created an opening in the district for the first time in 20 years.
Steil said Ryan taught him how to have a conversation with people about issues.
“There’s a real kind of a Wisconsin approach. You address problems directly, head on, and you have an open, honest conversation about how you solve them. That probably more than anything else is what Paul Ryan has taught me,” Steil said on Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
Although he has much in common with Ryan, Steil also cited Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, as role models.
“I’m my own man, but I think there’s aspects of the Republican delegation in Wisconsin that is really kind of a role model of how you can be effective in Washington,” he said.
Gousha asked Steil if he is an enthusiastic supporter of President Trump.
“I support the president and particularly the conservative reforms that we’re starting to get done. I probably have a very different communication style, more of a Wisconsin communication style, than the president. But yeah, excited for some of the conservative reforms we’re beginning to get done in Washington,” he said.
Also on the program, state Rep. Lisa Subeck, D-Madison, said 76,000 people in Wisconsin could lose access to food assistance under changes Republicans have proposed to the federal farm bill.
Subeck said 23,000 Wisconsin children could be especially hard hit through changes in eligibility requirements. She said those children could lose access to free or reduced meals at school.
Subeck said the proposed changes will hurt the working poor.
“These are the kinds of families that this affects. It’s people who are working, who are barely scraping by in an economy that really, wages haven’t kept pace here in Wisconsin,” she said.
Subeck and other Democrats requested a legislative study on the impact of the changes in Wisconsin. Subeck said people all over the state would be affected.
In another segment, longtime education reporter and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Alan Borsuk discussed rising tensions over budget cuts in the Milwaukee Public Schools.
He said it’s “probably the most stormy, even ominous” time that he’s seen in the district.
Borsuk said the district is feeling the effects of years of budget cuts, a leadership change, declining enrollment, student achievement problems, and other options for schooling in Milwaukee.
“They really are in a tough place,” he said.
Gousha asked if teachers might go on strike.
“They could go on strike, which would be illegal of course. They could do some kind of job action, a partial strike,” Borsuk said.
Milwaukee teachers and staff protesting the expected next round of cuts have been encouraged by large-scale teacher demonstrations in other states this year, he said.
But Borsuk said he did not expect to see a statewide teacher protest in Wisconsin.
“There isn’t that sentiment statewide that there is in Milwaukee, of a really angrily aggressive teaching force,” he said.
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