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America’s international allies are more important than ever, and smart diplomacy is critical to our national security. 

As we speak, the war in Syria is driving a mass migration across borders into Europe.  It is a humanitarian crisis, and there’s little question that virtually all of these people are innocent refugees in search of a better life. But we live in a dangerous world where even a handful of individuals can cause devastating harm. 

Terrorists like Al Qaeda and ISIS will not hesitate to exploit any opportunity to advance their agendas, and the current mass migration in Europe is one such opportunity. A European passport holder is a plane ticket from America. There is little that our immigration controls can do to prevent criminals or terrorists from entering the United States on short-term visas with European passports.
Because we justifiably refuse to live in a world where nations simply close their borders, we have to be vigilant. We need to know what our allies know and identify individuals who will do wrong. Information sharing and the sharing of law enforcement data between nations is, therefore, essential to law and order.

Against this backdrop, I authored and introduced the Judicial Redress Bill of 2015. In many ways, it’s a privacy bill—backed and supported by many of our country’s top privacy advocates—but make no mistake, the Judicial Redress Act is a crucial element to our law enforcement strategy. 

Trust is easily lost and hard to rebuild. As the original author of the USA FREEDOM Act, I saw firsthand the damage the Snowden leaks did to our international reputation. It is my hope that passage of the USA FREEDOM Act, and the unequivocal end to mass, suspicion-less surveillance in the United States, was a first step toward normalizing relations with our allies. But the Judicial Redress Act is an important second step.

The bill is essential to the implementation of a recently signed umbrella agreement between the United States and European Union. In the words of the agreement, “the purpose . . . is to ensure a high level of protection of personal information and enhance cooperation between the United States and the European Union and its Member States, in relation to the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offenses, including terrorism.”

In our complex digital world, privacy and security are not competing values. They are weaved together inseparably, and today’s policymakers must craft legal frameworks that support both.

The Judicial Redress Act of 2015 provides our closest allies with limited remedies relative to data they share with the United States similar to those Americans enjoy under the Privacy Act. It is a way to support our foreign allies and ensure continued sharing of law enforcement data. More specifically, the bill would give citizens of covered countries the ability to correct flawed information in their records—mistakes that could subject innocent people to criminal charges or unnecessary surveillance—and limited remedies in U.S. courts if the U.S. government fully and intentionally discloses their personal data. 

Americans already enjoy similar rights in Europe. Providing reciprocal rights is imperative to our international relationships. Our European allies have already indicated that such a bill is central to their willingness to continue to share law enforcement data with America. Failure to pass the Judicial Redress Act will therefore undermine several important international agreements, hurt U.S. businesses operating in Europe, and limit law enforcement sharing from key allies.

The bill is narrowly tailored, enabling only citizens of designated foreign countries to bring suit in specified circumstances, and only with respect to information obtained from their home country for law enforcement purposes. The right to redress is subject to the same restrictions U.S. citizens face under the Privacy Act, including broad exemptions for national security. 

Because of the issue’s importance, this bill enjoys broad support. It has been endorsed by the Department of Justice and federal law enforcement, as well as U.S. businesses, including the Chamber of Commerce and nearly all of our largest technology and information companies.

Continuing advancements in technology make it critical to increase our security efforts and continue building solid relationships with our allies. As part of our growing law enforcement strategy, as well as a sign of good faith to our international partners, we must past the Judicial Redress Act of 2015.

View this piece online here.
Fourteen years ago today, terrorists wreaked havoc on the United States of America, killing nearly 3000 of our fellow countrymen. The catastrophic events of that day were horrific, and from the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center, we knew our lives would never be the same. 

But from that tragic day came an opportunity to support our neighbors, show love and compassion for those impacted, and unite together in a common cause of patriotism and kinship. 

There are no words to describe the depravity of the terrorist acts perpetrated on the United States the morning of September 11, 2001. The pain and heartache of the nation can still be felt today –we continue to mourn lives lost, support the families of victims, and pray for our service men and women who answered the call of duty in defense of our country. 

But the strength of the American people cannot be denied, and from that terrible tragedy we became further bonded in the ideals this land was founded on. We unite in remembrance and move forward together as a stronger, resolute nation. 
 
Today, the Science Subcommittee on Research and Technology marked up the Surface Transportation Research and Development Act of 2015. The Subcommittee passed two amendments that will help improve motorcyclist safety and protect taxpayer money.  

Mr. Sensenbrenner applauds Congressman Hultgren’s amendments, one of which will prevent the federal government from providing grants to state and local governments to create motorcycle-only checkpoints. It requires the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the most effective means to prevent motorcycle crashes. 

The other amendment will prevent the Department of Transportation from using taxpayer money to lobby government officials. Mr. Sensenbrenner added this language to the Surface Transportation Research and Development Act of 1997 and is pleased that the Science Committee continues to work to protect American taxpayers.  

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “I am pleased the Subcommittee adopted these amendments to the Surface Transportation and Development Act, as they are necessary for the safety of our nation’s motorcyclists. The amendments promote motorcyclist safety through crash prevention programs, but they also protect American taxpayers by ensuring that the federal government doesn’t use tax dollars to lobby state governments. It’s a victory anytime we can limit the federal government’s interference in state affairs. It was a pleasure to work with Congressman Hultgren in advancing these amendments. I look forward to these common sense amendments being included in the next highway reauthorization bill.”
 

Today, negotiations between the United States of America and the European Union regarding data protection standards have ended in an Umbrella Agreement. Once in place, this agreement will ensure increased protection of personal data between international law enforcement agencies.

The Judicial Redress Act, introduced by Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner earlier this year, would be the final step in procuring much needed data and technological security between friendly nations. Congressman Sensenbrenner released the following statement, applauding the agreement and urging the passage of the Judicial Redress Act.

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “Technological advances have not only spurred progress in our world, but also new, sophisticated methods of criminal activity. To help combat this, I introduced the Judicial Redress Act to improve cooperation between United States law enforcement and our international allies. The recent agreement on data sharing between nations is a great step forward for international safety and prosperity. The Judicial Redress Act, however, remains a critical piece in our partnership with the European Union and is critical to ensure continued sharing of law enforcement intelligence.  I am optimistic that it will not only be brought before Congress, but will be passed with bipartisan support.”

This past week, students throughout the Fifth District kicked off the new school year, but for a select few, the school year began nearly two months ago. They’ve been hard at work training, studying, and preparing to accept roles as America’s future leaders at the United States Service Academies.

Each year I have the honor and privilege of nominating local young leaders to the United States Air Force, Military, Naval, and Merchant Marine Academies. These upstanding institutions provide students with a world-class education at no-cost and a full-time service commitment immediately following graduation.

I encourage all local students interested in future careers in science, technology, engineering, and math to apply for a nomination through my office. Click here to visit my Academy Nominations page where you will find eligibility requirements and information on each academy I can nominate students to. The deadline for completed applications for the 2016-2017 academic year is Thursday, October 15, 2015.

Best of luck to all Fifth Congressional District students in the new school year. 
 
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner announced today that he is accepting applications for nominations to attend the United States Air Force, Military, Naval, or Merchant Marine Academies for the 2016- 2017 academic year. 

Upon submitting an application, candidates will be interviewed by a member of the Congressman’s Academy Selection Committee, composed of local community leaders.  The interview is an assessment of the candidate’s leadership potential, character, motivation, and interests. The Congressman will make his nominations based on the recommendations of his committee. The deadline for completed applications is Thursday, October 15, 2015.  Late or incomplete applications will not be considered for nomination.  

Applications are only accepted from United States citizens with residency in Wisconsin’s Fifth Congressional District. Applicants must also be at least 17 years old but not past their 23rd birthday as of July 1, 2016, and must have reached their senior year of high school.  

Congressman Sensenbrenner: “As a Member of Congress, I have the distinct pleasure of nominating to the service academies the best and the brightest young leaders from the Fifth Congressional District. I urge those who wish to receive an offer of appointment at any one of these prestigious institutions to contact my district office in Brookfield for details relating to the application process.” 

Congressman Sensenbrenner’s district office can be reached at 120 Bishops Way, Room 154, Brookfield, WI 53005, or by calling (262) 784-1111.  Information is also available on Congressman Sensenbrenner’s website at Sensenbrenner.house.gov.   
 

I'll See You in Washington

August 21, 2015

There are a lot of things to do and see in our Nation’s Capitol, but one of the most notable experiences Washington, D.C. has to offer is the free tour of our Capitol building. 

Experienced tour guides bring history to life while leading visitors through grand halls and underground tunnels. America’s greatest leaders are honored throughout the Capitol in paintings and statues, and imaginations are unleashed through detailed accounts of events, feuds, compromises, and the creation of laws. 

However, one of the highlights of the Capitol tour is the opportunity to see legislation being debated, voted on, and passed in the present day. With special gallery passes, visitors can enter the Senate and House Chambers and watch as real bills are brought to the floor and discussed. 

My staff and I are pleased to help schedule a tour for you during your visit to Capitol Hill, as well as provide you with special gallery passes. So if you’re planning a trip to Washington, D.C., I hope you’ll visit my website at http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/tour_signup/default.aspx and take advantage of all the free resources available to you as my constituent. 

In addition to a Capitol Hill tour, I can also help you request tours at various iconic locations, including:

• The White House
• The Library of Congress
• The Supreme Court
• The Pentagon
• The Bureau of Engraving and Printing
• The FBI Visitor Center
• The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

It’s my pleasure to serve as your representative, and I look forward to helping you make your trip a success. See you in Washington! 
 
It is my great honor to serve as your Congressman, and one of the highest privileges of the job is to spend time in the district, learn from my constituents, and make a positive difference in people’s lives. 

I’ve always believed that cultivating personal connections is the key to success, not only in governmental affairs, but in everyday life. That is why I spend as much time as possible visiting people and attending events in every community throughout the Fighting Fifth. It’s only through conversation and face-to-face meetings that I can truly feel the pulse of the district and understand the issues most important to those I represent. 

Last month I celebrated my 100th public meeting of 2015, but I’m not stopping there. I’m looking forward to continuing my travels throughout the district, hosting meetings, attending events, and connecting with constituents. 

My meetings are open to the public and I encourage you to stop by, say hello, and let me know your concerns; or make me aware of a problem you are experiencing with the federal government. You can find the full list of upcoming meetings at http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/contact

If you cannot make it to a meeting, I hope you get in touch through letters and emails. I see every letter I receive and respond as quickly as possible, so rest assured your voice is being heard. You can submit your thoughts at http://sensenbrenner.house.gov/contact/email.htm

Thank you for entrusting me with the great responsibility of representing your interests in the United States Congress. It’s my honor to continue serving the great state of Wisconsin, and the wonderful people of the Fifth District. 
Today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner sent the following letter to United States Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz requesting an independent, objective study into the effects advanced biofuel blends have in small engines. 

Dear Secretary Moniz:

We write to you regarding the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed study entitled Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines. We support studying this issue, but request that DOE conduct the study in an independent, objective, and wholly scientific manner. 

DOE’s 2009-10 Catalyst Study on the effects of E-15 gas on automobiles raised concerns from consumer and industry groups. Organizations including, but not limited to, the Milk Producers Council, Friends of the Earth, American Petroleum Institute, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, National Turkey Federation, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute and the National Black Chamber of Commerce cosigned a letter addressing this issue. Meanwhile, the Renewable Fuels Association stated that the Coordinating Research Council’s (CRC) study on E-15 was flawed. DOE also stated that the CRC’s study was deeply flawed. 

To prevent the Advanced Biofuel Blends in Small Engines study from becoming a political football, DOE should partner with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct research on this topic. The NAS will provide independent and objective advice to DOE that would satisfy interested parties and stakeholders.

As Members of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology your answers to the following questions may be helpful as we conduct oversight of your research on advanced biofuel blends in small engines. Please answer the following questions by August 27, 2015.

1. Do you agree that there was a significant amount of concern regarding studies on the effects of E-15 in automobiles, including the DOE and CRC studies?

2. What is the best way to conduct an independent, objective and scientific study on advanced biofuel blends in small engines?

3. How much do you estimate that a study on this issue will cost? 

4. What are your goals for the small engine study?

5. Would it be unusual for DOE to partner with NAS on a scientific study?

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR.
Member of Congress
Each and every human life is sacred. We have a profound obligation to protect the right to life, especially for the unborn. 

Over the past month, I have received many phone calls and letters from you, my constituents, expressing your views on the recent videos that have surfaced which expose the horrific practice of harvesting and selling fetal tissue that has been acquired through abortion. 

These revelations are tragic and are certainly a misuse of taxpayer dollars. In response, I introduced a bill to prohibit the sale of fetal tissue acquired through an abortion. Due to a poorly drafted section of federal law, Planned Parenthood and other abortion clinics are currently able to legally sell fetal tissue from aborted babies to research institutions. My bill will make it illegal to do so, preventing these clinics from continuing to profit from victimizing the defenseless.

It’s not enough to defund Planned Parenthood.  We also need to change the law that allows abortion clinics to profit from this disgusting practice.

I also signed a letter with more than 150 of my colleagues, urging Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Department of Justice to launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the practices of Planned Parenthood. 

I will continue to fight on behalf of the innocent and advocate for the unborn. Thank you for your many comments on this issue.