U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson talks about tariffs, tax reform, state politics

Posted at 11:20 AM, Apr 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-04 12:20:16-04

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is in Louisiana this week on a quick break from the work in Washington. 

He stopped by KATC TV3 to talk about some of the issues he’s dealing with in Congress.

Johnson said the citizens in his district have given him favorable reports on the tax reform package passed last year. 

"People are already seeing the effects," he said. "As I’ve been out int he district, doing town halls and visiting with constituents, people are coming up to me and saying "Thank you." They’re seeing a bump in their paycheck and they know they will see even more when they do their taxes at the end of this year."

Johnson said he thinks the changes have had a positive impact on Louisiana’s economy.

"We needed the boost," he said. "I think people are going to remember that in the election cycle."

States, including Louisiana, need to work on tax reform as well, Johnson said. 

"There’s a federal component to this, but there’s a state component as well," he said. 

On the subject of tariffs, Johnson said he signed a letter, along with 107 other members of Congress, to request that the president tread lightly. 

"Tariffs are a great concern," he said. "Clearly there was some disparity with China and other countries, but what we were urging the president to do is treat this with a scalpel instead of a sledge hammer. You’ve got to be very careful about what you do, because there can be unintended consequences throughout our economy. In our agriculture community, tor example, that is one area  where there can be a strike back from the other side."

Johnson said he visited his old haunt, the Louisiana legislature, this week. He said he’s hearing people say that they see that body becoming more and more like Congress – and not in a good way. 

"I encouraged my old colleagues, do not let that happen," he said. "There are dynamics that happen in a state legislature that are very different than at the federal level, and I think those are the differences that ought to be embraced. I think that everybody in that building in Baton Rouge wants what’s best for the state. They sometimes have very different ideas about how to achieve that end and get there. But a constitutional republic requires and anticipates that people from different philosophical viewpoints will get together and iron our their differences and do what’s best for the state. I think they can do that. The stakes could not be higher, and we count on them to get that done."