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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.

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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/

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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

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

 

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

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

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Rep. Mark Pocan ?@repmarkpocan

No Member of Congress is pushing for open borders.

That is a fact. #SOTU

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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

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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. – 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).

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. 

Wisconsin in Brief

January 11, 2019

By: The Journal Times

Kimberly-Clark files documents to close plant

MADISON — Kimberly-Clark Corp. has notified Gov. Tony Evers’ administration that it will close its plant in Neenah by May 31.

The Department of Workforce Development announced Thursday that the paper products giant had provided the workforce reduction notice.

The plant’s closure was first announced a year ago. Kimberly-Clark also initially said it planned to close a larger facility that employs about 400 people in nearby Fox Crossing, but decided to keep it open after then-Gov. Scott Walker’s administration executed a $28 million deal to save it.

Kimberly-Clark says 74 workers will lose their jobs at the Neenah nonwovens plant between March 15-29, with the rest eliminated by the end of May. About 100 people work at the plant.

Congressman undergoes hip replacement

MADISON — U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner’s office says the longtime congressman had hip replacement surgery on Thursday.

The Menomonee Falls Republican’s office said the surgery Thursday at Mount Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, was a success but he will be recuperating and in rehab for “several weeks.”

Sensenbrenner is 75 and has been in Congress since 1979.

Sensenbrenner fell while attending a community fair in Butler six years ago. His office says his hip was surgically repaired then, but it was only a temporary fix and after the conditioned worsened recently he went in for a full replacement.

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.

Alexandria, VA—Earlier today, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (WI-05) underwent a successful hip replacement surgery at Mt. Vernon Hospital. By way of background, six years ago Mr. Sensenbrenner suffered a fall while attending a community fair in Butler, WI. After a surgical repair at that time, he was able to resume his duties. However, doctors advised it was only a temporary fix. The condition of the hip worsened recently, and doctors recommended a full replacement.

Congressman Sensenbrenner will recuperate and rehab for several weeks. He is grateful for all of the well wishes and prayers and looks forward to being back in commission very soon. 

By: WTMJ

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner's office says the longtime congressman had hip replacement surgery.

   The Wisconsin Republican's office said the surgery Thursday at Mt. Vernon Hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, was a success but he will be recuperating and in rehab for "several weeks."

   Sensenbrenner is 75 and has been in Congress since 1979.

   Sensenbrenner fell while attending a community fair in Butler, Wisconsin, six years ago. His office says his hip was surgically repaired then, but it was only a temporary fix and after the conditioned worsened recently he went in for a full replacement.

   Sensenbrenner's district is in southeast Wisconsin encompassing areas immediately to the northwest of Milwaukee.