Ron Johnson on paid family leave: “It screws things up. It makes problems worse.”

Mandela Barnes: “We should absolutely strengthen” paid leave

A recent MU Law poll showed 78 percent of Wisconsinites – including 65 percent of Republicans – support paid family leave

MILWAUKEE – During the second U.S. Senate debate, Senator Ron Johnson once again displayed his total disregard for the needs of working families, further making the case for why Mandela Barnes is the best advocate and choice for Wisconsin.

When asked if he would consider six to 12 weeks of paid time off for a mother to recover from childbirth, or for parents to have bonding time with their child, Johnson responded, “We have enough government regulations, enough government mandates. It screws things up, it makes problems worse.” 

According to a recent Marquette Law School poll, 78 percent of Wisconsinites – including 65 percent of Republicans – favor requiring businesses to provide paid family leave for mothers and fathers of new babies.

Johnson’s response cements the fact that he is out of touch with families across Wisconsin, as Barnes stated, along with his support for the policy.

“From Senator Johnson’s perspective, which is probably one of the most clear contrasts on this stage, is that it’s always about the profits of businesses and corporations, but it’s never about working people,” Barnes said. “If working people aren’t healthy, if working people don’t have the support that they need, then how can any business be productive? This is actually a good business decision, to implement a paid leave policy in this country.” Barnes also pointed out that the U.S. is “one of the only developed countries in the world” with “lackluster paid leave,” arguing that we should “absolutely strengthen it.” Brita Olsen, state director of Wisconsin Family Friendly Action PAC, knows last night’s debate only reaffirms the clear choice for Wisconsin working families.

“While Ron Johnson’s lack of support for paid leave and working families more broadly is not new, it nonetheless reaffirms he is completely out of touch with the majority of Wisconsinites, and that he only cares about serving himself and the wealthy few,” Olsen said. “Wisconsin families deserve a Senator who understands the financial strains they are under, and will advocate for policies such as paid family and medical leave. Wisconsin families need Mandela Barnes.”

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