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Monday, July 23, 2012

 11:14 AM 

Rep. Sensenbrenner: Bachmann's claims "the wrong thing to do"

U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner condemned accusations made by Rep. Michelle Bachmann that an aide to Sec. of State Hillary Clinton had connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Bachmann made accusations in several letters that Clinton aide Huma Abedin and fellow Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., had ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Bachmann has been criticized even by members of her own party for the claims.

When a constituent posed questions about the claims at a town hall meeting over the weekend, the GOP congressman said that Bachmann's comments were "the wrong thing to do" regardless of their context, stressing that there was no truth to the claim. Clips of the exchange were posted by progressive blog ThinkProgress.

"She could not have gotten a job either then as Sen. Hillary Clinton's top adviser or the job in the state department without passing a rather rigorous security clearance," Sensenbrenner said. "And if there was any indication that she had any connection at all with the Muslim Brotherhood, she would not have passed that security clearance."

Sensenbrenner also stressed that a person's religious background should have absolutely no bearing on a person's ability to serve.

"I'm not here to make judgments about anybody's faith," Sensenbrenner said. "And I think the Constitution in saying that there shall never a religious  test for any office of trust and profit under the United States meant people should be judged on the basis of their religious faith or lack of religious faith."

When the constituent said they should "look into" the influence of Islam in America, Sensenbrenner said the government has no business distinguishing between "what is good religion and what is bad religion."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

 9:28 AM 

Duffy's office fires back at criticism of taxpayer-funded vehicle

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s office says he has never had a taxpayer-paid personal vehicle lease and “any suggestion otherwise is a flat lie.”

The liberal website Think Progress posted a report this week that Duffy was among seven GOP freshman to collectively spend more than $100,000 on personal vehicles. Dems jumped on the report to take a shot at Duffy for using taxpayer money to cover personal expenses.

Duffy’s spokesman John Gentzel said the congressman leases a converted mini-bus that is used as a mobile office.

“With one of the largest congressional districts geographically east of the Mississippi River and the largest in Wisconsin, Congressman Duffy uses the mobile office to bring the services of his office to constituents who are unable to reach one of his two district offices,” Gentzel said, adding the vehicle is used in place of a third or fourth district office.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 3:41 PM 

Wis. House members vote along party lines on health care repeal

Wisconsin's House delegation split 5-3 along party lines as the chamber voted to repeal the 2010 federal health care reform law.

The final vote in favor of repeal was 244-185; only five congressional Dems voted with Republicans to support repeal, while no Republicans voted against today's measure.

"We should be choosing approaches which give consumers incentives to use their health care dollars wisely," said U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond du Lac, in a statement. "Instead, we are going in the opposite direction by turning decisions over to the government."

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, called the vote a waste of time.

“Enough is enough,” Kind said in a statement. “The Supreme Court found the Affordable Care Act constitutional."

 9:19 AM 

Sensenbrenner bill would ban penalties under HHS mandate

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner has introduced legislation to allow employers who have religious or moral objections to providing preventing services such as birth control to avoid penalties under the federal health care law.

The legislation would prohibit the federal government from enforcing penalties for non-compliance with the HHS mandate.

“Obviously, if these taxes are levied and they are enforced, there will be no religious-affiliated institutions left in this country,” the veteran southeastern Wisconsin Republican congressman told a news conference. “Religious-affiliated institutions, I think, have been one of the ways that there has been diversity provided in education, in healthcare, and in various types of social services in-relief services. I don’t think they should be taxed out of business, and neither do my co-sponsors.”

He was joined by 57 cosponsors, including U.S. Rep. Tom Petri, R-Fond do Lac.

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