Sensenbrenner holding town hall Sunday
Residents interested in getting a sense of how national politics and government work can learn more about it from someone who confronts the issue on a daily basis.
House of Representatives member Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, will be in West Bend on Sunday, hosting a town hall beginning 7 p.m. at City Hall. Constituents can attend and listen to the congressman’s views on issues he and his colleagues face regularly.
“Getting back to the community regularly not only helps us understand what constituents need and what their problems are, but it also gives him the opportunity to see if they have issues with the federal government that his office can help them with,” said Nicole Tieman, Sensenbrenner’s communications director.
Tieman said Sensenbrenner visits areas throughout his district. typically on a quarterly cycle. During the events, he speaks with voters to get their opinions on a variety of subjects, from national security to fiscal and budget topics. Afterward he speaks with constituents individually to concerns regarding services received from federal agencies or any other problems they may have.
She touted his legislative initiatives regarding crime and healthcare, saying Sensenbrenner believes in advancing common sense solutions related to crime.
“He wants to make sure we are not throwing people in jail and forgetting about them," Tieman said. “Especially low-level, non-violent criminals. A lot of that can come down to dealing with programs that help them when they can back into their communities, reduce their recidivism rates, making sure they are not just going in and out of the system.”
Kathleen Kiernan, 5th Congressional District chairwoman of the Washington County Republican Party, said she believes jobs and the economy tend to be at the forefront of people’s minds when they attend the town halls, but immigration and terrorism are also significant issues.
“One of the important issues is the open-door immigration policy of the president where we don’t know who is entering the country,” Kiernan said. “We know terrorism exists and it exists in this country.”
One resident who attended numerous town halls is Frank Klein of the town of Wayne. He said he generally agrees with Sensenbrenner’s views and likes the job he has done thus far.
“He is consistently trying to hold down spending,” Klein said. “I know he votes every time he can for balanced budgets. I know he opposes wasteful spending. I know he favors lower taxes.”
Others disagree with is philosophy.
“When I went to a Sensenbrenner meeting, the first thing I said was that I want my taxes raised,” said town of West Bend resident Ken Johnson. “This is about 10 years ago and he was surprised when I said that. When I have a good investment year, I want you to tax 100 percent of my social security.”
For Johnson, Sensenbrenner represents corporate interests and wants to provide tax breaks for the wealthy and not the middle class.
“Sensenbrenner needs to work with his colleagues for sensible gun control reform,” said Waring Fincke of the Washington County Democratic Party. “He should stop trying to repeal Obamacare, and expand social security benefits by eliminating the cap on incomes subject to social security tax.”