Sen. Johnson: Most Republicans willing to work with Obama

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) on Sunday praised President Obama’s efforts to reach out to GOP lawmakers and predicted that most of his Republican colleagues would be willing to work with the White House.

If we're going to solve these problems, it's going to have to be done on a bipartisan basis,” said Johnson on ABC’s “This Week.” “I think most Republicans are more than willing to work with this president.”

Johnson was one of a dozen GOP senators who met with Obama on Wednesday night for dinner at The Jefferson Hotel as the president sought to jumpstart efforts to reach a grand deficit-reduction deal.

Obama followed up the dinner with a Thursday lunch with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and is slated to meet with House and Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill this week.

Johnson said the dinner was “very honest, frank.” He said he had already been contacted by the White House to follow up and expressed optimism that the dialogue would continue.

“I got a call from his chief of staff over the weekend to talk about, you know what we need to do in terms of developing the process,” said Johnson. “So, you know we'll -- I'll certainly give the president the benefit of the doubt. “

Johnson said that he would be willing to consider new tax revenues for entitlement reform. 

“If you're taking a look at, in an entitlement reform package… you know actually bringing in revenue for those entitlement reforms, I might look at that,” he said. But Johnson cautioned that the high taxes were already battering the economy. 

Appearing on the same show, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) praised the president’s efforts, but cautioned that she feared they would run into opposition from House Republicans.

“Unfortunately what we've had thus far is a paralyzed Republican leadership, particularly in the House, who has not been able to act, not felt that all that they have enough leeway because of their -- the extremism in -- in their Republican conference -- to do anything with the president,” said Wasserman Schultz.