Opinion Pieces

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  • Sensenbrenner: Reducing dependent care costs gives families a hand
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on February 6, 2017 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy and Jobs, Small Business

    On average, Wisconsin parents pay more than $9,000 each year for child care. That is nearly as much as one year of in-state tuition at the University of Wisconsin — Madison. As Wisconsin families know, our state ranks among the most expensive for child care. In fact, only nine states have greater child care costs in the United States. We must ease the heavy burden these high costs are placing on the shoulders of hard-working families. Wisconsin has more licensing requirements and regulations tha... Read more

  • No online taxation without representation
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 30, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary, Taxes

    Since our nation’s founding, the idea of no taxation without representation has been a guiding principle. State taxes are collected to pay for essential governmental services, such as infrastructure, education, sanitation and many more. Since these services are for the benefit of citizens, it is entirely within the jurisdiction of state and local governments to collect taxes to pay for them. The Commerce Clause of the Constitution ensures residents are taxed only by their own state by vesting th... Read more

  • Without a modernized Voting Rights Act, there’s no such thing as an honest election
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on November 2, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    On Tuesday, Americans will elect a president without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. The last time that happened they were deciding between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater — more than a half-century ago. In 2013, the Supreme Court declared that voter discrimination was no longer a problem and effectively struck down the only portion of the act designed to stop discrimination before it affects an election. The court let stand the provisions of the act that allow lawsuits after a... Read more

  • Protecting family-owned business protects our economy
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on October 12, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Economy and Jobs, Small Business

    In 1789 Benjamin Franklin wrote that “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” In 1916 Congress passed the estate tax, juxtaposing these two certainties. One hundred years later, the Internal Revenue Service is attempting to apply the full force of the estate tax to small businesses bequeathed to family members. Now taxes will be the death of many family-owned businesses. There are roughly 28 million small businesses currently in the United States; ninety percent... Read more

  • Criminal Justice Reform Bills Are On The Table In Congress. Now It Needs To Pass Them.
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on September 16, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    Over the course of the past three years, Congress has made criminal justice reform a priority. In 2013, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) created the Over-criminalization Task Force which examined the depth, seriousness, and complexities of the problems facing our federal criminal justice system. The findings that came from the task force allowed Members on the Committee to identify key problem areas and begin the reform process. Last year, momentum for criminal justice reform reache... Read more

  • Give The Public What It Pays For: Scientific Research
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on September 6, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Education

    When you pay for something, you expect to receive it. Whether a physical good or a service, there is the rightful expectation that you will receive something in exchange for your money. The same should be true for scientific research. Americans, however, are being forced to pay double for access. Technology and information sharing have put us on the brink of a new era of scientific breakthroughs. Citizen scientists can use unfettered access to federally-funded research to innovate and create new... Read more

  • Bring fairness to music licensing
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on June 9, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    Intellectual property rights are critical to our nation’s unsurpassed creativity and cultural development. I’ve long been an advocate for intellectual property rights because individuals deserve to be compensated for their work. However, the process in which these artists receive payment has become opaque. This is largely due to performing rights organizations (PROs), which operate in a convoluted fashion. The music licensing system in which artists are compensated must be clear and transparent ... Read more

  • The bitter fruits of Obamacare
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on May 12, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Health Care, Small Business

    Main Street is the epitome of the American dream. It's the culmination of years of painstakingly hard work, dogged determination, and the desire to succeed. These things have defined America since its conception. For more than 200 years, we have been a nation of doers, and nowhere is that more apparent than in our small business sector. The United States is home to roughly 28 million small businesses. They represent more than 99% of all employers and employ half of all private-sector workers. Th... Read more

  • Suppress Votes? I’d Rather Lose My Job
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 31, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    DURING my 10 years in the Wisconsin State Legislature, I spent significant time in Milwaukee’s majority black neighborhoods. I listened as constituents described obstructions to their constitutional right to vote. In those days I came to believe that we needed a strong Voting Rights Act. Our credibility as elected officials depends on the fairness of our elections. So after joining Congress, I supported the law’s reauthorization in 1982, and, as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, I led s... Read more

  • House action imperative in the fight against addiction
    Posted in Opinion Pieces on March 16, 2016 | Preview rr
    Tags: Judiciary

    Drug addiction is an ugly problem that has been pushed aside for far too long. As recently as late last year, authorities estimated that there are currently between 435,000 and 1.5 million heroin users in the United States. Many of these users became addicted through the use of prescription drugs, and an alarming number of them are younger than 25 years old. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heroin use more than doubled among young adults ages 18-25 in the past d... Read more