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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Taxpayers Union (NTU) honored Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner with its “Taxpayers’ Friend Award” for his strong voting record on supporting lower taxes, limited government, and economic freedom.

Sensenbrenner has received this award every year since he came to Congress and is one of only 15 total House Members to receive it for their outstanding voting record during the 2016 congressional session.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “I have worked my entire career to help lower taxes and reduce onerous government regulations on businesses because ensuring our country has a thriving economic environment in which bureaucratic overreaches are put in check is critical to our success here in Wisconsin and throughout the nation.

“I want to thank the National Taxpayers Union for this recognition and for their ongoing work to hold Members of Congress accountable. I also want to assure my constituents that I will continue to work on behalf of comprehensive tax reform and initiatives that will promote economic freedom and growth.”

NTU has recognized Members of Congress since 1979 who annually earn high voting scores to qualify them for the “Taxpayers’ Friend Award.” See NTU’s full 2016 congressional scorecard and further analysis here.

Many Americans have gotten sick and tired of the partisanship and dysfunction they see in government. They feel that rather than working together to find real solutions to issues facing hard-working Americans, elected officials seize every opportunity to disparage their political counterparts. Instead of being accountable to their constituents, they stay in Washington to attend high-profile parties and events and are consumed by D.C. squabbles.

While that might be accurate for some members of Congress, some of us still work hard to take the responsibility of public service seriously. Bipartisanship and accountability not only still exist in Congress, but are the keys to political and legislative success.

Despite today’s hyper-partisan political climate, we have made cooperation a priority. Earlier this year, The Lugar Center, in cooperation with Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy, released its annual report on bipartisan Members of Congress. We ranked 19th and 65th out of 435 Members in the 114th Congress; 18th and 59th in the 113th Congress.

Between the two of us, we have sponsored more than 20 pieces of bipartisan legislation so far this year, including the AFFIRM Act and the National Scenic Trails Parity Act, which we sponsored together. We’ve also held close to 100 town hall meetings to date in 2017 and can be found in our districts nearly every day we’re not voting in Washington.

Wisconsin is a unique place. Our people are hardworking, pragmatic and kind. Our state is neither politically blue nor red — it is purple with a long history of formative leaders representing both parties. Wisconsin is a political anomaly. It makes sense, then, that its leaders should have a common-sense, bipartisan approach to problem-solving. Together, residents of the Badger State have created a culture of respect and appreciation for one another. That’s the tradition that we — as Wisconsin Representatives — strive every day to honor and continue.

The people of Wisconsin are our No. 1 priority and the driving force behind our work in Congress. And although we each hold different ideological beliefs, we understand that to pass legislation that will solve the problems facing our constituents — and all Americans — we must find ways to bridge the political divide and compromise. 

Disagreements over legislation, implementation and fundamental beliefs will never change. But despite such differences, it is possible to find common ground, because at the heart of every issue is the desire to find solutions that make life better for every American.

We believe that good policy requires input from all sides, and continuing open discussions on the problems we face will enable us as a nation to find real solutions. The process is never easy — sometimes it’s contentious — but if we listen and respect one another, we’re confident that at the end of the day, we will find ourselves in a better place than where we began.

That’s what we’re working toward every day, and it’s what we hope our colleagues —both in the Wisconsin delegation and in the Congress as a whole — will work toward as well. Bipartisanship isn’t dead, and if we embrace it with clear eyes and full hearts, there’s no limit to what we can achieve.

Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican, represents Wisconsin's fifth district in Congress. Ron Kind, a Democrat, represents the state's third district.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressmen Jim Sensenbrenner submitted the following statement to the congressional record in recognition of Dr. Kenneth K. Lee, a combat-injured Operation Iraqi Freedom and Army veteran. Lee, a native of Brookfield, WI, was named the 2017 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year by the Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Photo courtesy of DAV (Disabled American Veterans)

Full text provided below:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor Dr. Kenneth K. Lee, a combat-injured Operation Iraqi Freedom and Army veteran, who has been named by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) as its 2017 Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year.

Dr. Lee, who deployed as the commander of the Army's Company B, 118th Area Support Medical Battalion, was injured in November 2004 by a suicide car bomber in Iraq. The explosion resulted in an open head traumatic brain injury and severe shrapnel wounds to his legs, leading to his evacuation back to the states, where he would later be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

While recovering from his injuries, Dr. Lee, a rehabilitation specialist, saw how long and difficult recovery could be, often leaving lasting changes. Dr. Lee, who resides in Brookfield, Wisconsin, is a volunteer physician at the National Disabled Veterans Winter Sports Clinic, which the Department of Veterans Affairs and DAV co-host, so he was no stranger to using adaptive sports as therapy.

Through his own recovery, Dr. Lee propelled himself into the world of adaptive sports to help him deal with the psychological and physiological effects that can often times cause an individual to hit bottom.

Within a year of Dr. Lee's retirement in 2013, he formed the Milwaukee Wheelchair Lacrosse team and is now the president of the Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association, which runs numerous adaptive sports programs.

On July 29, 2017, DAV National Commander David W. Riley presented Dr. Lee with the Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year award at the organization's 96th National Convention. In his statement, Riley praised Dr. Lee as a shining example of everything that is good about our nation and its veterans. He noted that the compassion Dr. Lee shows for other veterans and his work to help them find success is truly the hallmark of the award, and DAV is very proud of what he's doing for this community. Given the importance and therapeutic effectiveness of adaptive sports, it is vital to have experienced leaders like Dr. Lee involved and carving out a path forward.

Despite his injuries and the constant pain in his lower extremities, Dr. Lee speaks with gratitude about his time in the Army. He will tell you that he got a lot more from the Guard than he put into it, and that he joined the military with his eyes wide open and has no regrets.

Dr. Lee and his wife Kate currently live in Brookfield with their two children. In 2014, his daughter Leah earned a $10,000 scholarship by volunteering for the DAV at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center. On the same day that Dr. Lee was honored as DAV's Outstanding Disabled Veteran of the Year, his son Jonathan earned the charity's largest scholarship of $20,000, and was honored the same morning. They both hope ultimately to serve veterans as physicians through the VA.

You can view the statement online here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner released the following statement on the anniversary of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001:

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Sixteen years ago, radical terrorists attacked our nation and killed thousands of our fellow Americans. The devastating repercussions of September 11, 2001 are still felt, but from tragedy rose strength, compassion for our fellow man, and a bond that washed away our differences and united us all as American citizens. Today, we continue to mourn the lives lost and pray for their families and friends who are struggling, and support our service men and women who answered the call of duty in defense of our nation. We unite in remembrance and move forward together because that is the American way.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Taxpayers Union (NTU) released its 7th annual “No-Brainers” list, which highlights common sense, bipartisan legislation that solves real problems facing the American taxpayer. Among the 10 bills highlighted is H.R.2887, the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017.

Introduced by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner earlier this year, the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017 would codify the principle that businesses must be physically present in a state before it is lawful to tax or regulate them.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Over-taxation and regulatory burdens weigh heavy on American businesses. These practices prohibit economic growth, stunt hiring, and make it harder for businesses to expand. My bill helps alleviate these burdens by reducing overregulation and keeping government overreaches in check. I want to thank the National Taxpayers Union for highlighting this legislation, which would be a strong ally of small businesses and the American taxpayer.”

In addition to the National Taxpayers Union, the No Regulation Without Representation Act of 2017 is supported by: Council for Citizens Against Government Waste; Net-Choice; National Taxpayers Union; Software Finance and Tax Executives Council; Overstock; Electronic Retailing Association; Americans for Tax Reform; American Catalog Mailers Association.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner released the following statement regarding the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program:

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “The Obama administration overstepped its authority when it enacted the DACA program. I believe the proper way to address our nation’s immigration policy is through the legislative process. It is important that we get our immigration laws right.

“The complex challenges faced by DACA beneficiaries will not be solved overnight, and they certainly won’t be solved by executive order. When the Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi was unable to solve the immigration problem unilaterally. This led to the Obama administration’s DACA program, which Obama himself said was temporary.

“The President has given Congress six months to act, and I believe that we must not only take serious action to address the complicated issues surrounding the DACA program, but also border security and enforcement of our laws. Nothing will be done without compromise from both sides of the immigration debate.

“Moving forward, I will continue to work with my congressional colleagues to enact long-term immigration reform through the legislative process, which does not give amnesty to illegal immigrants.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner released the following statement in support of Speaker Paul Ryan’s efforts in Wisconsin and nationwide:

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “During a town hall meeting in Racine, Speaker Ryan reiterated to his constituents last night – and the entire nation – his commitment to finding solutions for America’s most pressing issues, as well as his dedication to working cohesively across Congress in order to make our nation better for all Americans.

“From his first day in office to his rise to the Speakership, Paul has remained earnest, hard-working, and driven to help people. His determination to enact serious legislation, such as reforming our broken tax and health care systems, as well as protect our national security and advocate on behalf of our nation’s most vulnerable, is inspiring and serves as a constant reminder of why Members of Congress are sent to Washington in the first place – to serve the people.

“I’m eager to continue working with the Speaker to help the people of Wisconsin and our country, and move forward on smart, common sense legislation that will help keep America strong and prosperous for generations to come.”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner issued the following statement upon the signing of the Rapid DNA Act of 2017 into law:

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “The passage of the Rapid DNA Act will help law enforcement carry out their duties more quickly, efficiently, and accurately. This revolutionary technology will help identify arrestees and offenders, reduce the overwhelming backlog in forensic DNA analysis, and streamline crime fighting efforts while helping to prevent future crimes from occurring, saving time and taxpayer dollars in the process. I’m thankful to President Trump, as well as my colleagues in the House and Senate, for moving forward on this common sense legislation, which will help millions of Americans nationwide.”

The Rapid DNA Act would establish a system for the integration of Rapid DNA instruments for use by law enforcement to help reduce the DNA backlog. Unlike traditional DNA analysis, which can take weeks, Rapid DNA analysis permits processing of DNA samples in approximately 90 minutes or less.

This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way in which arrested individuals are enrolled in the criminal justice system, shorten the time required for their DNA to be linked to unsolved crimes, and expedite the exoneration of innocent suspects by giving law enforcement officials a new system that meets FBI quality assurance standards to compare DNA samples collected at the time of an arrest to profiles in the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS). 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner released the following statement regarding the horrific acts of violence perpetrated in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: "What happened in Charlottesville goes against the principles of this nation and everything I've worked for during my time in Congress. The freedoms given in this country should never be abused to incite violence or spread hate and prejudice. It's my hope that as Americans, we can all come together to denounce bigotry in all its forms."

Since 2010, Republicans have seen the writing on the wall about Obamacare. We knew the dangers it posed to the public. We understood how it would lead to skyrocketing premiums, decrease the quality of care, and leave millions of Americans with fewer, less-desirable healthcare options. That's why for the past seven years, we've fought against this disastrous law.

We made promises to our constituents that we would repeal and replace Obamacare. We assured them that relief was on the way.

That's why it seems unfathomable that when the moment came to save millions of Americans from the burdens placed upon them by the failures of Obamacare, a small minority of my Republican colleagues caved under outside pressure and broke their promises.

Obamacare is failing. Despite the fact that Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., wisely rejected weaving the Obamacare exchanges into the fabric of the state's health insurance market, Wisconsin is still feeling the pain of this terrible law. Earlier this year, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield announced it would pull out of the exchanges. Just last week, Molina Healthcare also announced its departure, making it the sixth health insurer to leave Wisconsinites with fewer options since Obamacare's implementation.

Thousands of Wisconsinites will now be left without their preferred health insurance plans by the end of 2017 and will struggle to find affordable, quality coverage for themselves and their families.

Wisconsin is not alone.

Several counties in Arizona have seen the steepest health insurance premiums in the country. Major health insurers, including UnitedHealthCare and Humana pulled out of the state, and others have significantly decreased their coverage. Last year, drastic premium increases left one Arizona county without any health insurance options, and only two insurance companies offering individual plans through the Obamacare exchanges in the state have committed to continue selling plans in 2018.

In Alaska – one of the most expensive states in the country – individual health insurance premiums increased to nearly 40 percent after Obamacare went into effect. The incredible costs led to all but one health insurance company to leave the market. It has also caused enrollment in the exchanges to drop significantly, from approximately 23,000 last year to just more than 19,000 this year according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

On the other side of the country in Maine, health insurance premiums may increase up to an astounding 40 percent on average by next year. All three of the state's providers have detailed steep hikes that would impact more than 100,000 people on the individual exchanges.

These are just a few examples of the overwhelming deterioration of a law that was fated to collapse the healthcare system from its outset.

The House of Representatives moved forward this year with the American Health Care Act, legislation born from Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's Better Way agenda, which would have provided people with more choices at lower costs. The plan expanded Health Savings Accounts and created new tax credits to help people buy insurance at affordable prices. It protected access for individuals with pre-existing conditions, allowed those aged 26 and younger to remain on their parents' plans, and reformed and strengthened Medicaid to help those who needed it most.

Ryan and House Republicans kept their promises. They passed the AHCA -- smart legislation that would put Americans, not government, in control of their healthcare.

Unfortunately, the Senate could not do the same.

Despite ongoing reports of the breakdown of Obamacare in their states and states throughout the country, a small group of Republican Senators refused to stand up and vote for the best interests of their constituents and Americans nationwide. Rather than fulfilling the promises they made and honoring the commitments they guaranteed, they succumbed to the political pressures of Washington and failed their constituents.

However, it's not too late to change course.

The Senate can still move forward with repeal and replace measures that will give people the hand up they desperately need and put our health insurance system back on track.

Obamacare is failing and Americans are paying the price. With the future of our nation's health at stake, members of Congress, both in the House and the Senate, must remember why they were sent to Washington in the first place.

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