Governor Tony Evers
On Feb. 12, Gov. Evers announced his plans to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of governors committed to implementing the Paris climate accord on a state level to combat climate change.
The Alliance was formed in June 2017 in response to President Trump’s announced intent to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. By joining the Alliance, governors commit to:
• Implement policies that advance the goals of the Paris Agreement, aiming to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025;
• Track and report progress to the global community in appropriate settings, including when the world convenes to take stock of the Paris Agreement;
• Accelerate new and existing policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean-energy deployment at the state and federal level.
“It’s a new day in Wisconsin, and it’s time to lead our state in a new direction where we embrace science, where we discuss the very real implications of climate change, where we work to find solutions and where we invest in renewable energy,” Evers said. “By joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, we will have support in demonstrating that we can take climate action while growing our economy at the same time.”
Source: Evers press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin released the following statement on her decision not to support President Trump’s nominee for United States Attorney General, William Barr: “I was encouraged that the president selected a serious nominee with public-service experience, and I welcomed the opportunity of meeting with Mr. Barr. I take my responsibility to consider this nomination very seriously because it comes at an unprecedented time in our nation’s history. There is an ongoing criminal and national-security investigation of Russia’s attack on our democracy and interference in our elections. There are consistent attacks on the Department of Justice and the rule of law by this president. Now more than ever, the American people need an attorney general who we can trust to act with independence.
“In June 2018, Mr. Barr, as an attorney in private practice, sent an unsolicited memo to the Department of Justice and President Trump’s lawyers attacking Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. This hostility toward the special counsel’s investigation came on the same day new charges of conspiracy and obstruction of justice were brought against President Trump’s former campaign chair, Paul Manafort. Mr. Barr’s memo also came one month before Special Counsel Mueller secured grand-jury indictments against 12 Russian military officers for conspiring to interfere with the 2016 election.
“For me, there are simply too many unanswered questions about what motivated Mr. Barr to send this memo to the Trump administration and what role it may have played in his nomination to lead the Department of Justice and oversee the special counsel’s investigation. I am also troubled that Mr. Barr would not commit to making the special counsel’s report public because I believe the truth should be revealed to the American people when the investigation is concluded.
“As I weigh this nomination, I do so with serious concerns about the tenure of Attorney General Sessions and questions about whether Mr. Barr would continue to move in the wrong direction … I am unconvinced that he would lead the Justice Department in the right direction and advance its mission to protect the civil and constitutional rights of all Americans. I do not have the confidence I need that this nominee to be America’s top law-enforcement official will provide the independence we must have at this critical time.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson has joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers in calling on the Trump administration to pull back on increased tariffs. Johnson was one of four senators who spoke in support of the advocacy group Tariffs Hurt the Heartland during a press conference on Feb. 6.
Johnson said President Trump’s tariff strategy has brought countries such as China, Canada and Mexico to the negotiating table, but he said the president should lift the increased taxes on Mexico and Canada.
“If you’re using the tariffs as leverage, if you get an agreement with countries that have come to the table because of that, if you don’t relieve them of the tariffs, you’re going to marginalize that as an effective leverage point for other negotiations,” Johnson said.
A new report from a national research firm estimates Wisconsin could lose more than 14,000 jobs in the next three years if the higher tariffs continue. Commissioned by Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, Trade Partnership Worldwide used data from the federal government to estimate the impact of increased tariffs from and against the U.S.
In response to the report, Johnson acknowledged that increased tariffs on imported products have helped American manufacturers be more competitive on the world market, but he said even that success could lead to more manufacturing being done outside the U.S.
Johnson also expressed concern about the agriculture industry. He said competing countries continue to increase their production while Wisconsin producers face lower demand because of the tariffs. He worries that demand could be permanently lost the longer the tariffs are in place.
President Donald Trump
President Trump intends to sign the border-security deal to avoid another partial government shutdown, according to two sources who have spoken directly with the president.
Trump said Tuesday that he was “not happy” with the tentative deal reached by congressional negotiators late Monday night that falls far short of his original demands. Congress faces a deadline to get a deal passed and signed by Trump before Friday.
The agreement, which includes $1.375 billion for a border barrier, falls well short of the $5.7 billion Trump originally demanded for a wall. It even falls short of the $1.6 billion included in a Senate package last year.
Still, the measure would avert another government shutdown. Polls showed Trump was largely blamed for the previous 35-day impasse.