I have always placed a high priority on being accessible and accountable to my constituents, which is why I hold approximately 100 in-person town hall meetings annually. My staff in Brookfield and Washington, D.C. field many calls each day, and every constituent who would like an individual response to specific questions submitted by phone, email, or standard mail receives one in a timely manner.

Social media is also an important forum for constituents to speak their minds and let me know how they feel about issues and specific legislative efforts, which is why last month, I wrote a column that specifically addressed the questions I receive through my social media accounts. Due to the positive response I received, I’d like to follow that column up with another to address more questions I frequently receive on Facebook and Twitter.

The conversations that occur on my social media accounts are monitored each day and comments and questions are passed along to me. Although I don’t respond directly on social media, it’s important for my constituents to know that I see their posts.

Thank you to every constituent who takes the time to contact my office and/or speak to me directly at any of my many town hall meetings. I look forward to continued discussions on important legislation and issues that affect the people of our communities and our nation.

“Representative, what do you have against protecting Americans or the animals that are used in products? If one state passes a regulation, it’s for a specific reason – to protect its citizens or animals. Why aren’t you behind protecting your constituents and resources? You want national-only policies… that doesn’t sound like a conservative policy and takes away States rights.”

Posted on Facebook June 13, 2017

I don’t believe residents and businesses of one state should be subject to the taxes and regulations of another – this is a deeply-rooted Constitutional principle. When the actions of one state infringes on the rights of the other 49, the overreach must be curtailed in accordance with the Constitution, which gives Congress the authority to regulate interstate commerce.

I recently introduced the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017 which would preserve each state’s authority to regulate and tax its own citizens and businesses, and ensure that only the federal government can dictate national policies. It takes no position on the merits of any individual regulation, but instead targets the manner of their implementation because individual states should not influence national policy.

 

“.@JimPressOffice it’s time to begin impeachment proceedings. Trump is certifiably insane!! #ImpeachTrump #ComeyHearing”

Posted on Twitter June 9, 2017

Earlier this month, former FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress and stated three separate times that President Donald Trump was not the subject of any FBI investigation.

There is no proof of wrongdoing on the part of the President, which means discussions of impeachment are premature, imprudent, and counterproductive. In fact, even Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has warned her Democratic colleagues not to push impeachment, saying during a CNN town hall:

“What are the facts that you would make a case on? What are the rules that he may have violated? If you don’t have that case you are just participating in more hearsay.”

 

“When you put America before THE EARTH, you’re damning the future of America.”

Posted on Facebook June 4, 2017

President Obama bypassed the Constitution and entered the United States into a losing agreement when he committed the country to the Paris Climate Accord. Knowing he could not get Senate approval for a treaty, Obama sidelined Congress and called the deal an “executive agreement."

The agreement, which does not hold all nations to the same standards, forces the U.S. to reduce emissions immediately while allowing global polluters, such as China and India, to expand their carbon footprints through the 2020s. This is not only bad for the environment, but it puts the U.S. at a severe economic disadvantage.

Further, it hurts Wisconsin. Coal provides more than half of our state’s net electricity generation, and our manufacturers already pay more for electricity than most of our neighboring states. This means higher electricity costs to Wisconsin’s consumers, a less competitive state, and stunted economic growth. 

I applaud President Trump for putting America first and leaving this unfair climate agreement. We all want cleaner air and water, but we can achieve these goals without handicapping the country and outsourcing jobs to foreign countries

 

“Another day where you refuse to address your vote to strip 24 million Americans of their health coverage.”

Posted on Facebook May 22, 2017

I certainly understand the concerns regarding a recent analysis which indicated that if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) were to be implemented in its current form, 23 million Americans could lose their health insurance coverage.

While I appreciate the in-depth analysis that CBO presents to Congress on a wide range of legislation, I am skeptical of CBO's ability to properly score health care-related legislation. The CBO's track record when it comes to health policy is checkered at best. 

When Obamacare was signed into law, CBO projected that 22 million people would be enrolled in the health care exchanges by the year 2016. However, less than 13 million had enrolled in a state or federal exchange plan by the end of the 2016 open enrollment period.

Additionally, in 2014, CBO estimated that the cost per Medicaid enrollee would be approximately $4,200 in 2015. However, when the Obama administration released the 2015 Medicaid actuarial report, the cost per enrollee was $6,366 on average. That is nearly 50% higher than CBO had anticipated.

And finally, the CBO failed to take into account the 3-step process that Congressional Republicans are taking in order to reform our nation’s health care system to truly address the causes of increasing health care costs.

By implementing all three phases of the reforms, health care costs will finally begin to decrease and insurance premiums will follow suit, thus making health care more affordable for all Americans.

Discrepancies like these make me take pause prior to accepting CBO's analysis as accurate. CBO analyzed the AHCA as if it had already been signed into law, and no further actions were taken.

 

“Really, police officers? What is all that about?”

Posted on Facebook May 22, 2017

My district staff works closely with the United States Capitol Police to determine what measures should be taken to ensure the safety of everyone at my town hall meetings. They advise my staff to work with local law enforcement, and they decide what the appropriate plan is based on multiple factors, such as attendance and location.

My office does not dictate to local law enforcement how they should handle my town hall meetings, meaning that the police response at my meetings varies depending on location.

Prior to the shooting of former Representative Gabby Giffords, a simple “heads up” was often sufficient, but after that terrible incident, and more recently the shooting of Majority Whip Steve Scalise and others at a baseball practice in Virginia, as well as the large increase in attendance and heated political rhetoric, coordination with the Capitol Police has become more detailed.

 

“Every vote you have done is on party lines (except the budget vote.) Where is the bipartisanship you are talking about?”

Posted on Facebook May 22, 2017

I have a long record of working across the aisle and championing bipartisan legislation like criminal justice reform, USA FREEDOM, reforming surveillance laws and increasing privacy protections, and the Voting Rights Act – to ensure every American has the right to vote.

In fact, according to a Lugar Center and Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, I rank 65 out of 435 on their list of bipartisan Members of Congress.

I believe that good policy requires input from both sides of the aisle, and continuing open discussions on the problems we face will enable us as a nation to find real solutions. The process is never easy but if we respect one another, I’m confident that we can find ourselves in a better place than where we began.

 

“How about working on healthcare across party lines.”

Posted on Facebook May 21, 2017

I wish my Democratic colleagues would work with me and fellow Republican legislators to pass significant health care reform to truly provide quality, affordable care to all Americans. Republicans have given them every opportunity to provide input and constructive criticism; however Democrats have not wanted to participate.

Despite this, Republicans have listened to their constituents regarding health care, and have included some of the most popular aspects of Obamacare in the new bill, including allowing kids up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ insurance, and ensuring individuals with preexisting conditions are not denied care.

Unfortunately, our nation’s health care situation is too dire to kick the can down the road. Obamacare is failing. Every day, more insurance companies are dropping out of the Obamacare exchanges, leaving many Americans without access to insurance coverage.

The House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act earlier this year, and now it is before the Senate, where a majority of Republicans will also encourage Democratic participation as they review the bill.