Reps in the News: March 13-20

Representative Joel Kitchens

Rep. Joel Kitchens said in a statement at the end of the Wisconsin legislative session that more than 94 percent of bills passed by the Assembly this session had bipartisan votes. 

“Since I was elected to be your state representative in 2014, I have always made it a priority to find common ground with my Democratic colleagues so we can address our state’s most critical issues,” Kitchens said. “After all, if we can’t learn to collaborate with each other for the betterment of Wisconsin, we will never get anything done. To me, that is unacceptable.”

The last general business day on the Capitol floor for the Legislature is March 26, but the Assembly is not expected to meet before then.

Source: Kitchens e-newsletter

Governor Tony Evers

Gov. Tony Evers announced March 4 that he has authorized Attorney General Josh Kaul to add Wisconsin to a coalition of 18 other states in filing a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s diversion of $3.8 billion dollars for the construction of a border wall.

In this lawsuit, the coalition argues that the court should rule that the federal Department of Defense’s diversion of funds to construct a border wall is an unconstitutional violation of the appropriation power of Congress. 

“This diversion by the Trump administration is a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars and neglects the needs of our state National Guard units,” Evers said. “There is simply no justification for the president’s continued desire to create a crisis at the border, and this move negatively impacts not only Wisconsin’s economy, but the safety of our communities.”

Source: Evers press release

Representative Mike Gallagher

Rep. Mike Gallagher released the following statement after the House passed $8.3 billion in emergency supplemental funding to help address the coronavirus outbreak:

“Congress has an obligation to take swift and decisive action to combat the threat posed by coronavirus,” Gallagher said. “This bill provides necessary resources to the federal, state and local officials on the front lines of this fight and will bolster the entire government’s ability to identify, respond to and treat those infected.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Senator Ron Johnson

In an interview on The Story with Martha MacCallum on March 4, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, spoke about his committee’s continuing Ukraine oversight and a letter he sent to his colleagues to consider a subpoena as part of those oversight efforts.

“We’re not closing our eyes to this,” Johnson said. 

Meanwhile, Outagamie County Executive Thomas Nelson criticized Johnson for closing his eyes to the deportation of Hmong residents of Wisconsin. There are nearly 50,000 Hmong living in Wisconsin, most of whom are refugees or descendants of refugees of the Vietnam War. In February, Nelson called on Johnson to hold hearings on the Trump administration’s announced intention to deport thousands of Hmong residents. 

Nelson tweeted March 9: “It has been FOUR weeks since I called on @SenRonJohnson to hold hearings on the #HmongDeportationCrisis – no response. If he has time to hold a hearing on #Burisma he has time for his constituents.”

Sources: Johnson press release, Twitter