Reps in the News: Jan. 8 – 14

Governor Scott Walker

On Jan. 4, Governor Walker requested a joint session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 7 pm for the purpose of delivering the 2016 State of the State Address.

Source: Walker press release 

Representative Reid Ribble

Ribble released the following statement after voting on Dec. 18 with a majority of the House of Representatives to pass the Consolidated Appropriations Act, or omnibus spending bill, in a vote of 316 to 113. “Today I voted to fund the government. Two thirds of the next year’s spending will be on national defense, homeland security, and Veterans Affairs. About 10 percent of all federal spending will go toward all remaining federal programs.

I was a reluctant yes vote on this compromise bill. On the policy front we made important gains, allowing American oil to be sold on the world market for the first time in 40 years and ensuring that anyone who has visited a terrorist haven in the past five years cannot waltz in to America with a tourist visa waiver. We funded our nation’s defense, including projects constructed in Marinette and Oshkosh, Wis. However, Congress once again failed to fund the government in the smaller, more transparent parts that are vital not only to showing the American people how their money is being spent, but also to controlling federal bureaucrats with the power of the purse. The U.S. Senate failed to pass 11 of their 12 funding bills, which forced the crisis budgeting that I have opposed since I came to Congress.”

Source: Ribble press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

The United States Senate passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, which included a provision championed by U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, requiring the domestic manufacture of certain shipboard components, such as diesel engines, for the U.S. Navy’s new oiler ship, one of which will be purchased in FY16 for $674 million. This provision will help ensure a level playing field for Beloit, Wisconsin-based Fairbanks Morse Engine, which has been a key supplier of superior-performance and best-value diesel engines to the U.S. Navy for decades, as well as other suppliers in America’s shipbuilding industry. Enacting this requirement into law will provide Fairbanks Morse with an opportunity to fairly compete for propulsion work on the Navy’s new oiler program, which ultimately will include 17 ships in the fleet, constructed over the next 17 years. “This critical provision will maintain the U.S. Navy’s historical and mutually beneficial relationship with the domestic shipbuilding industrial base by continuing policies that have served U.S. national security and the public interest for almost 25 years,” Baldwin said. “As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I was proud to fight on behalf of the hard-working men and women of Wisconsin’s shipbuilding industry who play a critical role in strengthening our Made in Wisconsin economy and our national security.”

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Johnson said this after the Senate passed HR 2029, the bill containing both the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015: “I have repeatedly said that the number one component of a solution to the problems facing America is economic growth. Although far from what I – and most Republicans – would have proposed, the compromise tax reform and FY2016 spending bill should have a net positive effect on our economy. Temporary tax provisions cause uncertainty that harms our economy. Making a number of temporary tax treatments permanent – such as the research and development credit and Section 179 expensing for businesses that buy new equipment – is long overdue and will be helpful. Massive omnibus spending bills are a horrible way of funding government, and I truly hope this is the last I ever have to vote on. Under a new Republican majority in the Senate, the Appropriations Committee carefully deliberated on, voted, and reported out every one of the 12 individual appropriation bills. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats blocked these bills from coming to the floor for consideration and a full amendment process. Republican leaders were forced to negotiate under threat of multiple presidential vetoes….Upon careful consideration, I believe the positives outweighed the negatives and I decided to vote yes.”

Source: Johnson press release

President Barack Obama

Gun control initiatives are coming to the U.S. in the next few days, President Barack Obama said on Jan. 4. Obama, who has expressed deep frustration about U.S. gun control regulations after a series of mass shootings at schools and other places during his presidency, met with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Monday to discuss gun control measures that do not require congressional approval. Obama acknowledged that his planned initiatives will not solve every violent crime or prevent every mass shooting, but he said they could “potentially save lives.” The president explained that he had received a report about his options on executive action, and the recommendations are “well within” his legal authority. He added that he is “confident” the recommended actions are “entirely consistent” with the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Source: CNBC

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