“The last two years we had a number of our colleagues join Democrats in spending like drunken sailors,” Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Fox News on Sunday. “We need to have thorough discussions internally. And as I talked to my colleagues before I left town, if I survived reelection, we need a different governing model for our conference that is more business-like.”
Johnson panned the decision to hold GOP leadership elections in just three days: “It is absurd; it is preposterous.”
“We need serious discussions,” said Johnson. “That’s going to take about a month, and I think Democrats are smart in terms of delaying their elections until the first week in December. We ought to follow suit.”
Johnson joins a growing number of GOP senators who are calling for the Senate leadership election to be moved to a later date. The runoff election between Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) and Republican Herschel Walker is slated for Dec. 6, while the final result for Alaska’s ranked-choice Senate race won’t be known for weeks.
Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and several others have reportedly circulated a letter calling for the leadership race to be rescheduled. On Saturday, Hawley pilloried the GOP’s direction and called the party “dead” in a Twitter post.
It comes after the race for Nevada’s Senate seat was called in favor of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.). Following the result of the election, media outlets said Democrats again control the Senate.
Amid the clamoring for new leadership, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has remained mostly silent. Neither he nor his office have issued statements about a GOP leader reelection bid or about the dismal midterm results.
As for Johnson, the Republican senator won his reelection bid against Democrat Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes last week.