Reps in the News: Dec. 23 – 30

Governor Scott Walker

The Governor and Major General Don Dunbar, adjutant general of the Wisconsin National Guard, released a holiday video message for our troops and veterans this holiday season. See it here:

Source: Walker press release

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble released the following statement after voting with a majority of the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 2029, the PATH Act or tax extenders bill, in a vote of 318 to 109. “This legislation delivers certainty to families and businesses who now won’t have to wonder if Congress will take action to extend important tax relief every year. A number of critical tax laws that had been temporary for decades are finally made permanent in this legislation. The certainty that this will provide to families, businesses, and our economy is tremendous. Additionally, it prevents significant tax increases that might otherwise have taken effect very soon, and it clears out fraud and abuse in both tax programs and the ranks of the IRS. The bill specifically makes permanent a measure that gives farmers and small businesses in Northeast Wisconsin the ability to re-invest in their infrastructure without penalty and put more money back into the economy.”

Source: Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, released the following statements after media reports indicated that U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, as part of the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, is proposing cuts to the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program and the Frigate (FF) program that will follow LCS. The President will ultimately decide what is included in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget request, which will be released next year for Congress to then consider.

News outlets have acquired an internal memo from Secretary Carter to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, in which he directs the Navy to “reduce the planned LCS/FF procurement from 52 ships to 40 ships.”

“I am deeply troubled by Secretary Carter’s recent directive to reduce the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship and Frigate purchases – programs that the Navy strongly supports. At a time of continuing global instability and dynamic threats, particularly in the very areas of the world the LCS and Frigate are meant to operate – the Navy is responding to ever-increasing mission demands. We need to give our men and women in uniform the resources and capabilities they need to meet those demands – that means the LCS and the Frigate. The President should reject this shortsighted proposal, which is not driven by strategy and, while appearing to result from budgetary pressures, does not make fiscal sense in the long-term. I remain committed to fighting for this program and for the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry who play a critical role in strengthening our national security.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Dan Danner, head of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), spoke Dec. 17 outside the Senate floor on the critical small business tax relief that is part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, soon to be considered by the Senate.

“Making Section 179 expensing permanent increases small business certainty and cash flow,” said Johnson. “The level of uncertainty businesses in Wisconsin and across the country face right now is an enormous drag on our economy. It costs the economy jobs and overall growth. This provision increases cash flow and reduces borrowing, prompting businesses to invest in the kind of capital equipment that expands manufacturing and building. It will help develop a stronger economy and provide good paying jobs for Wisconsinites.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

In an interview that aired on National Public Radio on Dec. 21, the President said that Donald J. Trump, a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination, is exploiting the resentment and anxieties of working-class men to boost his campaign. Obama also argued that some of the scorn directed at him personally stems from the fact that he is the first African-American to hold the White House. Demographic changes and economic stresses, including “flatlining” wages and incomes, have meant that “particularly blue-collar men have had a lot of trouble in this new economy, where they are no longer getting the same bargain that they got when they were going to a factory and able to support their families on a single paycheck,” said Obama. “You combine those things, and it means that there is going to be potential anger, frustration, fear — some of it justified, but just misdirected,” the president added. “I think somebody like Mr. Trump is taking advantage of that. That’s what he’s exploiting during the course of his campaign.”

Source: The New York Times

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