Reps in the News: State Budget, President Trump Steps into North Korea

Governor Tony Evers

The clock is officially ticking for Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers to act on the state budget after he received the two-year spending plan from the Republican-controlled Legislature on Friday.

The move means Evers has until Friday, July 5, to act on the $81 billion plan, which cleared both houses of the Legislature this week and faces an uncertain fate as the state waits for Evers to act on it. 

The governor, who wields the most powerful partial-veto authority in the country, could strike language from the two-year spending plan, reject it in full or approve it as written. 

In addition to steps the lawmakers took to make it – in the words of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos – “line-item-veto-proof,” the document the Republican-led budget committee approved came in at 511 pages, shorter than the 1,148 in Evers’ initial request and the least number of pages in decades.


Senator Tammy Baldwin

Sen. Baldwin voted for the bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act that passed the full Senate on June 27. The House and Senate will now reconcile their versions of this defense-funding bill and send it to the president for his signature.

“I voted in favor of this defense-authorization legislation because it makes important investments to strengthen our national security and support the health, well-being and economic security of our service members and their families,” Baldwin said. “In particular, I am pleased the bill includes a pay raise for our troops, makes sure that federal Small Shipyard Grants support American workers and businesses, and authorizes funding for a number of projects important to Wisconsin’s military personnel, our public health and our Made in Wisconsin economy.”

The bill includes more than $1 billion in initial funding for the Navy’s Future Frigate. Fincantieri Marinette Marine is competing to build this future ship in Wisconsin. 

Source: Baldwin press release 

Senator Ron Johnson

Politicians discussed the safety of migrants again after a photo of a father and daughter who drowned while trying to cross the border went viral. Sen. Johnson vowed to help asylum seekers. During a Senate immigration hearing, Johnson said, “I don’t want to see another picture like that on the U.S. border.”

In a follow-up interview with CNN, the senator said he wants more people to be able to claim refugee status in their own countries and that the U.S. needs more legal immigrants.

“We don’t have enough workers in this country to grow our economy the way we need to, but it has to be a legal system,” he said.

Johnson is the chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. He also wants to initiate Operation Safe Return to get people back to their home countries safely if they don’t have a valid asylum claim.

The GOP-controlled Senate passed a bill addressing the migrant crisis, but it clashes with what House Democrats approved. Senate Republicans say they’re not interested in reconciling the legislation.


President Donald Trump

President Trump shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday and took 20 steps into North Korea, making history as the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in the hermit kingdom.

Trump crossed the low stone curb separating the North and South at 3:45 pm local time, making his way alongside a grinning Kim into a country that’s long been a global pariah for its nuclear ambitions and dismal record on human rights.

The event, seemingly spontaneous and broadcast live, took to a new level Trump’s showman instincts and view of diplomacy as a test of interpersonal skills. Afterward, Trump said he agreed with Kim to revive staff-level talks that had collapsed after their last summit in February.

The encounter at the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone – their third in person – came a day after Trump raised the prospect of a border handshake in a tweet and declared he’d have “no problem” stepping into North Korea.

“Would you like me to step across?” Trump asked Kim as they shook hands. “I am OK with it.”

While inside North Korean territory, Trump and Kim shook hands and patted each other’s backs before returning across the border to the South after about a minute.

“I never expected to meet you at this place,” Kim – who appeared overjoyed in the moment – told Trump through an interpreter.

Later, Trump said he was “proud to step over the line” and thanked Kim for the meeting. He invited him to the White House, though later acknowledged that such a visit would likely not come soon.