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Washington D.C. - During the State of the Union address, the President highlighted the continued devastation caused by fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid that is coming into the country illegally at unprecedented levels.
Much of the illicit fentanyl here originates in China.

To hold accountable countries that turn a blind eye to this problem U.S. Representatives James Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05) and Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11) U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Doug Jones (D-AL) have introduced the bipartisan Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act. The legislation would impose new penalties on fentanyl-exporting nations like China that do not adhere to international narcotics control standards.

Under the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act, a nation exporting illicit fentanyl would be ineligible for U.S. taxpayer-subsidized foreign aid or Export-Import Bank loans if it fails to cooperate with U.S. narcotics control efforts. These conditions already apply to any nation identified by the Department of State as a major producer or trafficker of illicit heroin, marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine and its precursor chemicals.

Representative Sensenbrenner: “Americans are now more likely to die from opioid-related overdoses than from car accidents, and fentanyl is the drug most responsible for fatalities. Protecting our communities from illicit fentanyl and fentanyl analogues will require an all-hands-on-deck effort, including better cooperation from the foreign nations from which these deadly drugs are produced and trafficked into our country. This bipartisan legislation will hold these countries accountable for failing to cooperate adequately with our drug enforcement efforts. I’m grateful to Senators Toomey and Jones and Congressman Connolly for their leadership on this important bill.”

Representative Connolly: “Fentanyl is destroying families and driving overdose deaths across our country. Just last week, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized more than 254 pounds of fentanyl at an official port of entry, their largest confiscation in history. Our bipartisan bill will provide more tools in the growing global fight against this dangerous drug by encouraging countries to cooperate with U.S. drug enforcement efforts. I thank Senators Toomey and Jones, and Representative Sensenbrenner for their leadership on this issue.”

Senator Toomey: “Illicit fentanyl from outside our borders has already prematurely ended far too many American lives. As fentanyl can be fifty times as potent as heroin, even small, difficult to detect amounts can be lethal, which is why it’s important to stop this problem at its source. This bipartisan legislation is a commonsense update to existing law that will hold the nations producing illicit fentanyl accountable, whether it be China or wherever the threat emerges next.”

Senator Jones: "Fentanyl is destroying families and driving overdose deaths across our country. Just last week, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized more than 254 pounds of fentanyl at an official port of entry, their largest confiscation in history. Our bipartisan bill will provide more tools in the growing global fight against this dangerous drug by encouraging countries to cooperate with U.S. drug enforcement efforts. I thank Senators Toomey and Jones, and Representative Sensenbrenner for their leadership on this issue.”

Background:

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful and deadly synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent. It is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

What is the role of fentanyl in the current crisis in drug overdoses?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 29,418 Americans died from overdoses involving fentanyl in 2017, an increase of 840 percent in just five years.

What would the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act do to help?

The Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act would update longstanding U.S. policy to condition foreign aid to major illicit drug producing nations on support of U.S. narcotics control efforts. It would cut off certain foreign aid to major fentanyl producing countries that fail to adopt laws or regulation similar to U.S. standards on prosecution of individuals trafficking a controlled substance, emergency scheduling of new psychoactive substances, and registration of pill presses or tableting machines.

Does the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act block all foreign aid to major drug trafficking and transit countries?

No, disaster relief, food assistance, medical assistance, and refugee assistance are exempted. Furthermore, the President can maintain the flow of all aid to countries that cooperate with efforts to reduce fentanyl exports to our country and in cases of vital national interest.

Where does illicit fentanyl come from?

Based on U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seizure data, China is the principal source country of illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-related compounds in the United States, including both scheduled and non-scheduled substances.

What action has China recently taken on fentanyl?

At the request of the United States, China has controlled 25 fentanyl substances and two precursor chemicals. However, there are approximately 1,400 potential fentanyl analogues.

As part of recent negotiations with the Trump Administration, China indicated that they would take steps to schedule fentanyl as a class, effectively controlling all potential fentanyl analogues. However, it will take some time before we can be certain China will deliver on this commitment or effectively enforce it.

The United States has also indicted six Chinese nationals in connection with fentanyl manufacturing and distribution. All six charged Chinese nationals remain at large.

While the majority of illicit fentanyl currently comes from China, experts have also noted fentanyl production is relatively cheap and could shift to other nations with large, lightly regulated chemical industries. This is an important reason that the Blocking Deadly Fentanyl Imports Act applies to every country identified by the Administration as a major illicit fentanyl producing or trafficking nation, not just China.

Has the Foreign Assistance Act been amended before in response to a drug crisis?

Yes. In 2005, the House voted 423-2 to add methamphetamine and its precursors to the list (RCV 386, H.Amdt. 460 to H.R. 2601, July 19, 2005). The provision was then adopted as part of P.L. 109-177.

By: WisPolitics

Quotes of the week

I think it would just be tragic if we bugged out, left the Kurds who, by and large, have done the fighting and have defeated the ISIS caliphate, the territorial caliphate and ISIS, if we just abandoned them to the mercies, and I use that term loosely, of Russia and Iran and possibly Turkey. It would just be unconscionable. 
– U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson in a Fox News interview over the weekend. The Oshkosh Republican pushed back on President Trump’s plans to withdraw all American troops from Syria.

I’m sure there are many Republicans shaking in their boots about that happening with a future Democratic president.
– U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” where the Madison Dem predicted Republicans were getting nervous at the prospect of President Trump declaring a national emergency to begin construction on a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.  

President Trump’s vision for our nation’s future, which includes fighting for American workers and farmers by leveling the playing field on trade, strengthening our military, and securing our southern border, should make every American proud.
– U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, praising President Trump’s State of the Union address, saying “the American Dream is alive and once again achievable.”

I stand ready to work with all of my colleagues to find common ground, and will fight to break down the hyper-partisanship in Congress to make life better for Wisconsinites. 
– U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, saying he was “encouraged” by some of the proposals Trump put forward in his speech.

This week’s news

— Tammy Baldwin says she’s flattered by calls for her to run for president next year but says she’s sticking to her role as senator for now.

The Madison Dem’s comments came after a New York Magazine column this week suggested Baldwin is “a uniquely compelling” 2020 candidate, and may be the party’s most “electable.”

“It’s very flattering, but I’m focused on doing my job for Wisconsin and bringing the Democratic Convention to Milwaukee,” Baldwin said in a statement provided by her campaign.

This week’s column — written by Eric Levitz, the magazine’s Daily Intelligencer Associate Editor — pointed to Baldwin’s history as the first openly gay women elected to Congress, her support for single-payer health care and gun control legislation and her double-digit win over Republican opponent Leah Vukmir in November.

Levitz argued Baldwin was able to win Wisconsin “as an unabashed progressive because she gets her state.” He pointed to her “Go Pack Go Act,” which would have allowed Wisconsinites in all media markets watch Packers games.

A potential Baldwin presidential bid also has support from a newly created Twitter account: Tammy Tammy 2020. The account, which has more than 650 followers, is calling for a Baldwin-U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., ticket.

“Time for a Tammy Tammy double whammy! No matter who tops the ticket, a Tammy Tammy twosome will trounce Trump in 2020!” the account’s bio reads.

 

— Baldwin this week also signed onto three letters calling on executives at three major insulin makers to share information about rising costs.

“According to the World Health Organization, insulin is an essential medicine, meaning that access to this drug at a price that individuals and communities can afford is a basic requirement of a functioning health care system,” she and her Senate colleagues wrote. “Unfortunately, rapidly increasing insulin prices mean that for many patients, access to this essential medicine is threatened.”

— Committee and subcommittee assignments for the state’s House members have been largely finalized for the new session.

The group’s lone freshman, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, has been assigned to the Financial Services Committee, which oversees insurance, banking, securities and other industries. The Janesville Republican will also serve on three subcommittees: Housing, Community Development, and Insurance; Oversight and Investigations; and Diversity and Inclusion.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner — the dean of the state’s congressional delegation — will continue serving on the House Judiciary and House Foreign Affairs committees. The Menomonee Falls Republican is also the ranking member of the Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee.

His other subcommittee assignments are: Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security and Investigations; Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations; and Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and Environment.

Meanwhile, other reps’ assignments include:

*U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau: member of the House Financial Services; ranking member on Housing and Insurance Subcommittee.

*U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay: Membership on two committees, Armed Services and Transportation and Infrastructure, and five subcommittees: Intelligence, Emerging Threats & Capabilities; Seapower and Projection Forces; Highways and Transit; Aviation; and Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

*U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah: member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee and Education and Labor Committee; and member of four subcommittees: Government Operations; Economic and Consumer Policy; Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education; and Higher Education & Workforce Development.

*U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse: Ways and Means Committee member; and will also sit on the Health and Trade subcommittees.

*And U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee: Newly appointed member of the House Ways and Means Committee; also serves on three subcommittees: Oversight, Select Revenue Measures and Worker and Family Support.

*U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont: member of the House Appropriations Committee;  serves on the following subcommittees: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; and Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies.

 

— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman has introduced a bipartisan bill aiming to prevent future government shutdowns.

The bill, called the “End Government Shutdown Act,” would prevent government shutdowns by funding the government at the previous year’s levels if Congress fails to pass an appropriations bill.

Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, noted Wisconsin’s state government has had its own version of his bill in place since 1953; it has helped the state complete its budget on time and avoid shutdowns.

“For too long, politicians on both sides of the aisle have used government shutdowns and other budgetary gimmicks that put federal workers in harm’s way,” Grothman said. “My bill, the End Government Shutdowns Act, will eliminate federal shutdowns and force politicians to work together to produce a budget that works for everyone.”

The bill is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. David Loebsack, D-Iowa.

See more on the bill here.

 

— U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner is pushing a bill to lower the costs of prescription drugs.

The bipartisan bill, called the “Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples Act,” would bar pharmaceutical and biological companies from engaging in anti-competitive actions to block cheaper generic drugs, according to a release from the Menomonee Falls Republican.

“Americans of all ages are burdened by high prescription drug prices, and we must address this growing issue,” Sensenbrenner said. “I’m proud to sponsor this common-sense bill that will implement market-based solutions, making prescription drugs more affordable, saving taxpayers money, and providing much-needed relief to the American people.”

 

— U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore is bringing back her bill to block President Trump from using taxpayer dollars to pay for a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

Moore in a statement said she’s introducing the bill — the “No Taxpayer Funding for the Wall Act” — in response to Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday.

“My constituents don’t want a wasteful wall,” she said. “They want effective border security, to feel safe in their homes, and to know their hard-earned tax dollars are used appropriately, especially during tight fiscal times. President Trump’s wall does nothing to further this mission, nor secure the border.”

The Milwaukee Dem introduced a similar bill last session that didn’t go anywhere.

 

— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind is looking to increase access to retirement savings opportunities, under plans provided by employers in a new bill.

The bipartisan legislation, called the “Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act,” is co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa.

“As a nation, we have a problem when it comes to retirement savings. We need to take common sense steps to ensure our businesses are offering their employees flexible retirement plans that set our workers up for success in their golden years,” Kind said in a statement this week.

 

— Kind has brought on a new chief of staff.

That’s Hana Greenberg, former legislative director, who replaces former chief of staff Brad Pfaff. Pfaff left the La Crosse Dem’s office following his appointment as Tony Evers’ Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary.

Meanwhile, Alex Eveland is taking over as Kind’s legislative director, after working as his legislative assistant.

See the release.

By: The Waukesha Freeman

WAUKESHA — House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline, D-R.I., and ranking member Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., introduced legislation that would lower the cost of prescription drugs.

The bipartisan bill is known as Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act, according to a press release. The bill would promote competition in the market for drugs and biological products by facilitating the timely entry of lower-cost generic and biosimilar versions of those drugs and biological products. According to a press release, the bill would also prohibitpharmaceutical and biologic

companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct that blocks lowercost generic drugs from entering the market.

Sensenbrenner said the bill will implement marketbased solutions making prescription drugs more affordable and save taxpayer money in the process.

“Americans of all ages are burdened by high prescription drug prices, and we must address this growing issue,” Sensenbrenner said Cicilline added that people shouldn’t go broke because they cannot ford the cost of their prescription drugs.

“What pharmaceutical companies are doing is

unconscionable,” Cicilline said. “It needs to end.”

CREATES is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., Congressman Peter Welch, D-Vt., and Congressman David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. An identical version of the bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Patrick Leahy, DVt., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

By: Tony Bettack of WTMJ

Wisconsin representatives from both sides of the aisle are weighing in on the president's remarks during his State of the Union address.

Republican Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner said the last two years were filled with many successes, and that they must charge ahead.

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Sensenbrenner Press ?@JimPressOffice

"Just over a month ago, Congress and the President found a way to come together and pass historic, bipartisan criminal justice reform—the culmination of an effort I was proud to lead for over a decade.

avatar
Sensenbrenner Press ?@JimPressOffice

Together, we must build upon that success and choose to push forward through partisan gridlock, reject unprincipled resistance, and restore civility and cooperation. 2/

See Sensenbrenner Press's other Tweets

Republican Congressman Sean Duffy said the president's vision should make every American proud.

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Sean Duffy ?@RepSeanDuffy

My statement on @realDonaldTrump's #SOTU

29 people are talking about this

Both representatives applauded the president's remarks on border security.

 

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Sensenbrenner Press ?@JimPressOffice

Rep. Sensenbrenner on #SOTU: “It’s imperative that Congress provide the much needed resources to secure our borders, cut off the flow of drugs and illegal immigration, and ensure the safety of the American people. 1/

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Sensenbrenner Press ?@JimPressOffice

Experts agree that physical barriers, coupled with other technology-supported solutions, work and are needed. 2/

See Sensenbrenner Press's other Tweets

Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan and Rep. Gwen Moore weren't buying the president's plea for border wall funding. 

avatar
Rep. Mark Pocan ?@repmarkpocan

No Member of Congress is pushing for open borders.

That is a fact. #SOTU

30 people are talking about this

Overall, the Democratic representatives were not impressed with the president's vision for the country.

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Rep. Mark Pocan ?@repmarkpocan

"Great nations do not fight endless wars."

Let's get out of Yemen. Congress must reassert its constitutional duty on matters of war and peace and get the U.S. out of this senseless conflict. #SOTU

25 people are talking about this

Washington, D.C. – Hours before President Trump delivers his second State of the Union Address, House Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and Ranking Member Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) introduced legislation to prohibit pharmaceutical and biologic companies from engaging in anti-competitive conduct that blocks lower-cost generic drugs from entering the market.

The Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act is co-sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member Doug Collins (GA-09), Congressman Peter Welch (VT-AL), and Congressman David B. McKinley (WV-01).  An identical version of the bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Leahy (D-Vt.), Grassley (R-Iowa), Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lee (R-Utah). 
 
Sensenbrenner“Americans of all ages are burdened by high prescription drug prices, and we must address this growing issue. I’m proud to sponsor this common-sense bill that will implement market-based solutions, making prescription drugs more affordable, saving taxpayers money, and providing much-needed relief to the American people. I thank Chairman Cicilline as well as Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins for working with me on this bipartisan effort.”

Cicilline: “No one should go broke because they can’t afford the cost of their prescription drugs. What pharmaceutical companies are doing is unconscionable. It needs to end. This bipartisan bill will make it easier for generic drugs to enter the market. It will increase competition and help bring down prescription drug costs across the board. I’m pleased to be introducing it with Ranking Member Sensenbrenner today. I look forward to working with him as we pass this bill into law.”
 
Nadler: “The outrageous cost of prescription drugs is a moral crisis. I am very proud to join Subcommittee Chairman Cicilline, Ranking Member Collins, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Sensenbrenner to introduce this important measure. The CREATES Act will spur new competition where there is none today, saving working Americans billions of dollars. Most importantly, enacting this bill will save lives as families with competitive options for blockbuster drugs won’t have to choose between their health and financial security.”

Collins: “The price of pharmaceuticals has a huge impact on families across the United States. This legislation is a great starting point from which we can work to help lower drug prices and increase access to generic options. I thank Reps. Cicilline and Sensenbrenner for their leadership in introducing this bill and look forward to collaborating on it going forward.”

Welch: “Skyrocketing prescription drug prices are crushing hard working Americans. This commonsense legislation will bring down costs by reigning in the predatory efforts of pharmaceutical companies to delay access to cost-effective generic alternatives to brand name drugs. I look forward to getting this legislation passed so we can provide much-needed relief to consumers and save taxpayers millions of dollars.”

McKinley: “The high cost of prescription drugs requires many Americans to make difficult financial decisions for themselves and their families. This bipartisan bill will help provide patient access to lifesaving medications at affordable prices. Families should never have to decide between affording their medications and grocery shopping. This legislation will prevent pharmaceutical companies from blocking affordable alternatives from entering the market and will help keep money in Americans’ pockets.” 

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the CREATES Act will result in a $3.9 billion net decrease in the federal deficit. Savings to consumers and private insurers likely would be far greater.

The CREATES Act is strongly supported by the Association for Accessible Medicines (AAM), consumer groups including AARP, Consumers Union, and Public Citizen; the American College of Physicians; the American Hospital Association; the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing; and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

By: WSAU

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A bipartisan group of U.S. senators re-introduced a bill on Tuesday aimed at helping generic drug companies bring out a cheaper version of pharmaceuticals.

Makers of branded drugs have long been accused of refusing to provide samples of drugs on a government list of restricted medicines. Without the samples, generic competitors cannot prove their medicines are as safe and effective as the more expensive versions.

To combat this, Republican Senators Chuck Grassley and Mike Lee and Democrat Amy Klobuchar and some two dozen other senators from both sides of the aisle introduced a bill that spells out a legal pathway for generic companies to press for the samples.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat, and Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican, and others introduced an identical measure.

The bill is one of several aimed at bringing down, or at least containing, the high and rising price of many medicines. It was considered in the previous Congress but failed to become law.

Washington, D.C.Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) offered the following statement after President Trump delivered his second State of the Union address:

“Just over a month ago, Congress and the President found a way to come together and pass historic, bipartisan criminal justice reform—the culmination of an effort I was proud to lead for over a decade. Together, we must build upon that success and choose to push forward through partisan gridlock, reject unprincipled resistance, and restore civility and cooperation. The last two years were filled with many successes for the American people, and we must charge ahead to ensure security, restore liberty, and increase opportunity for all. “

Brookfield, WI—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) announced the nomination of 34 candidates from Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District for admission to the U.S. service academies.

Rep. Sensenbrenner: “I am honored to nominate these outstanding young men and women to our nation’s service academies. They have proven themselves to be exceptionally-gifted students and well-respected members of our community, and I am confident that they will become fine leaders in our military. I also thank the volunteers who serve on my Academy Selection Committee for helping identify the most qualified candidates in a very competitive field of applicants.”

Nominees are designated as “principal” or “alternate.” Principal nominees who meet academic, physical, and medical standards set by each academy are guaranteed an appointment to that academy. Alternate nominees compete for available slots should any principal nominees choose not to accept or fail to qualify for their appointment. Additionally, alternate nominees are part of a pool of applicants from which the academies select the incoming class.

The United States Merchant Marine Academy does not differentiate between principal and competing alternate nominations.

This year, Congressman Sensenbrenner nominated 34 students, including three principal nominees. They are as follows:

Principal Nominees:

Grace Ejnik of Whitewater has been named a principal nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Grace, daughter of John Ejnik and Sara Norton, attends Whitewater High School. 

Peter Ratnayake of Pewaukee has been named a principal nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Peter, son of Yannick and Maureen Ratnayake, attends Marquette University High School. 

Jessica Steger of Iron Ridge has been named a principal nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Jessica, daughter of Steve Steger and Kristine Konitzer, attends Marion Military Institute. 

Competing Alternate Nominees and United States Merchant Marine Academy Nominees:


Claire Albrecht of Brookfield has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Claire, daughter of Mark and Mary Albrecht, attends Wisconsin Lutheran High School.

Brooke Barreda of Brookfield has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Brooke, daughter of Aaron Barreda and Jennifer Harmeling, attends Brookfield Central High School.

August Beyer of Slinger has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. August, son of Paul and Julie Beyer, attends Marquette University.

Cassidy Brodeske of Watertown has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Cassidy, daughter of Kevin and Beth Brodeske, attends Watertown High School. 

Kevin Carrig of Elm Grove has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Kevin, son of James and Jane Carrig, attends Marquette University High School.

Benjamin Didier of Wauwatosa has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY and a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Benjamin, son of John and Jill Didier, attends Marquette University High School.

Jordan Edwards of Germantown has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Jordan, son of Mark and Margaret Edwards, attends Germantown High School.

Giovanni Gambatese of Pewaukee has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Giovanni, son of Timothy and Tracey Gambatese, attends Arrowhead High School. 

Anthony Giampietro of Elm Grove has been named a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Anthony, son of Gordon P. and Mia C. Giampietro, attends Marquette University High School. 

Austin Godwin of Germantown has been named a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Austin, son of Tom Godwin and Ingrid Kish, attends Germantown High School.

Tyler Guetzke of Hartland has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Tyler, son of Michael and Rebecca Guetzke, attends Arrowhead High School. 

Ryan Hayden of Watertown has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Ryan, son of Seth and Amy Hayden, attends the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School. 

Jaden Henneman of Whitewater
has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Jaden, daughter of John Pfinder and Stacey Henneman, attends Whitewater High School. 

Jonah Hestetune of Menomonee Falls has been named a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Jonah, son of Marlon Hestetune and Jeanette Prince-Hestetune, attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Jacob Kohlmeier of Wauwatosa has been named a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Jacob, son of James and Laura Kohlmeier, attends Milwaukee Lutheran High School. 

Ryan Kops of Menomonee Falls has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY and a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Ryan, son of Jeffery and Tammy Kops, currently attends Sussex-Hamilton High School.

Dominic Kowalik of Brookfield has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Dominic, son of Robert and Colette Kowalik, currently attends Marquette University High School. 

Owen Krueger of Brookfield
has been named a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Owen, son of Jason and Emily Kreuger, attends Brookfield East High School. 

Robert Meier of Sussex has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Robert, son of Randy A. and Christine S. Meier, attends Arrowhead Union High School. 

Brian Melching of Greenfield has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. Brian, son of Charles Melching and Qiong Yang, attends Martin Luther High School. 

Joseph Murphy of Hartland has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Joseph, son of John and Mary Hirthe Murphy, attends Trinity Academy. 

Troy Nachtigal of Fort Atkinson has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Troy, son of Terry and Julie Nachtigal, attends the United States Military Academy Preparatory School. 

Michael Naze of Oconomowoc has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Michael, son of Scott and Richelle Naze, attends the United States Naval Academy Preparatory School. 

Adam Pelzman of Jackson has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Acadmey. Pelzman, son of John and Victoria Pelzman, attends the United States Air Force Academy Preparatory School.

Savannah Peterson of Waukesha has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Savannah, daughter of Steven and Marites Peterson, attends Divine Savior Holy Angels High School. 

Jackson Raad of West Bend has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Jackson, son of Nader and Brenda Raad, attends West Bend West High School. 

John Reardon of Oconomowoc has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. John, son of Kevin and Christine Reardon, attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

Evan Sievers of Slinger
has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO and a nominee to the United States Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. Evan, son of Daren and Michelle Sievers, attends Slinger High School. 

Everett Vallier of Waukesha has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY. Everett, son of Joel and Whitney Vallier, attends Waukesha North High School. 

Emily Willis of Pewaukee has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Emily, daughter of James and Susanne Willis, attends Pewaukee High School. 

Margaret Wright of Waukesha
has been named an alternate nominee to the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. Margaret, daughter of John and Jean Wright, attends Catholic Memorial High School.  

Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI-05) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reintroduced companion versions of the Disability Integration Act to help ensure the full integration of Americans with disabilities into communities across the nation. Advocacy groups, including the Center for Disability Rights, ADAPT, and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), joined lawmakers for a press conference to highlight its importance to the disability community.
 
Rep. Sensenbrenner offered the following statement: 

“I apologize that I cannot be with you today, as I am currently recovering from hip surgery. I want to pass along my thanks for all of the important work that the disability advocates have done to garner support for the Disability Integration Act. I am proud to again sponsor the House version of this strong, bipartisan bill. It will help ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal rights and opportunities. 
 
The progress we have made since President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act is remarkable. In particular, I am proud of my wife, Cheryl, who has worked tirelessly on behalf of the disability community, and I was honored to stand with her behind President George W. Bush as he signed the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act in 2008. Still, there is much work to be done to strengthen laws to protect individuals with disabilities. I again thank the thousands of advocates who came to Washington D.C. this week, especially those from my home state of Wisconsin. You inspire us to continue pushing on, and I look forward to working together to advance our efforts.”

Background
 
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 made assurances that people with disabilities be allowed to live independently, rather than being forced into an institution. Additionally, in 1999, the Supreme Court held in Olmstead v. L.S., that the unjustified segregation of people with disabilities is unlawful discrimination. Despite the Olmstead ruling, few States have come into full compliance with Olmstead or the ADA, and most are not providing adequate accommodations for people with disabilities to live independently. 
 
The Disability Integration Act would, in effect, add teeth to the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, which first set out the principle that these services aren’t just benefits, but that they are the practical embodiment of the right to independence for people with significant disabilities. 

By: Josh Siegel of the Washington Examiner

A centrist and a skeptic of man-made global warming are jockeying for the top Republican spot on a new climate change committee that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., created.

Reps. Francis Rooney of Florida, a climate change hawk, and Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, a longtime skeptic, are openly campaigning to be ranking member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which Democrats created to elevate the issue ahead of the 2020 election.

The appointment will be made by House GOP leadership, which now faces a choice between trying to shape Democratic-led climate policy and trying to stop it.

"It might be interpreted as a less than positive thing if someone who is made ranking member doesn't really care about climate change," Rooney told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

Rooney added that he has told House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., that he wants to serve on the climate committee, but he is doubtful he will be chosen because "I vote more like a Democrat than [a Republican] as far as being pro-environment."

Sensenbrenner, a veteran lawmaker in his 21st term whom Rooney praised, would have the major advantage of seniority in vying for the selection. He would undoubtedly take a more adversarial approach to the Democrat-controlled committee.

He was ranking member of a previous iteration of the climate committee created by House Democrats in 2007 and later disbanded by Republicans after they took control of the chamber in January 2011.

"People might call me a climate change denier — my position on climate change is yes, I do believe there is human impact on climate change, but there is no consensus whatsoever on how much impact there is," Sensenbrenner told the Washington Examiner.

He said he wants to bring a “free market” perspective to the committee, emphasizing innovation and opposing government policies such as carbon pricing that climate experts favor to avoid the worst consequences of global warming.

“I am interested in selling the American people that market-based solutions work rather than all kinds of bureaucratic taxes or regulations that haven't worked in Europe, wouldn't work here, and would be extremely unpopular with voters,” Sensenbrenner said in an interview. “We won’t win the House back if the Republican position is Green Revolution-light.”

Republican advocates for government policy to combat climate change are pushing for GOP leaders to select Rooney, a Republican first elected in 2016 whose southwest Florida district is vulnerable to sea level rise.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Republicans to reset on climate change and step forward with free enterprise solutions and engage constructively,” Bob Inglis, a former six-term congressman from South Carolina, and founder of republicEn.org, told the Washington Examiner. “We are going to enter the competition of ideas. We are going to stop picking up the game ball and running into the parking lot with it."

Rooney is a leader of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus who has co-sponsored multiple carbon tax bills. He is likely soon to be named co-chairman of that caucus, which is not a committee but an informal group of Democratic and Republican House lawmakers, in equal numbers, who commit to supporting policies to combat climate change.

“We hope to see Republicans who are already leading on climate issues, such as those backing carbon pricing legislation or others who are in the Climate Solutions Caucus, chosen to join the committee,” Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens Climate Lobby, told the Washington Examiner.

Rooney said he would aim to work cooperatively with Democrats on the committee, who face pressures of their own from freshman progressives, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who want to build momentum for a “Green New Deal” that would transition the U.S. economy to 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years.

A fossil fuel-free future within a decade is "a little bit unrealistic," Rooney said. But he said he would seek "constructive engagement" with Democrats on efforts such as pushing for a carbon "tax and dividend" arrangement that would return the proceeds of carbon taxes to American households to compensate for higher energy prices.

"A carbon tax is the least intrusive, most free-market means to address climate change and move the market to cleaner fuels," Rooney said.

Sensenbrenner said he opposes any form of carbon pricing because it would "disproportionately hurt poor people."

In reviving the committee, Democratic leaders hope "to investigate, study, make findings, and develop recommendations on policies, strategies, and innovations to achieve substantial and permanent reductions in pollution and other activities that contribute to the climate crisis."

But the panel will have to include Republicans.

According to the House rules package establishing the committee, McCarthy, the minority leader, is responsible for recommending six of the 15 members, including a ranking member. He could choose someone other than Sensenbrenner and Rooney for the top Republican spot, though those two are most actively gunning for the role.

Pelosi has already selected a centrist Democrat, Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, to lead the committee and has put limitations on its power, moves that bothered freshman progressives such as Ocasio-Cortez.

The new climate change committee has a more urgent name than the old one: the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

But like the previous iteration, called the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, the new panel can only make policy recommendations, not write bills.

The committee also does not ban membership of lawmakers who receive donations from fossil fuel interests, and it won’t have subpoena power — shortcomings that House progressives have said make the panel “toothless."

Climate hawks, however, say the committee was valuable the last go-around, conducting hearings on the threat of climate change, conducting oversight of the George W. Bush administration’s energy policies, and offering solutions. That work paved the way for the 2009 cap-and-trade bill that passed the House but died in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

The new committee could operate similarly, although climate advocates see the need for action as more urgent now, with the passage of time and U.S. carbon emissions rising in 2018 after years of declines.

"It's important we show that at least some Republicans do feel the climate is changing, recognize we are at risk of sea level rise, and are willing to work with whoever it takes to deal with it," Rooney said.