Governor Scott Walker
Moriah Brey of Brey Cycle Farm LLC, Sturgeon Bay, is among 13 farmers from around the state who were named to the Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 at Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. Gov. Walker directed Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) Secretary Sheila Harsdorf and University of Wisconsin System (UW System) President Ray Cross to establish the task force in early June. The task force will focus on making recommendations on actions needed to maintain a viable and profitable dairy industry in our state. Nine representatives of dairy processors and marketers were also named to the task force, as well as eight representatives from allied industries. Dr. Mark Stephenson, director of Dairy Policy Analysis at UW-Madison, will chair the group, which is working to schedule their first meeting in August. “The members of Wisconsin Dairy Task Force 2.0 reflect the breadth and depth of the Wisconsin dairy industry,” Walker said in making the July 11 announcement. In 1985, the UW System and DATCP Secretary appointed a Wisconsin Dairy Task Force comprised of 31 individuals. They met numerous times in the course of 14 months, and at its conclusion, unanimously approved an 82-page report that included findings and 75 recommendations for the industry. Many of the recommendations have been implemented to retain Wisconsin’s recognition as a dairy leader.
Source: Walker press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
The Senate version of the 2018 Farm Bill that passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last week included a key reform from Sen. Baldwin to support rural emergency medical services (EMS) agencies in training staff and purchasing equipment, including the opioid overdose-reversing drug naloxone. The House and Senate will now reconcile their versions of the Farm Bill before sending a final bill to the President to be signed into law.
“Rural communities have been hit hard by the opioid epidemic and we need to do all we can to make sure our first responders have the resources they need to help save lives,” Baldwin said. In May, Baldwin helped introduce the bipartisan Supporting and Improving Rural EMS Needs (SIREN) Act, led by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Pat Roberts (R-KS), that would reauthorize annual competitive grant funding through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to support rural EMS agencies in training and recruiting staff, conducting courses to satisfy certification requirements and purchasing equipment. Providing additional resources to rural EMS agencies would also help support local governments throughout Wisconsin that are facing the growing costs of emergency services.
Regarding the Supreme Court nomination announced July 9: Baldwin released the following statement on President Trump’s nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court: “People need an independent justice who will not overturn the law of the land on women’s health, health care for people with pre-existing conditions, and the constitutional rights and freedoms of all Americans. The stakes are very high for the American people and these are the things that I will be looking for as I review the nomination.”
Source: Baldwin press releases
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson came back from his June 30-July 5 trip to Russia with some new perspectives on the sanctions the U.S. imposed on Moscow after its annexation of Crimea and interference in the 2016 presidential election. “We need to take a look at sanctions – are they actually changing Russia’s behavior?” Johnson said. “And right now, unfortunately, I don’t think they’re particularly working from that standpoint.
The eight-member Republican delegation to St. Petersburg and Moscow – led by Sen. Richard Shelby (Ala.) and including Johnson, Rep. Kay Granger (Texas) and Sens. Steve Daines (Mont.), John Hoeven (N.D.), John Kennedy (La.), Jerry Moran (Kan.), and John Thune (S.D.) – met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian lawmakers, though not President Vladimir Putin. Johnson told The Washington Examiner that the GOP delegation did hammer the Russians on Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election, but the Russians “would push back with all the ways we interfere in their politics in terms of funding NGOs, and Radio Free Europe and Voice of America,” and “nobody yielded.”
Regarding President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Johnson said: “A Supreme Court justice ought to be a judge, not a superlegislator – applying the Constitution as written, not altering it to reach a result. President Trump nominated a person who fit that description in Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, and to my understanding Judge Brett Kavanaugh fits it as well. I look forward to meeting with Judge Kavanaugh and the Senate moving expeditiously through the confirmation process.”
Source: theweek.com and Johnson press release
President Donald Trump
Oh, the things President Trump will be greeted with this week when he visits London: demonstrators, a giant “Trump Baby” balloon – and a uniquely British musical protest.
For the past couple of weeks, a social media campaign has sought to make Green Day’s classic 2004 jam “American Idiot” the No. 1 tune in the UK by the time Trump arrives Friday. The “Get American Idiot to No.1 for Trump’s UK Visit” Facebook page has been advocating for some type of musical protest during a Trump visit to Britain pretty much since the start of his presidency. After Trump’s “working visit” – as opposed to a formal state visit – was announced in April, the effort went into overdrive.
The campaign asks people to download “American Idiot” between Friday, July 6, and Friday, July 13, to push the 14-year-old single to the top of the Official UK Charts. So far the effort appears to be working, with the song checking in at No. 18 on the chart Tuesday. It’ll take a particularly strong push though to get the song to the top of the chart by Friday.