Representative Joel Kitchens
Rep. Kitchens released the following statement after the Assembly voted to pass SB 407, the Transfer of College Credits for High School Students bill: “I am incredibly pleased with the passage of my Transfer of College Credits for High School Students bill on the floor of the Assembly earlier today. This bill will allow students who have taken college level courses in high school and mastered the material to get the credits they deserve. The bill directs the Board of Regents to establish policies for those credits and if the credits are not transferable, allow the student to take an examination to determine their competency in the material. “This will alleviate some of the potential debt that the average Wisconsin college student might accrue and save them time and money. As lawmakers, it is our responsibility to make sure that we set up our state’s children for success and this bill is a simple tool to make their road to success just a little bit smoother. If we want our students to stay motivated in the Wisconsin school system and take college-level classes, we need to show them that there will be a tangible benefit once they reach college. This is a common sense bill that is in keeping with our efforts to keep the path of continuing education affordable for our youth. I would like to thank my Senate author, Senator Feyen (R-Fond Du Lac), for his partnership on this issue.” The bill will now head to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.
Source: Kitchens press release
Governor Scott Walker
Stepping toward the political center in a difficult election year, Gov. Walker proposed using $200 million in state and federal money to stabilize the state’s Obamacare market and hold down rising insurance premiums. While Republicans nationally talk about tax cuts, Walker has mixed in proposals on health care, the overhaul of a troubled youth prison and funding schools at levels proposed by a leading Democratic challenger. A fierce critic of Obamacare, Walker used his eighth “state of the state” speech Wednesday to propose that the state “step up and lead” by strengthening the Affordable Care Act. As part of the broad health package, Walker also wants the Trump administration to permanently authorize SeniorCare, the prescription drug program that the governor once sought to scale back. Walker’s shift is a mark of both the congressional failure to overhaul Obamacare and a tough political climate in which Democrats have won special elections in northwestern Wisconsin and around the country.
Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Congressman Mike Gallagher
Rep. Gallagher, along with his colleagues Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Eliot Engel (D-NY), introduced a House resolution condemning the United Nations General Assembly’s vote criticizing the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The resolution also affirms President Trump’s recent proclamation that recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and announces the relocation of the United States Embassy to Israel as soon as possible. After introducing the resolution, Gallagher released the following statement: “For more than 20 years, it has been U.S. law to recognize the self-evident reality that Jerusalem is, and always has been, the capital of Israel. This resolution makes clear that the United States stands proudly beside our ally and will not shy away from asserting our rights as a sovereign nation.”
Source: Gallagher press release
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Following reports that a 24-year-old with no relevant work experience served as Deputy Chief of Staff for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), Sen. Baldwin joined her colleagues in calling on President Trump to provide information on all political appointees serving in key drug policy positions, including those appointees’ relevant qualifications. The letter, which was led by Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), additionally called on the President to identify, nominate and confirm qualified leadership to ONDCP and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with an urgency that matches the current crisis.
“As troubled as we are by [Taylor] Weyeneth’s appointment, your delay in nominating qualified leaders for ONDCP and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is even more concerning. Both agencies have been without permanent, Senate-confirmed leadership since you took office – and you have not presented the Senate with qualified candidates for these positions,” the Senators wrote. “You have claimed that that the opioid epidemic is a top priority for your administration, but the personnel you have staffing these key agencies – and the lack of nominees to head them – is cause for deep concern. This crisis knows no bounds, and we are committed to working across party lines with anyone who is serious about addressing this devastating epidemic.”
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Sen. Johnson released the following statement about the 2018 March for Life held on Jan. 19: “It is inspiring to see so many American women, men, girls and boys of all ages, races, faiths and backgrounds, uniting in defense of the most fundamental right – the right to life. Our founders declared it an unalienable right endowed by our Creator – highlighting its primary importance to this incredible experiment in human freedom that we call America. The people walking in the March for Life today – a special word of appreciation for my fellow Wisconsinites among them – are defending our basic liberty. I sincerely thank them all.”
Source: Johnson press release
President Donald Trump
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicated to lawyers for President Donald Trump that his office will seek answers directly from the president on the circumstances around the firings of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey. For the last several weeks, the president’s lawyers have been researching and crafting arguments on how to respond to an expected formal request from Mueller to interview the president. Options the president’s legal team have discussed include providing written responses in the form of a questionnaire or some type of in-person interview, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Asked whether he would agree to a Mueller interview, Trump declined to commit to do so, saying the need for one appeared “unlikely.” At the White House Tuesday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, questioned whether Trump would be open to an interview should Mueller ask, said “..we’re going to be fully cooperative with the special counsel,” but added “…we’re also not going to comment on who may or may not, or could be interviewed at any point.” Trump’s legal team declined to comment.