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Reps in the News: Dec. 11 – 17

Governor Scott Walker

The Governor joined the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) in announcing $1.5 million in Broadband Expansion Grants, and Walker traveled throughout the Northwoods to award grants to Wittenberg Wireless, LLC in Antigo, Norvado in Cable, and ChoiceTel, LLC in Land O’Lakes. The grants are being matched by Wisconsin businesses, nonprofits and local governments. The Broadband Expansion Grants announced this week are a part of the Broadband Expansion Grant Program. “We’ve heard from business leaders around the state, especially in Northern Wisconsin, that a major hurdle to economic development in their communities is minimal access to high speed internet,” Walker said. “We are dedicated to growing our economy and ensuring it remains strong, and by tripling the funding for broadband grants in our most recent budget, we’re working to ensure that goal is a reality. The bottom line is that these grants help us level the playing field in terms of economic development in the underserved areas of our state with limited access to broadband internet.”

Source: Walker press release

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble released the following statement after voting with the majority of the House of Representatives to pass the Every Student Succeeds Act in a vote of 359 to 64: “American students deserve the very best we can give them, and one-size-fits-all policies from Washington have not served them well. The Every Student Succeeds Act is a new start for our K-12 education system, ending the era of federally mandated high-stakes testing and Common Core requirements. While there are no perfect bills, it increases school choice for parents and provides states and schools with new funding flexibility. I believe that the Every Student Succeeds Act is the right way forward and am proud to support the legislation.” The Every Student Succeeds Act is the product of a conference committee of representatives and senators who met to work through the differences between House and Senate education bills. A four-year authorization, it replaces No Child Left Behind, which was first passed in 2002 and has been due for renewal since 2007.

Source: Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

The United States Senate voted 83-16 to approve a bipartisan, five-year transportation funding bill that includes several provisions championed by Baldwin and aimed at increasing safety and transparency along Wisconsin’s oil train routes. The legislation now heads to President Obama for his signature. “I am so grateful to the advocates, first responders, local officials, and concerned citizens who have spoken out and demanded increased transparency, communication and accountability when it comes to keeping our Wisconsin communities along oil train routes safe,” said Senator Baldwin. “I have been sounding the alarm for two years on the need to put in place strong rail safety reforms and today we have taken major action to hold railroad companies accountable and protect Wisconsin’s citizens from the catastrophic consequences of these dangerous derailments.” “We are pleased that the bill requires railroads transporting hazardous materials to inform first responders when they travel through their communities. I’d like to thank Senator Baldwin for her hard work on this important provision to better secure the safety of citizens nationwide,” said International Association of Fire Fighters General President Harold Schaitberger.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said this following the Dec. 3 Senate passage of the Restoring Americans’ Health Care Freedom Reconciliation Act, a repeal of Obamacare: “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or ‘Obamacare,’ has completely failed to live up to its name. President Obama repeatedly promised that ‘if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.’…And instead of the ‘Affordable Care Act’ making health care more affordable, the evidence shows that it has actually made health coverage more expensive. As a result, I voted yes tonight with 51 of my colleagues to repeal most of Obamacare’s harmful provisions. The president should sign this bill so we can begin moving toward free market reforms that devolve power from Washington toward doctors and patients. If the president refuses and instead vetoes this bill, our repeal is a marker for what a Republican Congress again will pass in 2017 under an administration that is willing to admit the harm done by Obamacare.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

On Dec. 6, the President issued his most passionate denunciation yet of ISIS, vowing to “destroy” the group in a relentless, strong and smart campaign that is consistent with the nation’s values. But the speech – intended to reassure a nervous nation – didn’t announce an overhaul of a policy that critics have branded insufficient to take on the evolving threat. Obama, speaking in the symbolic surroundings of the Oval Office, unequivocally told millions of television viewers in prime-time that last week’s mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., was a terrorist attack by a couple who had gone down the “dark path of radicalization” and embraced a “perverted” form of Islam. “This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people,” Obama said. “Here’s what I want you to know. The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us.”

Source: CNN

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