Monday, September 16, 2013

Sen. Ron Johnson: Weekly Report from Washington, D.C.

September 13, 2013

Johnson Urges Committee to Continue Investigation into Benghazi Attacks

It is now exactly one year since the terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that took the lives of four brave Americans. It has been a year since those attacks killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, Glen Doherty, Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods -- and not a single terrorist who planned or executed that attack has been held accountable.
Nor have important questions been answered during the past year.  We do not yet know why the world's superpower failed to rescue its personnel. We do not know why the Obama administration deliberately misled the American people for days afterward about the cause of the attack. The Senate has not been given access to the surviving Americans who were in Benghazi that night nor heard testimony from key State Department personnel responsible for decisions before, during and after the attack.

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, of which I am a member, has a duty to learn what went wrong in Benghazi and to ensure it does not happen again.  The people we send abroad to represent us and the loved ones of the Americans who died in Benghazi deserve to know the truth.

This is why I am sending a letter today with my colleagues on the committee to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, requesting that he schedule hearings to get to the bottom of the Benghazi attack. I particularly urge that he allow the committee to finally hear from survivors of the attack as well as from key State Department personnel who were placed on leaves of absence. Their testimony is crucial to ensuring our diplomatic personnel's safety.

The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 taught this nation what can happen when the government is not diligent in analyzing threats and acting against them. What is hard to believe is that so many questions about what happened in Benghazi remain unanswered a year after the attack.  The committee must act now.

Senator Johnson and Staff File Comment to OPM’s Proposed Rule

On Aug. 8, 2013, in response to bipartisan complaints concerning the implementation of Obamacare's impact on Congressional offices, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) proposed a rule that violates the very clear purpose and intent of the law as enacted.  The rule would permit the federal government to make a contribution toward health insurance premiums for members of Congress and their staffs when they purchase health insurance through an exchange.  Obamacare originally directed that members and their staffs would no longer be eligible for insurance through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), but instead would have to purchase health insurance on an exchange or in the open market without receiving a pre-tax payment by their employer. 

Yesterday, myself and several members of my staff urged OPM to reconsider its rule, which I believe this administration does not have the legal authority to institute.

When I ran my company, Pacur, I felt that providing my employees with a health insurance plan was important. It is equally concerning to me that my staff in the Senate will no longer have access to their current insurance plans, as President Obama promised all Americans when he campaigned for Obamacare,” Senator Johnson said.  “But even more egregious than the president’s failure to abide by his promise is his proposed bailout for Congress when millions of other working, middle class Americans are facing the same dilemma.  The answer is not to protect the privileged few here in Washington from this legislation. The answer is to repeal a law that is fundamentally flawed, is driving up health insurance costs, is impossible to implement efficiently, and is increasingly unfair to the American people.

My intent is to make sure President Obama is not allowed to exceed his legal authority in implementing this law, and that members of Congress and their staffs are not shielded from the harmful effects of this law that every other American will experience.

Johnson Announces Staff Mobile Office Hours

I announced earlier this week that my staff would be available for mobile office hours at the dates and locations listed below. These office hours allow constituents to meet with my staff to request assistance with a federal agency or regarding other federal matters.

Monday, September 16th, 12:15 pm - 1:15 pm
Park Ridge Village Hall

24 Crestwood Drive,  Stevens Point, WI 54481

Monday, September 16th, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Biron Village Hall

451 Kahoun Road, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494

Tuesday, September 17th, 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Theresa Village Hall

202 South Milwaukee Street, Theresa, WI 53091

Tuesday, September 17th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Iron Ridge Village Hall, Community Center Room
205 Park Street, Iron Ridge, WI 53035

Tuesday, September 17th, 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm
Hustisford Village Hall

201 South Lake Street, Hustisford, WI 53034

Tuesday, September 17th, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Neosho Village Hall
210 South Schuyler Street, Neosho, WI 53059 

Wednesday, September 18th, 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Randolph Village Hall
248 West Stroud Street, Randolph, WI 53956

Wednesday, September 18th, 12:15 pm  - 1:15 pm
Black Earth Village Hall
1210 Mill Street, Black Earth, WI 53515

Friday, September 20th, 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Grafton Village Hall, Village Board Room
860 Badger Circle, Grafton, WI 53024

Friday, September 20th, 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Avoca Village Hall, Village Meeting Room
401 Wisconsin Street, Avoca, WI 53506

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