Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker has ordered about two dozen National Guard troops to the U.S. border with Mexico, prompting protests.
“Gov. Walker’s plan to send Wisconsin National Guard members to the southern border is a misuse of state and federal resources and only serves to give President Trump air cover for his outrageous and cruel plan to separate immigrant families,” said U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., who recently visited the border in Texas.
Walker is following the lead of President Donald Trump, who this spring had directed the Defense Department to support Homeland Security by providing increased border security.
A news release from the Wisconsin National Guard said the president called on forces to mobilize “under the Militia Clause of the Constitution” and “Wisconsin is one of several states nationwide providing support to states on the southwest border. All will mobilize in a Title 32, 502(f) status, meaning they will operate under state control but with federal funds.”
The soldiers and airmen from Wisconsin are volunteers from different units in the state and, according to the news release, “additional Wisconsin National Guard members are expected to head to Arizona in the coming weeks and months.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Senators Baldwin and Tina Smith (D-MN) led their colleagues in a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee calling for a hearing on the nomination of Gordon Hartogensis to be the Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
Hartogensis has little prior experience in the pension space. The PBGC protects the pensions of workers and retirees by insuring 24,000 defined benefit plans that cover about 40 million people. The HELP Committee has jurisdiction over private pension plans and has previously held hearings for nominees to be PBGC Director.
“Since the Pension Protection Act of 2006 established that the PBGC Director must be confirmed by the Senate for a five-year term, the HELP Committee has held a hearing on all but one nominee to be PBGC Director,” wrote the Senators in their letter. “The exception was Thomas Reeder, current Director of the PBGC, whose qualifications were well known to this Committee through his work as staff on the Senate Finance Committee. Given that the current nominee does not share Mr. Reeder’s extensive experience in the pension space, it is critical that the members of this Committee have the opportunity to hear from him about his qualifications to protect the retirement security of nearly 40 million workers in this country who participate in private-sector defined benefit pension plans.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson said he’s “troubled” by ethics complaints against Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, but stopped short of calling for his resignation. “Obviously, he’s got some real issues,” Johnson said. “I can’t explain what happens to people when they get in positions of power. It sounds like he’s had some problems dating back to his days in Oklahoma. It’s unfortunate.” Asked if Pruitt should resign, Johnson said, “It’s not my call. It’s the administration’s call.” Pruitt has faced mounting criticism over issues that include enlisting aides and others to help in employment opportunities for his wife; an arrangement to lease a Washington D.C., condo linked to an energy lobbyist; and having his security detail run errands for him.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
President Donald Trump
On Wednesday President Trump promised action to “keep families together” amid fury over separations of undocumented child migrants from adults. “I’ll be signing something in a little while that’s going to do that,” he told reporters at the White House. The Department of Homeland Security has reportedly drafted an executive order to stop the policy, though its wording and scope is unclear. He had earlier urged lawmakers to pass a bill ending family separations.