Reps in the News: Speaker Paul Ryan Stepping Down

U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan

Ryan, a 48-year-old Republican from Janesville, confirmed on Wednesday what has been rumored in Washington for months, that he will retire from politics at the end of this year. In a Wednesday morning press conference, Ryan said he made the decision simply for the benefit of his three teen-aged children. He expects to remain as Speaker through the year, but whether that happens remains to be seen. Intense behind-the-scenes jockeying for the position is being reported by the Washington press corps.

Source:  Ryan press conference


Representative Joel Kitchens

“I am happy to announce that I will be holding in-district office hours in Sturgeon Bay in order to connect with constituents who would typically not have the time or ability to make the long drive to Madison. This will be an excellent chance for my constituents to share their thoughts and discuss any issues that they feel are important in a one-on-one manner while over a cup of coffee.” The location and time of the in-district office hours will be:  Glas Coffeehouse, 67 E. Maple St., Sturgeon Bay, Saturday, April 21, 9 – 11 am. “I am looking forward to meeting with my constituents and learning how best I can continue to serve their needs.”

Source:  Kitchens press release


Governor Scott Walker

Gov. Walker launched himself headlong into the immigration debate Monday, advocating for military training facilities along the Mexican border and backing President Donald Trump’s call for sending National Guard troops to patrol. Walker’s statements came in response a letter from U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison, who urged him not to send Wisconsin National Guard troops to the Mexican border. Pocan had criticized Trump’s plan as “ill-conceived” and “grossly irresponsible” when border crossings are down. “Our service members in Wisconsin should not be used as pawns while President Trump attempts to rally his base after Congress has repeatedly rejected his demands to build a border wall,” Pocan wrote. “As Governor, I want to ensure the safety of all of our citizens, and I want to reduce access to illegal drugs as part of a comprehensive strategy in dealing with opioid and illegal drug addiction,” Walker wrote in a letter to Pocan. “Therefore, I welcome President Donald Trump’s aggressive actions to secure our nation’s southern border.” Walker noted that previous presidents, including George W. Bush, a Republican, and Barack Obama, a Democrat, sent National Guard troops to the border.

Source:  Wisconsin State Journal


Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced major victories for Wisconsin’s forest and timber economy in the bipartisan spending agreement that passed Congress and was signed into law last month. Baldwin fought for funding to boost Wisconsin’s timber economy, help improve forest management and to help rural counties pay for schools, roads and emergency response services. “Our forests and the timber industry in northern and central Wisconsin are facing a number of challenges that need to be addressed and I’m proud to work across party lines to secure significant reforms to strengthen Wisconsin’s timber economy,” Baldwin said. “By passing the Good Neighbor Authority Improvement Act, fixing fire borrowing and securing funding for schools and services in our rural counties, we can make sure critically needed funding stays in Wisconsin and helps move key forest restoration and timber projects forward to strengthen our northwoods economy.”

Source:  Baldwin press release


Senator Ron Johnson

In appearances on Fox News last week, Sen. Johnson, chair of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and member of the Foreign Relations committee, discussed his recent trip to China:  “What is such a shame here and what is unfortunate is this president has done a great job at ending the increase in the regulatory burden, which has brought a great deal of certainty to the economy. We also made American businesses competitive. We gave American taxpayers, virtually every one of them, a tax cut and that brought certainty and optimism to the economy. All the talk of trade wars, tariffs, and retaliation is bringing a high level of uncertainty.”

Source:  Johnson press release


President Donald Trump

President Trump is famous for bragging about his net worth. Publicly, he claims he’s worth more than $10 billion. He even sued an author over the issue and lobbied the editors of Forbes about his ranking on their billionaires list.

Yet quietly in another setting, the Trump Organization says the president’s holdings are worth far less than he has proclaimed. Across the country, the Trump Organization is suing local governments, claiming its owes much less in property taxes than government assessors say because its properties are worth much less than they’ve been valued at. In just one example, the company has asserted that its gleaming waterfront skyscraper in Chicago is worth less than than its assessed value, in part because its retail space is failing and worth less than nothing.

Since becoming president, Trump’s companies have filed at least nine new lawsuits against municipalities in Florida, New York and Illinois, arguing for lower tax bills, ProPublica has found. Some of those lawsuits have been previously reported. At stake is millions of dollars that communities use to fund roads, schools and police departments.


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