Representative Joel Kitchens
Reps. Kitchens and David Steffen (R-Howard) introduced the “Blue Lives Matter” legislation. This piece of legislation would expand the definition of a hate crime to include law enforcement officers. Here in Wisconsin, if something is a hate crime, there are penalty enhancers that allow for additional fines or imprisonment. In light of increased targeted attacks against law enforcement officers, Wisconsin is joining several other states in proposing legislation that classifies targeted attacks against law enforcement officers as a hate crime. “Our officers deserve all the protections possible. I thank Rep. Steffen for leading the way on this issue and I am honored to do my part to ‘back the badge’,” said Rep. Kitchens.
Source: Kitchens press release
Congressman Mike Gallagher
The freshman congressman released the following statement after last week’s U.S. intelligence report accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of waging an “influence campaign” to discredit Hillary Clinton’s campaign and help Donald Trump: “I have no doubt Putin is trying to undermine our interests here at home and abroad, but it is incredibly important to remember these aren’t Putin’s first provocations of the United States. While there’s a significant amount of media focus on these recent hacks, they are just the latest in a series of incidents over the last eight years of Russian hostility toward the U.S. and our allies.”
Source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker called the Wisconsin State Legislature into special session and issued new directives to state agencies in a continuation of the fight against the heroin and opioid epidemic. The special session call and agency directives were given through Executive Orders #228, #229, and #230. The orders implement recommendations made in a report issued today by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and Rep. John Nygren, co-chairs of the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse. Walker created the Task Force on Opioid Abuse in September 2016. The task force has met several times across the state, and the agency steering committees conducted a number of internal and external engagement meetings. This report and recommendations are from the co-chairs and were issued on an expedited basis to ensure inclusion in the state budget process as the task force’s work goes on. Learn more about the Governor’s Task Force on Opioid Abuse and the opioid abuse issue by visiting hope.wi.gov.
Source: Walker press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin cosponsored legislation introduced by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) requiring President-elect Trump to release his recent tax returns in order to give the public honest insight into the President-elect’s actions, values and foreign business dealings. “President-elect Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns makes it clear he has something to hide from the American people,” Baldwin said. “The public deserves to know if their President has taken advantage of tax loopholes or put his income or profits in off shore accounts in order to pay a lower tax rate than Wisconsin middle class families. People also deserve to know how President-elect Trump will personally benefit from foreign deals or his own tax cut proposals. Either President-elect Trump releases his tax returns or he explains to the people he works for why he believes he is entitled to keep secrets.” The Presidential Tax Transparency Act requires all sitting presidents to release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Office of Government Ethics (OGE). It also requires that, within 15 days of becoming the nominee at the party convention, presidential nominees must release their most recent three years of tax returns to the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Should the sitting president or future candidates refuse to comply, the Treasury Secretary will be required to provide the tax returns directly to the OGE or FEC respectively for public release. For nearly 40 years—since Watergate—candidates from major political parties have voluntarily released tax returns during the campaign.
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson said the U.S. Senate should work around-the-clock to roll back regulations pushed through by outgoing President Barack Obama’s administration. Johnson said he made the proposal to his Senate Republican colleagues shortly before being sworn in for his second term. Using the Congressional Review Act — an expedited legislative process – Congress has 60 legislative days to disapprove of new federal regulations. “I said, let’s not waste our precious resource,” Johnson said. “What we have a limitation of is time. So I said in the United States Senate, at the appropriate time, for as long as we need to take advantage of the Congressional Review Act, is we ought to go 24/7.”
Source: The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
President Barack Obama
A majority of Americans view President Obama favorably, according to a new poll. The Associated Press–NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found that 57 percent of Americans view Obama favorably and just 37 percent view him unfavorably. In a December 2014 AP–GfK poll, only 41 percent said they viewed the president favorably. Views of the president are split among party lines, according to the recent poll, with nearly 90 percent of Democrats viewing him favorably and about 75 percent of Republicans viewing him negatively. Nearly 80 percent of African-Americans view Obama favorably, but only 43 percent say Obama made things better for black people while in office. About half said they saw no difference, and 6 percent said Obama made things worse. Only 27 percent of Americans see the U.S. as more united at the end of Obama’s presidency, and 44 percent see it as more divided. Only about 40 percent of Americans said their families are better off now than when Obama first took office and about a quarter of Americans say they are worse off. The poll was conducted from Dec. 14 to 19 among 1,019 adults. The margin of error is 3.7 percentage points.