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Thursday, April 28, 2011

 5:55 PM 

Kohl says Ryan budget won't go anywhere in Senate

U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl said today that the budget bill proposed by GOP U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan won't be going anywhere in the Senate.

"I believe it's a measure that is decidedly on the conservative side, if not far right, and edging towards the point where, in my opinion, there's really no chance it could become national policy. I think it's that far off the mark in terms of where we need to go as a country," Kohl, D-Milwaukee, told reporters following a press conference in Madison.

Kohl, the millionaire owner of the NBA's Bucks, said he believes the budget has to be balanced with not only cuts to programs, but by raising taxes on the wealthy.

"I think the American people would see that as a more reasonable approach than the House budget which as you know for the most well-off and corporations provides tax cuts, and I don't believe that's the direction this country wants to go or will go," Kohl said.

Kohl said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid may bring the Ryan bill to the floor to see how much GOP support it has, but that it wouldn't get any votes from Senate Dems.

Kohl said he's still weighing options on whether to run for re-election in 2012.

"At an appropriate time I'll sit down and make a decision and consider my activity and my options for re-election next year," he said. "I don't feel for the people of Wisconsin it's a pressing issue."

Kohl was in Madison at the MG&E Innovation Center to talk about the Small Business Innovation and Research Small Business Technology Transfer programs. Funding for the SBIR program is up for reauthorization.

The program is administered by the U.S. U.S. Small Business Administration and awards competitive grants to small, high-tech and innovative businesses involved in research and development. The programs are funded by federal agencies who set aside 2 to 3 percent of their funding.

Kohl said the bill is likely to come to the Senate floor next week. He expects bipartisan support, noting that the only senator to vote against it in committee was Republican Rand Paul.

Kohl promised to be a "champion" for the bill.


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