Reps in the News: Nov. 20 – 26

Governor Scott Walker

Walker released the following statement on the federal Syrian resettlement program: “In light of these horrific and tragic attacks, our first priority must be to protect our citizens. Along with governors across the country, I have deep concerns about the Obama Administration’s plan to accept 10,000 or more Syrian refugees, especially given that one of the Paris attackers was reportedly a Syrian refugee. In consultation with our Adjutant General, who also serves as my Homeland Security Adviser, it is clear that the influx of Syrian refugees poses a threat.

“With this in mind, I am calling upon the President to immediately suspend the program pending a full review of its security and acceptance procedures. The State of Wisconsin will not accept new Syrian refugees.

“There may be those who will try to take advantage of the generosity of our country and the ability to move freely within our borders through this federal resettlement program, and we must ensure we are doing all we can to safeguard the security of Americans.

“Furthermore, I am opposed to recently introduced legislation encouraging the state to accept Syrian refugees in Wisconsin.”

Source: Walker press release

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble will continue to help shape national transportation policy as a member of the House-Senate conference committee that is tasked with producing final legislation on the highway bill. “Our nation’s roads and bridges are vitally important to our economy, and to the families that use them every day to get to school and work,” Ribble said. “Equally important is ensuring that we are paying for the things we buy; unfunded government programs aren’t how we should be operating since all debt is nothing more than a future tax on our children. I am proud of the work that’s been done so far and am looking forward to working with the conference committee to find the best path forward for our transportation infrastructure.” 
Congressman Ribble’s appointment to the conference committee came after the House voted 363-64 with Ribble’s support to pass the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s highway and transit bill with amendments. The conference committee of Representatives and Senators will meet to produce a compromise bill that will then be voted on by both houses and sent to the President’s desk before the current funding extension expires on Nov. 20.
 As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Ribble has been a leader in the push for a long-term fully funded transportation bill. He served as a conferee on the last surface transportation conference committee in 2012, and his work resulted in historic reforms to the project delivery process to cut costs and root out waste.

Source: Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin announced that the Wisconsin Medical Society is supporting bipartisan VA reform legislation she has introduced that is aimed at providing safer and more effective pain management services to our nation’s veterans. “The Wisconsin Medical Society appreciates Senator Baldwin’s leadership in introducing the Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act and is proud to support the bill. There is an opioid public health crisis in Wisconsin and throughout the country and this legislation makes important regulatory reforms in the VA System to help ensure safer opioid prescribing for our veterans,” said Donn Dexter, M.D. “Physicians stand ready to be part of the solution, and as the Chief Medical Officer of the Wisconsin Medical Society and a veteran, I am grateful Senator Baldwin is asking for critical opioid reforms to happen in the VA System.” Senator Baldwin’s Jason Simcakoski Memorial Opioid Safety Act, introduced in June with Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), was produced in close consultation with medical professionals, veterans’ service organizations, and the Simcakoski family. The legislation focuses on strengthening the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) opioid prescribing guidelines and improving pain management services by putting reforms in place.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced legislation that directs the secretary of the Interior to reissue final rules related to the listing of the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota and Wyoming under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973. The bill serves as the Senate companion to the bipartisan House bill introduced by Reps. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) earlier this year.

“After over 30 years of needed protection and professional pack population management, the wolf has made its comeback,” Johnson said. “In 2011, the administration’s Department of the Interior determined the number of wolves in the western Great Lakes states to be sufficient and growing and made the correct decision to delist them as an endangered species….Unfortunately, in late 2014, a liberal judge in Washington, D.C. overruled the administration’s wildlife experts in the field and returned the gray wolves to the Endangered Species List. It’s obvious the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service judges its past delisting decision to have been correct, and the ongoing efforts in Wisconsin and elsewhere to properly manage the wolf levels are working well. Simply put, wolves in these four states are no longer endangered and do not need the protections the ESA afforded them in the past.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

The President is continuing to hold off on an endorsement of front-runner Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic presidential candidate. The current president had praise for all three Democratic candidates during an interview with ABC News and said “it’s important for the process to play itself out” before he gets involved. “I think Hillary’s doing great,” Obama said of his former Secretary of State, while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders “is capturing a sense among the American people that they want to know the government’s on their side, that it’s not bought and paid for.” The third Democratic candidate, former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, “has important things to say,” Obama told ABC.

“So we’ll let this process play out” when it comes to an endorsement, Obama said. “I am confident that we’re going to have a good, strong Democratic candidate, and that they’ll be able to win in November.”

Source: ABC News

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