Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin suggested on Aug. 29 that day care centers could hire low-income mothers to watch their own kids, even though this practice was banned in the state seven years ago due to widespread fraud.
"Let single moms actually work in day care to support each other," Johnson told WIZM radio. "We have prohibitions against that, providing day care for a facility that has your own children in it. I think we need to review some of these policies."
In Wisconsin, day care centers with a certified child care providers that accept state taxpayer money are not allowed to watch an employee’s child, notes The Associated Press.
The law changed in 2009 after the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that many day care centers were being paid taxpayer funds while caring for each other's kids.
Johnson's spokesman Patrick McIlheran said later that his boss was "simply saying we need to think outside the box, while being careful to prevent the sort of misuse Wisconsin law," reports The Associated Press.
Johnson is in a rematch in November against former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold whom Johnson defeated in 2010.
The Atlantic reported in 2014 that Feingold was one of the few senators to vote against the Iraq invasion, and opposed the Patriot Act, which spawned widespread unwarranted wiretapping on Americans by the NSA, and led to the creation of the TSA -- under the newly-created Department of Homeland Security -- and its invasive airport searches.
Johnson recently questioned having "thousands of history teachers" when the Civil War could be taught to students via a PBS documentary by Ken Burns, which caused the filmmaker to tweet: "I’m here to support teachers, not replace them."
Johnson subsequently denied that he wanted DVDs to replace teachers, reports AP.
He began his reelection campaign earlier in 2016 with a 9/11 comparison: "Now, it may not be life and death, like the vote passengers on United Flight 93 took, but boy is it consequential."
Johnson called critics of his remark "political hacks."