As the highest-ranking member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Sen. Ron Johnson is never afraid to ask the tough questions. The Wisconsin politician is the Chairman of one of the most powerful committees in both houses of Congress, and the average American usually has never even heard of him.
He is not one of those camera-hungry politicians who holds press conferences ever week. And he is also somewhat mild-mannered in appearance. But when Ron Johnson speaks, people tend to listen.
That is, unless the people on the other end of the conversation are the notoriously corrupt U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On May 17, 2016, just twelve days after the announcement of the controversial FDA e-cig regulations, Sen. Johnson sent his first letter to the FDA requesting the scientific research behind the rulings. He also wanted to know if the FDA had considered the economic effects that the regulations would have on small business owners of e-cigs and vaping products.
FDA fails to reply to Sen Ron Johnson
The FDA had until May 31 to comply to the original letter, but the agency chose to ignore the request. When “The Badger State” politician discovered the violation, he sent a second letter on June 6. But this one was shorter and more to-the-point.
“If the FDA does not provide an adequate response to these inquiries, the Committee may be forced to resort to other means to compel the production of this information,” said Johnson.
This was the closing statement of the one-page letter. By stating that the “Committee” may resort to “other means” to obtain their information rather than the Senator himself, it appears as if Sen. Johnson is very politely but quite firmly reminding the FDA that the Committee of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs does not fool around. Instead of holding a news conference and blasting the FDA verbally, in the brash style of Donald-Trump, for example, Johnson takes the quieter, stealthier approach.
The second letter also states,
“Since I sent my initial letter to you, I have heard from many small-business owners who manufacture or sell e-cigarette products. These job creators have contacted my office expressing their grave concerns about the FDA’s regulatory overreach.”
By including the term “regulatory overreach,” Johnson is once again upping the political ante by setting a more confrontational tone in the second letter as compared to the first. The first letter was polite. The second letter is polite but firm.
While the political drama will likely go back and forth for quite some time, perhaps with the FDA sending the required documentation piecemeal and over an extended period of time, something tells this vaper that Teddy Roosevelt would have liked the Wisconsin Senator. Sen. Ron Johnson seems to be a shining example of one of Roosevelt’s most eloquent sayings, “Walk softly, but carry a big stick.”