Reps in the News: Dec. 20 – Jan. 3

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Joel Kitchens has co-authored a bill that places limits on the usage of firefighting foams that contain added polyfluoroalkyl substances, more commonly known as PFAS. The man-made chemicals are used in 

nonstick cookware, water-repellent clothing, pizza boxes and many other items.

“PFAS are considered to be ‘forever chemicals’ because they don’t break down and can accumulate over time in both the human body and the environment,” Kitchens said. “Unfortunately, experts say exposure to PFAS can lead to adverse health outcomes, including low infant birth weight, thyroid hormone disruption and cancer.

Under AB 323, firefighting foams that contain PFAS could be used only in emergency firefighting operations or testing approved by the Department of Natural Resources.

Source: Kitchens e-newsletter

Representative Mike Gallagher

Rep. Mike Gallagher joined a bipartisan group of his colleagues in sending a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to pass “no budget, no pay” legislation as part of any year-end spending package. This would prevent members of Congress from getting paid if they fail to pass a budget.

The letter states: “Withholding paychecks from members of Congress who fail to pass appropriations is an important step to prevent government shutdowns, which hurt the economy and millions of everyday Americans … We are elected to represent the citizens of our states and districts. When they don’t do their job, there are consequences, and that same standard should apply to Congress.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s bipartisan FAIR Drug Pricing Act has passed the U.S. House of Representatives. This reform addresses rising prescription-drug prices by requiring transparency for pharmaceutical corporations that plan to increase drug prices. Baldwin’s legislation was included in H.R. 3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which passed the House by a vote of 230-192.

“For too long, I’ve heard story after story from Wisconsinites who are struggling to afford the life-saving medications they need,” Baldwin said. “Drug corporations are making prescription drugs more expensive with no systematic transparency to taxpayers. Today is a major step forward for my bipartisan reform and brings us one step closer to holding drug companies accountable for jacking up the prices on medications that Americans need.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

U.S. Sens. Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin have announced their agreement to recommend to the White House four Wisconsinites to fill the vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which was created by the retirement of the late Judge Rudolph Randa.  

The candidates – Joseph Bugni, Samuel Hall Jr., Brett Ludwig and Daniel Vaccaro – were recommended by a bipartisan federal nominating commission that the Wisconsin senators established in April 2013 to move federal nominations forward, including nominations to vacant federal judgeships in Wisconsin.

Source: Johnson press release