Reps in the News: Oct. 9

Governor Scott Walker

Walker announced that Workplace Wellness Program grants of up to $15,000 are now available to Wisconsin businesses with 50 or fewer employees. Businesses that started their employee wellness program after March 15, 2014 are eligible for the grants, which are funded by Wisconsin Act 137, the Workplace Wellness Grant Program. The one-time grants pay for 30 percent of wellness program costs incurred during a 12-month period. To apply for a grant, businesses are asked to fill out a Workplace Wellness Program Grant application. For more information about the benefits of workplace wellness programs for employees and small businesses, visit

Source: Walker press release


Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble and Kurt Schrader announced a major victory in congressional budgeting reform with more than 218 bipartisan cosponsors on H.R. 1610, the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act, just as Congress fails once again to complete its work on time. “America is a tremendous economic engine, and our federal budget needs consistency, reliability and thorough oversight to function efficiently. I introduced the Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act to take budgeting out of election years and force Congress to conduct better oversight of federal agencies,” Ribble said. The Biennial Budgeting and Enhanced Oversight Act of 2015 
establishes a two-year “biennial” budgeting cycle for U.S. federal government, which would provide more budget stability and certainty by doing away with the current inconsistent appropriations process. Federal departments and agencies would know a full year in advance the resources they will have available, giving them the ability to plan into the future and implement cost-saving measures to make the most of every dollar. Biennial budgeting is a practical reform that has already been implemented by 15 states, including Wisconsin.

Source: Ribble press release


Senator Tammy Baldwin

Baldwin, a member of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, applauded an announcement from the Obama Administration that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is moving forward to designate the first new National Marine Sanctuaries since 2000, including one in Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan waters. The two proposed sanctuary sites will be open for public comment now through Jan. 15, 2016. In October 2013, Senator Baldwin urged NOAA to re-open the public nomination process for the first time in 20 years. After the Administration announced in June 2014 that Americans would be given the opportunity to nominate nationally significant marine and Great Lakes areas as national marine sanctuaries, Wisconsin’s Lake Michigan proposal was submitted and Senator Baldwin called on NOAA to support their efforts. In Wisconsin, an 875-square mile area of Lake Michigan, with waters extending from Port Washington to Two Rivers was endorsed by Senator Baldwin and a diverse coalition of organizations and individuals at local, state, regional and national levels. The area contains a collection of 39 known shipwrecks, 15 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fifteen of the known shipwrecks are essentially intact, and three vessels possess standing masts – a rarity in the Great Lakes.

Source: Baldwin press release


Senator Ron Johnson

On Oct. 1, the Senate unanimously approved the Border Jobs for Veterans Act. This bipartisan legislation, introduced by Senators Johnson, Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in the Senate and Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) in the House will help put veterans to work as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at understaffed U.S. ports of entry without raising costs or affecting existing veteran hiring authorities. “This is an important, incremental step toward enhancing our border security,” said Johnson. “Since becoming chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, I have looked closely at border security through a series of site visits, committee hearings and roundtables. One common theme that has emerged is that manpower plays a vital role in securing the border, both at and between our ports of entry. This bill is truly a win-win: It gives former service members an opportunity to continue serving by ensuring the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense work together to identify these qualified applicants and provides DHS with the best candidates to fill vacancies in remote ports of entry along our borders. Now this goes to the president’s desk for signature.”

Johnson’s remarks on the Senate floor regarding the bill’s final passage can be viewed here:

Source: Johnson press release


President Barack Obama

In his weekly address, the President emphasized that we need to do everything we can to strengthen economic growth and job creation. Despite the fact that more than half of Republicans in Congress last week voted to shut down the government for the second time in two years, Congress managed to pass a last-minute bill to keep the government open for another 10 weeks. That means that in December, we could face yet another Republican threat to shut down the government. The President emphasized that Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and do its job. He stressed that Republicans and Democrats need to work together to pass a budget that fully funds the government and reverses the harmful sequestration cuts, and vowed that he would not sign another shortsighted spending bill like the one Congress sent him this past week. Audio and video of the address is available at

Source: White House press release

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