Governor Scott Walker
Gov. Walker issued the following statement reiterating his opposition to any increase to the state’s gas tax or vehicle registration fee:
“When I ran for reelection in 2014, I made it clear I would not support increases to the gas tax or vehicle registration fee without corresponding decreases in other state taxes. I am going to keep my promise to the people. In our upcoming budget proposal, we will put forward a plan that focuses on the safety and maintenance of Wisconsin’s roads and bridges. Specifically, the plan will provide the following:
- More transportation funding for all levels of local government.
- The most funding in state history for our State Highway Rehabilitation Program.
- A commitment to traffic safety and road maintenance, with significant increases in funding for pavement preservation, new signs, lighting, etc.
- The lowest level of borrowing since the 2001-2003 state budget.
- A commitment to long-term major projects.
“Our plan does all of this without raising taxes or fees. If the Assembly leadership’s plan is to raise taxes it would come as a surprise to November voters. They should make their plan public so the people understand exactly how much it would cost them.
“Wisconsin Republicans were elected in 2010 to lower taxes and rein in an out-of-control government. We cannot now, after six years in charge, turn our backs on the people who placed their trust in us to make good on that promise.”
Walker issued his statement after Sen. Chris Kapenga’s office released a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo outlining a scenario in which the state’s gas tax would need to increase by 91 percent, or 28.1 cents per gallon, to pay for all of Wisconsin’s transportation “wants.”
Source: Walker press release
Representative Reid Ribble
In his interview with Time magazine, President-elect Donald Trump not only sounded like President Barack Obama in 2009 when he suggested an economic stimulus, but he even used Obama’s line that “sometimes you have to prime the pump.” Ribble, a Transportation Committee member who’s leaving after six years in the House, called Trump’s “prime the pump” comments “absolutely ridiculous.” “This is the Keynesian philosophy,” he said. “This is very much like Barack Obama in his first year. You can’t get to the economic [growth] models that he’s predicting. Even with the tax reform package they’re discussing. You’re not going to get there especially with his anti-trade rhetoric.” Ribble predicted there’s “no chance” that Trump’s transportation program passes the House, saying, “There’s this dichotomy around here between Trump’s rhetoric and what these guys are going to be willing to do.”
Senator Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin is calling on House Leadership to act on legislation to delist the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List before they adjourn the congressional session for the year. Currently, the House is on track to adjourn for the year without acting to delist the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List. In a letter to Congressional Leadership, Baldwin urges them to finish this important work and schedule time to act on legislation that would delist the Western Great Lakes population of the gray wolf from the Endangered Species List and pass management of the wolf back to the State of Wisconsin. She supported a bipartisan effort on delisting the gray wolf when she was in the House of Representatives in 2011.
Source: Baldwin press release
Senator Ron Johnson
Legislation to expand the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), led by Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), the chairman and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, was approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The resolution offers congressional support for the growth of the defensive alliance, reiterates the U.S. commitment to NATO and provides the president with the conditions necessary for the U.S. to formally approve Montenegro’s accession to NATO. Johnson said, “I commend my colleagues on the Foreign Relations Committee for joining me in supporting Montenegro’s bid to join NATO and for reaffirming the United States’ commitment to our partners in Europe. Strengthening and expanding NATO is critical at a time when terrorism and Russian aggression continue to threaten our European allies. I hope that this important resolution will pass the Senate before the end of this Congress.”
Source: Johnson press release
President Barack Obama
President Obama has been determining what he’ll work on once he leaves the White House and now he has a place to do it. Obama has agreed to lease office space in the headquarters building of the World Wildlife Fund, at 1250 24th St. NW, in Foggy Bottom, according to two officials familiar with the agreement. WWF, a nonprofit organization focused on environmental conservation, owns the building and leases excess space to other organizations. The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced publicly. “As a former president, President Obama will have office space in Washington, D.C., when he leaves office,” said Amy Brundage, an Obama spokeswoman. She declined to confirm or identify the office’s location.
Source: Washington Post