Governor Scott Walker
On Aug. 29, Gov. Walker announced US 2 at North Fish Creek in Bayfield County has reopened. The reopening of the bridge marks the completion of the state highway system’s final project following the heavy rain and flooding that occurred on June 15.
“Wisconsin was quick to mobilize for recovery,” Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Dave Ross said. “We are grateful for the collaboration and strong partnerships that ensured northern Wisconsin was open for business just days after areas received more than a foot of rain.”
The US 2 bridge, located east of Ino in Bayfield County, is the final project to restore the state’s highway system following record flooding across northern Wisconsin. During the heavy rainfall, a culvert and some of US 2 washed away. The culvert was replaced with a single-span bridge. The estimated cost to construct the bridge is $2.2 million.
Source: Walker press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Baldwin introduced new legislation to overturn the Trump administration’s final “junk insurance” plan rule. Baldwin’s new resolution of disapproval is cosponsored by 30 senators and would rescind the Trump administration’s rule expanding “junk insurance” plans that don’t have to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
“The Trump Administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on. They are moving forward on an expansion of junk insurance plans that can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to cover essential services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care,” Baldwin said.
According to an analysis by the LA Times, “more than 98 percent – or 335 of 340 – of the health care groups that commented on the proposal to loosen restrictions on short-term health plans criticized it, in many cases warning that the rule could gravely hurt sick patients.” This included patient and consumer advocates, physician groups, nursing associations, hospital groups, medical providers, insurance companies and more.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) said it “poses a serious threat to cancer patients’ ability to access quality, affordable health coverage.” ACSCAN also said the Trump administration’s rule “will likely leave older and sicker Americans in the individual insurance marketplace with few, if any, affordable health coverage choices” and that “patients living with serious conditions will be left paying more for the coverage they need if they can afford coverage at all.”
“Instead of expanding junk insurance plans, we need to protect people’s access to quality, affordable care,” Baldwin said.
Now that Senator Baldwin’s resolution has been introduced with 30 cosponsors, she has the support needed to file a discharge petition to force a vote under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) on her resolution to overturn the Trump Administration’s expansion of junk insurance plans. Congressional Review Act disapproval resolutions that obtain the support of 30 Senators on a discharge petition, and 218 members in the House, allow Congress to overturn regulatory actions taken by federal agencies with a simple majority vote in both chambers.
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
In a Sept. 2 appearance on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, discussed the late Sen. John McCain’s legacy.
“John McCain was an extraordinary individual. He is irreplaceable in the United States Senate because of what his history was, what his background was, what he focused on.”
“That’s what John focused on – the areas of agreement. Don’t insist on getting everything your way. In the very end, the areas of disagreement, that’s where you have to start compromising. But if you concentrate on the areas of agreement, the goals, the purpose, the greatness of this country, that’s how you accomplish things.”
Source: Johnson press release
President Donald Trump
President Trump’s closest aides have taken extraordinary measures in the White House to try to stop what they saw as his most dangerous impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk so he wouldn’t sign them, according to a new book from legendary journalist Bob Woodward. Woodward’s 448-page book, Fear: Trump in the White House, provides an unprecedented inside-the-room look through the eyes of the President’s inner circle. Woodward uses confidential background interviews to illustrate how some of the President’s top advisers view him as a danger to national security and have sought to circumvent the commander in chief.
Many of the feuds and daily clashes have been well documented, but the picture painted by Trump’s confidants, senior staff and Cabinet officials reveal that many of them see an even more alarming situation – worse than previously known or understood. Woodward offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides – both current and former Trump administration officials – grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.
Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an “idiot” and “unhinged,” Woodward reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of “a fifth or sixth grader.” And Trump’s former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as “a … liar,” telling Trump he would end up in an “orange jump suit” if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.
CNN obtained a copy of Woodward’s book, scheduled for release Sept. 11. The explosive revelations about Trump from those closest to him are likely to play into the November midterm election battle. The book also has stunning new details about Trump’s obsession with the Russia probe, describing for the first time confidential conversations between the President’s lawyers and Mueller. It recounts a dramatic session in the White House residence in which Trump failed a mock Mueller interview with his lawyers.