Reps in the News: Evers Stands By Embattled Secretary

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers on Tuesday stood behind his pick to lead the state Department of Safety and Professional Services, despite new attention on 2005 child-abuse charges against her.

Secretary-designee Dawn Crim faced felony charges for allegedly stabbing her son’s hand repeatedly with a pen, according to court records first reported on by the Wisconsin State Journal. Crim admitted to poking her then-five-year-old son’s hand with a pen until it bled. The incident occurred after Crim read a letter from her son’s school saying he had poked another student with a pencil. Four puncture wounds were later discovered on Crim’s son’s hand and reported by a teacher. The case was dismissed, and no trial was held because Crim agreed to fulfill the requirements of a deferred prosecution agreement.

Evers said he first learned of the charges against Crim during his office’s vetting process of her. He dismissed the charges as “unsubstantiated.” “I’ve known Dawn for several years, and I do stand behind her,” Evers said.

“This incident certainly raises questions of Gov. Evers’ ability to properly vet his executive appointments,” said Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, who chairs the Senate licensing committee. “Secretary-designee Crim will have the opportunity to address the committee next week and explain this deeply troubling incident.”

The governor appointed Crim to lead the state professional-licensing department in January. Prior to that, she served as assistant state superintendent for the Division of Student and School Success at the state Department of Public Instruction. Before joining DPI, Crim spent years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, serving as director of community relations after years as a business-development manager for UW-Extension’s UW Learning Innovations program. She was also an assistant coach for the Badger women’s basketball team.

Source:  WPR

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Rep. Gallagher, joined by his colleague Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.), introduced bipartisan legislation to require all medical providers to publicly disclose costs for all products, services and procedures. The Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2019 requires all price disclosures to be available at the point of purchase, in print and online, and include all wholesale, retail, subsidized, discounted or other prices.

“The rising cost of healthcare is one of the issues I hear about most from families across Northeast Wisconsin,” Gallagher said. “This is why I am proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with Rep. Perlmutter that would require health-care providers to tell you exactly how much their procedures, products and services cost. Clear and easy-to-understand pricing will increase competition, and competition will bring down health-care costs for everyone.”

Source:  Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced legislation to ensure affordable, high-quality child care for working middle-class families and those living paycheck to paycheck. The Child Care for Working Families Act – led by Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) – would address the current early-learning and care crisis by ensuring that no family below 150 percent of state median income pays more than 7 percent of its income on child care.

“For working parents in Wisconsin struggling to get ahead, high-quality, affordable child care is out of reach for too many,” Baldwin said.

The Child Care for Working Families Act would jump-start the economy by creating 770,000 new child-care jobs and allowing 1.6 million parents, primarily mothers, to go back to work. It would also lift one million families out of poverty. Families would pay their fair share for care on a sliding scale, regardless of the number of children they have. Families below 75 percent of the state median income would not have to pay anything at all.

The bill would also support universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all three- and four-year olds. Finally, the bill would significantly improve compensation and training for the child-care workforce to ensure that our nation’s teachers and caregivers have the support they need.

Source:  Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

GOP leaders and key committee chairs are making it clear that they believe there is no reason to probe whether the president broke the law in engaging in a scheme to hide payments made to two women to keep their stories quiet in the days running up to the 2016 elections.

Sen. Ron Johnson, who chairs the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and investigated Hillary Clinton’s email controversy in the last Congress, says he wants to wait until Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his investigation first. Told that the investigation into the hush-money scheme was being led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, Johnson said: “We’ll let the justice system work its way. … I want to see the definitive information as opposed to show-trial type testimony at congressional hearings.”

The decision to ignore allegations that Trump may have broken the law – and wrote a check reimbursing his former personal attorney Michael Cohen for the payments while serving as president – highlights the stark contrast between the priorities of the Democratic-run House and Republican-run Senate during the next two years. Democrats say the GOP is ignoring its constitutional duties to oversee the executive branch.


President Donald Trump

The U.S. trade deficit hit a 10-year high in 2018, growing by $69 billion, according to figures released on Wednesday by the Census Bureau.

That’s despite President Trump’s efforts to revive American manufacturing and reduce dependence on imported goods, including steel and other materials. Trump promised to win on trade, but instead, he faces a widening deficit. Since Trump took office, the deficit has grown by more than $100 billion, the Census Bureau reported.

That means the United States is importing more in goods and services than it sells abroad, despite two years of Trump’s “America First” policies.