U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, dined with President Obama at the White House this evening and praised him afterward for his continued outreach effort with Congress. The president invited the 20 female members of the U.S. Senate to the dinner. "This was a great opportunity for me to join a bipartisan group of women and talk to the president about how we can work together to grow our economy and strengthen the middle class," Baldwin said. "I expressed to the president and my colleagues the real need to create jobs with a particular focus on rebuilding our manufacturing base. Wisconsin families and businesses need economic growth, and I was proud to give that need a voice tonight.”
The Obama administration's renewed drive on energy policy comes amid
fierce competition for energy resources around the globe, ongoing
international climate talks and a near-$1 billion State Department
budget provision "to promote efforts to combat the drivers of climate
change by supporting clean energy, reducing deforestation and
enhancing low-emission, climate-resilient development."
Join WisPolitics.com at a Washington, D.C. reception on Wednesday, June 5, to discuss
energy's role in U.S. foreign policy with former ambassadors Mark
Green and Tom Loftus.
Green, the former ambassador to Tanzania and ex-Republican congressman
from the Green Bay,Wis.- area, now is president & CEO
of the Initiative for Global Development.Green has a law degree from UW-Madison.
Loftus, the former ambassador to Norway and ex-Assembly speaker from
Sun Prairie near Madison, recently was a University of Wisconsin
regent and a top World Health Organization official. He's now an
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says new compromise gun legislation is a “balanced and bi-partisan approach that respects the Second Amendment and will reduce gun violence”
Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., unveiled the legislation late yesterday. It would expand background checks on all commercial gun sales and end the so-called gun show loophole.
“If my colleagues want to vote against this compromise, that is their right,” she said. “But this proposal deserves a vote.”
Baldwin, D-Madison, said the bill from Manchin and Toomey “would help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals by requiring a background check for private gun sales at gun shows and for sales over the Internet. “
Debate on the bill is scheduled to begin today with opponents expected to offer a slew of amendments that could delay a final vote – if one happens – for weeks. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, earlier this week signed onto a letter threatening to filibuster any legislation that would restrict gun rights. He did not commit to any stance on the Manchin-Tommey amendment in a statement issued this morning.
“I have always said that I will look thoughtfully at the details of legislation that may actually deter criminal use of firearms, keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally unstable, and respect the rights of lawful firearms owners," Johnson said. "I am reviewing the Manchin-Toomey amendment." “Majority Leader Reid has still not made clear what proposals and amendments the Senate will consider. If the Majority Leader moves to bring up a bill that I believe infringes upon or threatens the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens, I will oppose bringing it to the floor.”
Wisconsin members of Congress split along party lines in their reactions to White House budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2014.
But each expressed reservations about the proposed document, which President Obama dubbed "a fiscally responsible blueprint for middle-class jobs and growth" during remarks at the White House today.
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan called the proposal a "disappointment," charging that it "takes more from families to spend more in Washington."
"By defending the status quo, they’re letting critical programs like Medicare wither on their watch," the Janesville Republican said in a statement. "They’re cementing record poverty and high unemployment into place."
Ryan's Dem counterpart on the Budget Committee, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, praised the budget for initiatives to grow jobs, saying "the best way to reduce our long-term deficit is to get people back to work."
"However, while I respect the president’s desire to achieve a comprehensive and bipartisan budget proposal, I cannot support decreasing Social Security benefits to those just getting by, especially in the years when they need it most," Pocan, of Madison, added.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, responded that he was "glad he's starting to take a look at Social Security," but that the president "doesn't put us on a glide path to actually live within our means."
And U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, said a budget "that never balances is irresponsible and is not the solution the American people are looking for."
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is one of 13 GOP senators signing a letter threatening to filibuster any gun control legislation.
The letter states the lawmakers' plan to oppose "any legislation that would infringe on the American people's constitutional right to bear arms, or on their ability to exercise this right without being subjected to government surveillance."
They also note they will filibuster any legislation that "will serve as a vehicle for any additional gun restrictions."
Others signing the letter include Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida.
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner today sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood criticizing the decision to close 149 air traffic control towers under the Contract Tower Program -- including all eight such towers located in Wisconsin -- due to cuts under sequestration.
Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, wrote that the Contract Tower Program is among the most cost-effective programs run by the Federal Aviation Administration, yet its budget is set for a 75 percent cut -- well more than the 5 percent cuts seen by other FAA programs.
In a statement, Sensenbrenner said he hopes to work with LaHood to "pinpoint waste within the Department of Transportation (DOT) in order to reallocate funds to the Contract Tower Program."
"I am a huge proponent of less government spending, but the point is and always has been for the government to do more with less," Sensenbrenner wrote in his letter. "The CTP is an example of a program that does exactly that. It should be replicated, not slashed."