Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker has instructed state agencies to assume their next budgets will have no increases in state funding, with exceptions for some of the budget’s priciest areas such as schools, prisons and Medicaid. Walker’s instructions came in a new directive to all state agency heads. Among the budget areas to which the directive applies are colleges, universities and transportation projects. The budget instructions are the first step toward crafting the next two-year state budget. That process will unfold next year, after the upcoming gubernatorial election in which Walker is seeking a third term.
Source: Wisconsin State Journal
Congressman Mike Gallagher
On May 9, Rep. Gallagher fought for full funding of three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) during the House Armed Services Committee’s markup of the fiscal year 19 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual bill authorizes the Department of Defense’s policy, budget, and expenditures for the upcoming fiscal year, including funding for the Freedom-class variant of the LCS, built by Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Wisconsin’s 8th District. Gallagher released the following statement: “As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’m proud to support the hardworking men and women at Marinette Marine and help secure funding for three more Littoral Combat Ships. Not only will these ships help fulfill the Navy’s own call for a 355-ship fleet, but they translate into high-skill, high-pay jobs for Northeast Wisconsin workers. I look forward to showing the rest of the country the important role that Northeast Wisconsin has in strengthening the military through our impressive ship building tradition.”
Source: Gallagher press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, helped introduce a bipartisan measure to support health care benefits for “Atomic Veterans” who were exposed to harmful radiation when they cleaned up nuclear testing sites during the late 1970s. “This bipartisan legislation is an important step forward in expanding health care benefits to veterans exposed to harmful radiation,” Baldwin said. “These veterans have waited far too long for this recognition and they shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for certain costs because the VA won’t accept their exposure. We need to change this and make sure Atomic Cleanup Veterans get the health care benefits they deserve.” The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Health Care Parity Act, led by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Thom Tillis (R-NC), would allow veterans who participated in the cleanup of Enewetak Atoll on the Marshall Islands to receive the same health care and benefits given to other service members who were involved in active nuclear tests. From 1946 to 1958, the U.S. Military conducted more than 40 nuclear tests in the Islands, but the thousands of service members who cleaned up the area were never made eligible to receive health benefits under the Radiation Compensation Exposure Act. The service members who participated in the Marshall Islands cleanup between 1977 and 1980 suffer from high rates of cancers due to their exposure to radiation and nuclear waste, but are currently unable to receive the same treatments and service-related disability presumptions that other “radiation-exposed veterans” receive. The Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Health Care Parity Act would tackle this issue by extending key VA benefits to those who helped clean up the Marshall Islands, which remain partly uninhabitable due to high levels of radiation. It’s named after the late Hawaii Congressman Mark Takai, a veteran of the U.S. Army and Hawaii Army National Guard who passed away in 2016 and was the original sponsor of the bill in the House of Representatives.
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Republican U.S. Senate challenger Leah Vukmir saying that Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin was on “team terrorists” went too far for one fellow Republican.
“I wouldn’t do that,” Sen. Ron Johnson told reporters when asked if the attack was “fair game.” Vukmir’s campaign put out a news release last week that showed Baldwin and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the likely planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, together in a photo with the caption “team terrorists.” Vukmir and Gina Haspel, President Donald Trump’s nominee for CIA director, were shown on “team America.” Vukmir faces former Marine Kevin Nicholson in the GOP U.S. Senate primary. Nicholson leads in fundraising, but Vukmir got a much-needed win when she got the Republican party’s endorsement at last weekend’s GOP state convention in Milwaukee. She won 73 percent of the delegate vote to 27 percent for Nicholson. Johnson warned both candidates to keep their focus on Baldwin and not attack each other.
President Donald Trump
The Senate Judiciary Committee released more than 2,500 pages of documents on Wednesday related to its investigation about a meeting in 2016 between top Trump aides and a delegation of Russians who promised to help the campaign. The transcripts and notes reaffirm accounts of the meeting that people involved already have given – that Donald Trump Jr. and his compatriots sought “dirt” offered to them on Hillary Clinton and received at least one political intelligence tip but nothing as explosive as they had hoped.
Trump Jr. said in a statement that he was glad the Judiciary Committee had released its record of his statements. “I appreciate the opportunity to have assisted the Judiciary Committee in its inquiry,” he said. “The public can now see that for over five hours I answered every question asked and was candid and forthright with the committee.”
The material, which includes interview transcripts and other “exhibits,” is available at judiciary.senate.gov.
Source: National Public Radio