Sen. Ron Johnson: 'Stop Relying on the Federal Government to Solve Your Problems'

By Susan Jones | September 26, 2013 | 7:35 AM EDT

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) (AP File Photo)

( - As the people's elected representatives in Washington wrangle over the budget, the debt limit and defunding Obamacare, one freshman senator admits the news is not good.

"I hope the American people are watching very carefully how utterly dysfunctional Washington is," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren Wednesday night. "I don't think it's going to improve any time soon. So my suggestion to the American public is stop relying on the federal government to solve your problems. Stop sending politicians to Washington dedicated to growing the federal government."

Johnson ran a manufacturing business before winning his Senate race in 2010 -- his first and only run for elective office.  

He told Van Susteren, "We need to start devolving this power back to the states, back to the people, because this place -- trust me. I'm from the private sector. I'm a manufacturer. It's impossible to convey the dysfunction of the federal government and of Washington."

Johnson has called Obamacare a "monstrosity," but he also says that repealing or defunding it will be "next to impossible" as long as Democrats control the White House and the Senate.

"Eventually, if you're going to defund Obamacare, you're going to have to pass a (repeal) bill because Obamacare is permanent law. It's part of that mandatory spending. And you have to pass a bill through the Senate and have the president sign it into law."

But doing that will require strong public support, Johnson said:

"So the way you really defund Obamacare is you have to get that super-majority support of the American public. That's why I appreciate any effort that highlights the damage that Obamacare will do to our health care system, our economy, our federal budget, our personal freedoms. But you got to get that super-majority support of the American public to put pressure on Democrat senators to vote for repeal, or we better start winning some elections so we can take a majority in the Senate, as well as the presidency."

Johnson said in coming days, Republicans will try to force fiscal discipline on the Obama administration with a vote to raise the debt ceiling. "It's just going to be another battle," he said.

"Any time the president of the United States comes to Congress asking for the authority to increase the debt burden on our children and grandchildren, we ought to have a very serious discussion. We ought to have a robust debate about what -- if we increase that debt burden on our kids, what are we going to get in return in terms of some fiscal discipline or some reforms to save the Social Security and Medicare programs so it's actually available for our kids who are going to be picking up the tab for us."