Governor Scott Walker
Walker arrived in Canada on June 12 to lead a six-day business development mission aimed at encouraging Canadian companies to consider establishing operations in Wisconsin or increasing their presence in the state. “Canada is already our largest trading partner, and this trip will provide us with the opportunity to build upon existing relationships and establish new ones, which we believe will pay dividends down the road,” Walker said. “Our infrastructure, dedicated work force, and pro-business environment are just some of the reasons why Canadian companies should seriously consider expanding in Wisconsin. I look forward to personally making that case during this trip.” The mission, which ran through June 17, focused on attracting foreign direct investment to Wisconsin.
Representative Reid Ribble
Ribble joined the majority of the House of Representatives in passing Trade Promotion Authority with a vote of 219 to 211. “When we increase trade, Wisconsin’s workers win,” Ribble said. “The ability to sell more of our goods overseas is a victory for Wisconsin, as it should open up new markets for our cheese, milk, and butter all over the world – especially in Canada and Japan. I am continuing to weigh in with the U.S. Trade Representative regarding issues that are important to Wisconsin as we consider new trade deals, and will examine whether or not any future trade deals are good for Wisconsin and the nation and vote accordingly.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, has joined the committee’s ranking member, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), in launching the Affordability is Access Act, a new bill that would build on contraception coverage access in the Affordable Care Act by ensuring that when the FDA approves birth control pills for over the counter use, they will be covered without cost sharing and without the need for a prescription. The legislation would help expand women’s access to affordable birth control while maintaining the FDA’s sole authority to determine the safety and quality of drugs.
“Millions of women across the country have already benefited from the cost saving measures included in the Affordable Care Act, and the Affordability is Access Act builds on that progress by ensuring birth control pills will continue to be covered by insurance companies once the FDA approves their use over-the-counter,” Baldwin said. “Not only is this about making a basic tenant of women’s health care more accessible, it’s about making it more affordable. I’m proud to support this effort that expands the comprehensive health care women need, when they need it – without extra costs or political interference.”
Source: Baldwin press release
President Barack Obama
There’s no path for Congress to send President Barack Obama a historic free trade package right now, potentially marking the death of a measure he envisioned as a pillar of his second-term legacy. The House voted on June 16 to extend until the end of July a deadline for resolution on a trade package after the measure failed dramatically last week amid a Democratic rebellion. The delay hardly resolves the issue as top lawmakers readily admit they don’t know what they’ll do to change the outcome. Presidential politics, meanwhile, are inflaming the situation as Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton sides with her party on Capitol Hill in critiquing the measure. There are two bills at issue in the congressional standoff. One, called trade promotion authority, would clear the way for Obama’s 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership by guaranteeing it an up-or-down vote without amendments. It’s backed by Republicans but opposed by Democrats who largely loathe the prospect of another big trade agreement. The other is Trade Adjustment Assistance, which aids workers displaced by globalization. This measure is backed by Democrats but opposed by Republicans who see it as an unnecessary welfare program.