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Tammy Baldwin Releases New TV Ad “Boss”
MILWAUKEE – Today, Tammy Baldwin’s campaign for U.S. Senate released a new television ad that holds Tommy Thompson accountable to his dishonest attacks about Baldwin’s record of supporting September 11th victims and first responders. The new ad also holds Thompson accountable for his own record of cashing in on connections to obtain government contracts, and leaving first responders without the care they were promised.
The new ad, “Boss,” highlights the truth about Baldwin’s record honoring 9/11 victims. Baldwin has supported honoring the victims of 9/11 on nine occasions and opposed efforts by Congressional Republicans to politicize and play election year politics with something as solemn as the anniversary of 9/11.
Just hours after Thompson launched his dishonest attack FactCheck.org called it “false” and stated that “Baldwin did honor the victims of the terrorist attacks.”
The Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin also spoke out, calling the Thompson ad “desperate and disgusting.”
Russ Feingold said, “Governor Thompson’s latest TV ad is a disgrace. He deliberately misrepresents Tammy Baldwin’s vote, and her strong opposition to playing politics with the 9/11 tragedy. It’s sad that former Governor Thompson is stooping so low to try to attract support. He’ll find that it just won’t work.”
“Tammy Baldwin was one of the first sponsors of our bill outside the New York area. Her office was one of the ones helping us set up meetings when we couldn’t,” said John Feal, 9/11 advocate who lost half of one foot at Ground Zero and runs the group the FealGood Foundation.
“I don’t think he’s right and he never should have brought something like that up, because it’s not true. She didn’t disagree because of that 9/11 part, she only disagreed to the other stuff that was added in later. I ended up coming home ill. I’ve had a rough time this year. Sometimes I can talk, sometimes I can’t. I’ve had pneumonia, and sinus infections and everything else. So, I’ve been sick, quite a bit,”said Judy Wolff, a Red Cross volunteer and Holmen native, who got ill after spending three weeks at Ground Zero.
For his own part, Thompson, who served as HHS Secretary for the Bush Administration, has been criticized by 9/11 first responders and New York’s Congressional delegation for not making health care a priority.
And after leaving HHS, Thompson then cashed in with a $11 million government contract to provide health care to 9/11 first responders, but left many of them without the care they were promised.
“Tommy Thompson is the product of the Bush administration, who wanted nothing to do with 9/11. When we went to Tommy Thompson in the Bush administration, to get health care funding he kept fighting us. He’s making money off of 9/11, and he’s politicizing 9/11 for a campaign now, and to me he’s gone down a few notches on the scale of human beings,” Feal said.
In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported, “The problem began in June, Wolff and others say, when Logistics Health Inc., of La Crosse, headed by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, won an $11 million federal contract to provide medical care and health monitoring from the agency Thompson once led – a decision that continues to raise eyebrows on Capitol Hill.”
They also reported:
“Dr. Jim Melius, chairman of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Steering Committee, which coordinates care for 9/11 responders, said ‘I just don’t have any confidence that they (LHI) have the capacity or the understanding to do this,’ Melius said. ‘They are doing a disservice to these people. There are hundreds more in the medical treatment program and thousands more that need medical monitoring, and they’re not getting it.’”
The Associated Press reported: “A company run by an ex-Bush administration official and hired by the government to provide medical care to Sept. 11 recovery workers has been slow to take up the job, workers and advocates say. They also reported, “‘I have absolutely no help from anybody,’ said Ed Persico of Missoula, Mont., who was a Red Cross volunteer at a New York City landfill where the ground zero debris was examined for human remains.”
I’m Tammy Baldwin, and I approve this message
Tommy Thompson’s ad is a disgrace.
The truth: Time and again, Tammy Baldwin has supported honoring victims of 9/11.
And Tommy Thompson?
He got a government contract to provide health care to 9/11 first responders.
But Tommy took advantage, leaving them without the care they were promised.
Tommy Thompson, personally, made over $3 million off the deal.
Tommy Thompson should be ashamed.
Headline: New York Daily News: Ex-Health Boss Now Cashing In On 9-11 [New York Daily News, 6/5/08]
Headline: Associated Press: 9/11 Health Company Slow To Start Treating Workers [Associated Press, 9/8/08]
Thompson’s Logistics Health Won $11 Million Federal Contract To Provide Medical Care For 9/11 First Responders. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “The problem began in June, Wolff and others say, when Logistics Health Inc., of La Crosse, headed by former U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, won an $11 million federal contract to provide medical care and health monitoring from the agency Thompson once led – a decision that continues to raise eyebrows on Capitol Hill.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Chairman Of The World Trade Center Steering Committee: Thompson’s LHI Is Doing A “Disservice To These People.” In November 2008, the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Dr. Jim Melius, chairman of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Steering Committee, which coordinates care for 9/11 responders, said ‘I just don’t have any confidence that they (LHI) have the capacity or the understanding to do this,’ Melius said. ‘They are doing a disservice to these people. There are hundreds more in the medical treatment program and thousands more that need medical monitoring, and they’re not getting it.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/2008]
Five Months After LHI’s Contract, Only A “Fraction” Of Patients Had Received Medical Monitoring. In November 2012, the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Five months into Logistics Health’s one-year federal contract, just a fraction of those patients have gotten the required medical monitoring, according to figures from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). And while NIOSH officials say all of the patients, such as Wolff, are now getting needed treatment, the claim is difficult to verify. Responders come in and out of the program at different times, depending on their health, said Fred Blosser, spokesman for the federal agency. As of last week, 187 patients were actively being treated for medical problems, Blosser said. In addition, he said 274 patients – out of 4,000 responders – have received testing and medical monitoring services.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/2008]
Thompson’s Health Care Company Cited Terms Of Contract In Refusing To Answer Questions, But Federal Agency Denied Any Such Terms Existed. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Logistics Health spokeswoman Tracey Armstrong referred all questions to NIOSH, saying its federal contract prohibits the company from answering any questions from the media. But Blosser said the contract only requires that the company submit to NIOSH for review any statistics it plans to disseminate to the press. Blosser said the agency was ‘pleased’ that ‘progress is being made and additional responders are being brought into the program.’ But he said he’s aware of the criticism that LHI is moving too slowly. ‘We will be monitoring that information as time goes on to make sure that progress is being made and that responders who want to receive treatment … are being served,’ he said.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Red Cross Ended Up Paying Medical Bills That Thompson’s Logistics Health Was Supposed To Cover. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Kirkland said she tried unsuccessfully to contact LHI as dozens of patients began calling her with complaints about lack of service. Finally, she said, the association and the Red Cross agreed to continue paying medical claims for the patients beyond the scheduled end of their program on June 30. ‘In spite of everyone saying whoever got the contract, that they’d be ready on Day 1, they weren’t,’ said Kirkland, whose association continued to pay claims through July under its agreement with the Red Cross. [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Nonprofit Handling Services Before Thompson’s LHI Was Forced to Continue to Pay For Claims Due to Thompson’s company’s Lack of Service. Before LHI got the contract, the nonprofit Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics provided health-care services for 9/11 responders, many of whom had sought for years to get help from the federal government for respiratory, gastrointestinal and mental health problems…Finally, she said, the association and the Red Cross agreed to continue paying medical claims for the patients beyond the scheduled end of their program on June 30. [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Thompson’s Health Care Company Had Enrolled Less Than 75% Of Eligible First Responders Five Months After Start Of Contract, Blamed Poor Contact Information For Delay. [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/18/08]
First Responders, Activists Speak Out
Red Cross Volunteer Complained Of Delay Of Care, “I Have Absolutely No Help From Anybody.” The Associated Press reported: “A company run by an ex-Bush administration official and hired by the government to provide medical care to Sept. 11 recovery workers has been slow to take up the job, workers and advocates say. Tommy Thompson was the Health and Human Services secretary for four years, and now is president of Logistics Health, Inc., which in June won an $11 million contract to treat Sept. 11 workers and volunteers who now live far away from the New York-area hospitals treating the bulk of ground zero patients. Some patients are complaining that two months since the handover, they have yet to hear from Thompson’s firm, which is based in La Crosse, Wis. ‘I have absolutely no help from anybody,’ said Ed Persico of Missoula, Mont., who was a Red Cross volunteer at a New York City landfill where the ground zero debris was examined for human remains. ‘I went to get my asthma inhaler prescription filled and I couldn’t get it filled because they said they switched programs. I keep calling them, and they tell me I’m supposed to get another medical ID card in another four to six weeks,’ said Persico.” [Associated Press, 9/8/2008]
Disabled 51-Year-Old Nurse’s Aide Had To Fight Claims Denials By Logistics Health. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Like thousands of other Americans, Judy Wolff, a nurse’s aide at Holmen High School near La Crosse, dropped everything and rushed to New York after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to see how she could help. A volunteer with the American Red Cross, Wolff went to the World Trade Center site to help victims and their families get food vouchers and pay bills as they coped with the stunning loss of life, injuries and joblessness caused by the attacks. After three weeks of breathing in a toxic cloud of crushed concrete, asbestos, lead and fumes from burned jet fuel, Wolff herself now is fully disabled – one of thousands struggling with a constellation of ailments common to those who helped victims and pulled bodies from the wreckage seven years ago. Adding to her troubles: The 51-year-old Wolff has had to fight to get insurance coverage for her prescriptions, medical appointments and upcoming surgeries, even though Congress has set aside money specifically to care for her and the estimated 4,000 other responders living outside of the New York area… After Logistics Health Inc. took over this summer, Wolff said, her claims for reimbursement for expensive cough medicine and an inhaler came back as denied. And it wasn’t until mid-October – more than four months into the one-year contract – that the company agreed to pay for her treatment for a respiratory ailment that afflicts many 9/11 responders… Wolff said she continues to struggle with the effects of her three weeks at Ground Zero: Depression, looming surgeries and permanent disability that makes her unable to work. She said she’s had to cancel doctor appointments because she can’t afford the gas to get there.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Executive With First Responder Organization Said Health Service Under Thompson’s Health Care Company “Stopped, Just Like That.” In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Anne Marie Baumann, senior vice president of the FealGood Foundation, which helps injured and ailing 9/11 responders, said she’s heard from about three dozen responders around the country, including Wolff, about problems getting reimbursement for prescriptions and treatment from LHI. ‘All of them were receiving services, and then all the services stopped, just like that,’ Baumann said.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Executive With First Responder Organization Said “I Lose Enough Responders With Cancer And Leukemia And Suicide. I Don’t Need To Lose Them Because They Couldn’t Get Their Medications” From Thompson’s Health Care Company. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Anne Marie Baumann, senior vice president of the FealGood Foundation, which helps injured and ailing 9/11 responders, said she’s heard from about three dozen responders around the country, including Wolff, about problems getting reimbursement for prescriptions and treatment from LHI. ‘All of them were receiving services, and then all the services stopped, just like that,’ Baumann said. ‘I lose enough responders with cancer and leukemia and suicide. I don’t need to lose them because they couldn’t get their medications.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Founder Of 9/11 Group Said Thompson Was “Neglecting These People.” In November 2008, the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Wolff, who lives just 15 minutes’ drive from the Logistics Health office in downtown La Crosse, said she doesn’t want to single out anyone for blame. But John Feal, founder of the FealGood Foundation, isn’t so circumspect. Feal points the finger directly at Wisconsin’s former governor, who is also president of Logistics Health. ‘I know Judy Wolff really well, and she’s suffering. And I know Tommy Thompson and his group, and they’re neglecting these people,’ Feal said.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/2008]
Members of Congress Demand Answers
Rep. Nadler: “The Heroes Of 9/11 Have Already Waited Too Long For The Comprehensive Health Care They Deserve, And LHI’s Continued Foot-Dragging Is Outrageous.” From a press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney: “‘These men and women came from every state in the nation to aid in the massive rescue and recovery effort at Ground Zero, putting their health, and even their lives, in danger,’ said Rep. Nadler. ‘Time and time again, these first responders have been promised health care for their 9/11-related illnesses, but nearly seven years later, they can’t get LHI to return their phone calls? The heroes of 9/11 have already waited too long for the comprehensive health care they deserve, and LHI’s continued foot-dragging is outrageous.’” [Press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, 9/8/2008]
Rep. Maloney: “LHI Was Awarded Millions In Federal Funding To Provide Monitoring And Treatment, Not Silence And Confusion.” From a press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney: “’What’s LHI been doing for the last three months? Tommy Thompson didn’t make 9/11 health a priority when he was HHS secretary and his new firm appears to be following suit,’ said Rep. Maloney. ‘LHI was awarded millions in federal funding to provide monitoring and treatment, not silence and confusion.’” [Press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, 9/8/2008]
Reps. Maloney, Nadler, Fossella Wrote Letter To HHS Secretary Leavitt Complaining That Assurances Of Timely Care For First Responders Under LHI “Appear To Be Another Empty Promise.” In a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, Reps. Maloney, Nadler, and Fossella said: “Since the recent dismissal of outstanding, former NIOSH director, Dr. John Howard, you have become more familiar with the WTC medical program and the fact that there have been repeated delays in making monitoring and treatment services available for national responders. These problems have been compounded by the decision of your agency, last December, to cancel the procurement process for an outside contractor to manage this program. A more limited procurement process was initiated this spring and a contract was awarded to a Logistics Health Incorporated (LHI), a Wisconsin firm. At that time, we were assured that monitoring and treatment services for the national responders would be transitioned to the new contractor without any significant delay. Unfortunately, these assurances appear to be another empty promise.” [Letter to Secretary Mike Leavitt from Reps. Maloney, Nadler, Fossella, 9/4/2008]
- Reps. Cited First Responders Struggled To Get Prescriptions Filled, Receive Appointments Under LHI. In a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, Reps. Maloney, Nadler, and Fossella said: “Our offices have learned of repeated instances of problems with the implementation of the contract in addition to an apparent reluctance to share information about the transition to the new program with people representing the national responders. A list of the problems are as follows: The monitoring exams will not start until September, not July as originally promised. Many, if not most, of the national responders have yet to receive any information from the new contractor about either the monitoring or treatment services. Sick responders newly referred to the treatment program are experiencing delays in getting appointments arranged. People currently receiving treatment are having trouble getting their prescriptions filled and other medical services from the new program. They are even having difficulty getting the new contractor to return their calls in a timely fashion.” [Letter to Secretary Mike Leavitt from Reps. Maloney, Nadler, Fossella, 9/4/2008]
Rep. Maloney: “Tommy Thompson Didn’t Make 9/11 Health A Priority When He Was HHS Secretary And His New Firm Appears To Be Following Suit.” From a press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney: “‘What’s LHI been doing for the last three months? Tommy Thompson didn’t make 9/11 health a priority when he was HHS secretary and his new firm appears to be following suit,’ said Rep. Maloney. ‘LHI was awarded millions in federal funding to provide monitoring and treatment, not silence and confusion.’” [Press release from the office of Rep. Carolyn Maloney, 9/8/2008]
New York Reps Criticized LHI’s Medical Treatment Of First Responders, Called It “Sweetheart Deal” For Thompson. The New York Sun reported: “The Department of Health and Human Services is dragging its feet on implementing a new health care program for September 11, 2001, responders suffering from illness related to the terrorist attacks, Reps. Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney said yesterday at a press conference in front of 7 World Trade Center. At issue is a contract HHS awarded in June to Logistics Health Inc. to provide medical monitoring and treatment services to September 11 responders who live outside the New York metropolitan area. While the exams were meant to begin in July, the start date has been moved to September. Mr. Nadler and Ms. Maloney say the health department has done little to reach out to those eligible for the program and that the delays are making it difficult for sick responders to get medical help quickly. They also criticized the contract as a ‘sweetheart deal’ for a former member of the Bush administration, noting that a former HHS secretary, Tommy Thompson, runs LHI.” [New York Sun, 9/8/2008]
Rep. Maloney: Thompson “Stood In The Way Of Helping 9/11 Responders When He Served As HHS Secretary And Has Not Improved His Efforts As President Of Logistics Health.” “Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said that Thompson ‘stood in the way of helping 9/11 responders when he served as HHS secretary and has not improved his efforts as president of Logistics Health.’” [American Health Line, 9/9/2008]
Rep Towns Accused Thompson’s Health Care Company Of Overseeing “One Of The Worst-Managed Programs I’ve Seen” And Called Its Conduct “Shameful.” In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Towns, the New York City congressman, said the care provided to Wolff and others is ‘one of the worst-managed programs I’ve seen. The lack of action for these heroes, and the bureaucracy they’ve had to go through, is simply unacceptable. It is shameful.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
Controversy Surrounding HHS Bidding Process
Citing Limited Interest, HHS Closed The Initial Bidding Process On The Contract To Provide Care For 9/11 Responders Early. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “How Thompson’s company won the contract to provide 9/11 responder care has come under scrutiny. Last fall, the administration solicited bids to provide medical and pharmacy care for ailing responders living outside of New York City. In December, a few days before the bids were due, HHS canceled the request for proposals. Knut Ringen, a Seattle consultant, said his client, Zenith Administrators and QTC of Diamond Bar., Calif., was ready to submit its bid when the solicitation was canceled. Suspicious about the change, one New York City congressman held a hearing in January to try to force HHS to explain why the request for proposals had been scuttled. The agency declined to send a representative to the hearing of the House Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization and Procurement. Blosser said the process was halted because it wasn’t clear how much the government would pay for patients with health insurance, although Congress had appropriated $108 million for that purpose. He said the solicitation also was ‘structured in a way that inadvertently limited interest from bidders that may have been equipped to address the complexity of the program on both the local and national scale.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
HHS Issued A Second Request For Proposal, Received Four Bids, Including Thompson’s Health Care Company. In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “In March, the HHS’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which includes NIOSH, issued a new request for proposals. LHI was among four bidders.” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
After Logistics Health Submitted A Bid That Was $11 Million Less Than Other Bidders, One Competing Bidder Said The Project Could Not Be Done “Responsibly.” In 2008 the Wisconsin State Journal reported of a bid submitted by Kurt Ringen, a Seattle-based consultant for Zenith Administrators. “Ringen prepared a second proposal, this time just from Zenith. He said LHI’s $11 million proposal was several million dollars less than those of the other three bidders. Blosser declined to say how much the other proposals would have cost, adding that such information can’t be released to the public under federal contracting rules. ‘We could not do the project on the budget LHI proposed – at least and do it responsibly,’ Ringen said. ‘We couldn’t even come close to what they were proposing.’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/08]
New York Congressman Said The Decision Was “Baffling,” Said HHS “Can’t Even Get Their Stories Straight.” In November 2008, the Wisconsin State Journal reported: “[Agency Spokesperson Fred] Blosser said the process was halted because it wasn’t clear how much the government would pay for patients with health insurance, although Congress had appropriated $108 million for that purpose. He said the solicitation also was “structured in a way that inadvertently limited interest from bidders that may have been equipped to address the complexity of the program on both the local and national scale.” U.S. Rep. Ed Towns, chairman of the subcommittee, didn’t buy the explanations offered by the health agency. ‘It is really a baffling decision, and they can’t even get their stories straight for why it happened,’ the Democrat from Brooklyn said at the hearing. ‘First they said that the bidders were confused. Well, we talked to bidders, who had invested a lot of time and money in their proposals, and they said they were ready to go. Then the administration said there wasn’t enough funding. Well, how could they know that before the bids came in?’” [Wisconsin State Journal, 11/16/2008]
Baldwin Stood Up To Politicizing 9/11
Every year since the terrorist attacks on 9/11, Congress has passed bi-partisan resolution honoring the victims of the tragedy. The Congressional Record clearly shows that Tammy Baldwin has supported these resolution nine times.
In 2006, Congressional Republicans decided to politicize a 9/11 memorial resolution, and Baldwin voted against it. Tammy Baldwin spoke out against the politicization on the five year anniversary of 9/11 and said the following:
“Mr. Speaker, on the fifth anniversary of the worst attack on American soil, my Republican colleagues have disgracefully politicized what should have been a solemn and sincere resolution. This week we are mourning the tragic loses of innocent lives as well as commemorating the unsurpassed heroism that was on display that day.
“We are expressing our gratitude to our Nation’s law enforcement officers for their tireless dedication to make our country safer; and we are reaffirming our Nation’s resolve to combat terrorism and secure our homeland. But rather than offering a bipartisan resolution that unites us on this solemn occasion, the Republican leadership converted the bill into an endorsement of the PATRIOT Act, punitive immigration bills, and other highly controversial measures, which many of my constituents oppose.
“This bill was cynically transformed from a memorial resolution to an endorsement of President Bush’s failed policies. The Republicans show enormous disrespect to the 9/11 victims and families by playing election year politics with something as solemn as the fifth anniversary of 9/11; I will vote against the bill.”
In fact, the day before, Baldwin voted for a resolution to recognize the importance of establishing a national memorial at the World Trade Center site of the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks.
Baldwin Supported Resolutions Honoring The Victims Of 9/11
Baldwin Voted in Favor of the 9/11 Resolution in 2001. On September 12, 2001, Baldwin voted for H.J.Res. 61. This measure honored the victims of the 9/11 attacks, condemned the terrorists, and commended the heroes. [Vote # 338, 9/13/2001]
Baldwin Supported A 2002 Resolution Commemorating the First Anniversary of 9/11. On September 11, 2002, the House passed HCon Res 464, expressing the sense of Congress on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with Tammy Baldwin’s support. [107th Congress, voice vote on H.Con.Res.464, 9/11/02]
Baldwin Voted For A 2004 Resolution Recognizing The Anniversary Of 9/11. On September 9, 2004, Baldwin voted for a resolution honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks, condemning the perpetrators, and commending the heroes. [Vote # 431, 9/9/2004]
Baldwin Voted For A 2005 Resolution Commemorating The Anniversary of 9/11. On September 8. 2005, Baldwin voted for H.Res.427, a resolution expressing sympathy toward the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, honoring the actions and sacrifices of the troops, and reaffirming a commitment to the Global War on Terrorism. [Vote # 464, 9/8/2005]
Baldwin Voted For A 2007 Resolution To Recognize 9/11 As A Day of Remembrance. On September 10, 2007, Baldwin voted for H.Res.643, a bill recognizing September 11 as a day of remembrance, extending sympathies to those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, and their families, honoring the heroic actions of our nation’s first responders and Armed Forces, and reaffirming the commitment to defending the people of the United States against any and all future challenges. [Vote # 866, 9/10/2007]
Baldwin Voted For A 2008 Resolution To Commemorate The 7th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks. On September, 11, 2008 Baldwin voted for H.Res.1420, a bill expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. [Vote # 586, 9/11/2008]
Baldwin Supported A 2009 Resolution to Honor the Victims of 9/11. On September 9, 2009, Tammy Baldwin supported H.Res.718, a measure recognizing 9/11 as a “national day of service and remembrance,” passed the House. [111th Congress voice vote on H.Res.718, 9/9/09]
Baldwin Voted For A 2010 Resolution Commemorating The 9th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks. On September 15, 2010 Baldwin voted for H.Res.1610, expressing the sense of Congress on the anniversary of 9/11 attacks. [Vote # 410, 9/15/2010]
Baldwin Supported A 2011 Resolution Commemorating The 10th Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks Passed by Voice Vote. Tammy Baldwin supported H.Res.391, Commemorating the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. [112th Congress, voice vote on H.Res.391, 9/9/11]
Baldwin Voted The Day Before 2006 Vote To Recognize The Importance Of Establish A 9/11 Memorial
Baldwin Voted to Recognize the Importance of Commemorating the Victims of the World Trade Center Attacks. On Sept. 12, 2006, Baldwin voted for a resolution to recognize the importance of establishing a national memorial at the World Trade Center site of the 1993 and 2001 terrorist attacks.[Vote # 437, 9/12/2006]
Baldwin Opposed Resolution That Politicized 9/11 With Election Year Politics
Congressional Quarterly On Politicization Of 2006 9/11 Anniversary Resolution: “This Year’s Version Was Different.” According to CQ, the resolution honoring the anniversary of 9/11 gets introduced in some form every year since the attacks and is intended to honor the victims, “But this year’s version was different. Taken up 54 days before one of the most pivotal elections in a decade, the measure afforded Republicans and Democrats a platform from which to argue about which party is more determined to prevail in the war on terror.” [CQ Weekly, 9/18/2006]
Congressional Quarterly: “Republicans Stuffed The Bill With References To Republican Measures.” In September of 2006, CQ Weekly published an article focusing on the unusually partisan nature of a recent resolution on the anniversary of 9/11. According to CQ: “Republicans stuffed the bill with references to GOP-crafted measures that they say improve national security. Democrats, who voted for some of the bills listed in the resolution, wanted no references to new laws, and complained that framing the resolution that way made it too much of a political document.” [CQ Weekly, 9/18/2006]
Capital Times: “The Republican leadership converted the bill into an endorsement of the PATRIOT Act, punitive immigration bills, and other highly controversial measures.” On September 11th of this year The Capital Times’ Jack Craver debunked false claims made by a right wing group, Media Trackers, and wrote that Baldwin said: “Rather than offering a bipartisan resolution that unites us on this solemn occasion, the Republican leadership converted the bill into an endorsement of the PATRIOT Act, punitive immigration bills, and other highly controversial measures, which many of my constituents oppose,” said Baldwin at the time, explaining her opposition to the resolution.” [Madison Capital Times Madison Politiscope Blog, 9/11/2012]
Capital Times: “The Resolution Included Much More Than An Expression Of Support For 9/11 Victims.” In fact, the resolution included much more than an expression of support for 9/11 victims, U.S. troops and the police officers, firefighters and paramedics who responded to the attacks. For instance, among the accomplishments it celebrates is the 2001 passage of the Patriot Act and its reauthorization in 2006. Baldwin voted against both measures. And it also paid homage to the House’s then-recent approval of a bill designed to crack down on illegal immigration authored by a Wisconsin colleague, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls.” [Madison Capital Times Madison Politiscope Blog, 9/11/2012]
Baldwin Spoke Out Against Politicization Of 9/11 Anniversary
Baldwin: “My Republican Colleagues Have Disgracefully Politicized What Should Have Been A Solemn And Sincere Resolution. Tammy Baldwin criticized the Republican leadership’s politicization of a resolution commemorating the attacks on September 11, 2001. In an extension of remarks in the Congressional record, Baldwin said: “Mr. Speaker, on the fifth anniversary of the worst attack on American soil, my Republican colleagues have disgracefully politicized what should have been a solemn and sincere resolution. This week we are mourning the tragic loses of innocent lives as well as commemorating the unsurpassed heroism that was on display that day. We are expressing our gratitude to our Nation’s law enforcement officers for their tireless dedication to make our country safer; and we are reaffirming our Nation’s resolve to combat terrorism and secure our homeland” [Congressional Record Page E1733, 9/13/2006]
Baldwin: “The Republican Leadership Converted The Bill Into An Endorsement Of The PATRIOT Act, Punitive Immigration Bills, And Other Highly Controversial Measures.” Tammy Baldwin criticized the Republican leadership’s politicization of a resolution commemorating the attacks on September 11, 2001. In an extension of remarks in the Congressional record, Baldwin said: “But rather than offering a bipartisan resolution that unites us on this solemn occasion, the Republican leadership converted the bill into an endorsement of the PATRIOT Act, punitive immigration bills, and other highly controversial measures, which many of my constituents oppose. [Congressional Record Page E1733, 9/13/2006]
Baldwin: “The Republicans Show Enormous Disrespect To The 9/11 Victims By Playing Election Year Politics…” Tammy Baldwin criticized the Republican leadership’s politicization of a resolution commemorating the attacks on September 11, 2001. In an extension of remarks in the Congressional record, Baldwin said: “This bill was cynically transformed from a memorial resolution to an endorsement of President Bush’s failed policies. The Republicans show enormous disrespect to the 9/11 victims and families by playing election year politics with something as solemn as the fifth anniversary of 9/11; I will vote against the bill.”[Congressional Record Page E1733, 9/13/2006]
Baldwin Has a Strong Record of Fighting For 9/11 First Responders
Baldwin Supported 9/11 First Responders Health Funding. In 2010, Baldwin supported a bill to provide health care and compensation to people exposed to toxic material after Sept. 11, 2001. The compromise bill provided less money over a shorter term to compensate victims than earlier versions of the bill. The bill provided $1.5 billion over five years to treat and monitor individuals with medical conditions from exposure to the attacks. New York City would contribute 10 percent of the cost and the Victim Compensation Fund would reopen for five years for claims. Attorneys’ fees would be capped at 10 percent of the total award. The bill imposed a two percent fee on government procurement from foreign companies located in certain countries and a one year extension of fees outsourcing companies would have to pay for certain visas. “This should not be seen as a Democratic or Republican issue,” former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said before the vote. “It shouldn’t even been seen as a fiscal issue. It’s a matter of morality, of obligation.” The bill passed, 206-60. [CQ Today, 12/22/10; HR 847, Vote664, 12/22/10]
Baldwin Voted To Provide Health Care for 9/11 First-Responders. In September 2010, Baldwin voted for providing compensation funding for victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, establishing a medical program and reopening funding for individuals exposed to harmful debris. The bill, formally titled the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, was named after a New York Police Department detective who participated in the ground zero effort and died on symptoms common to first responders. Under the measure, the Department of Health and Human Services would run a 10-year program to treat and monitor those with medical problems from the debris exposure. The program would also research conditions that may be related to the exposure, as well as diagnostic methods and treatment. Enrollment would be capped at 25,000 patients at anytime. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the health care and compensation programs would increase spending by $7.4 billion and that New York would be required to cover 10 percent of the cost. Most Republicans opposed the bill over paying for it with revenue generated from placing limits on a tax rule that allows foreign-based companies to use tax treaties to shift income outside the United States and avoid higher tax rates. Texas Rep. Joe Barton referred to the program as a “brand new entitlement program.” The bill passed, 268-160. [CQ Today, 9/29/10; HR 847, Vote550, 9/29/10]
Baldwin Supported Ground Zero Health Program. In 2010, Baldwin supported establishing a medical program for people exposed to harmful debris from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The program would treat and monitor individuals with medical problems resulting from the attacks or subsequent debris removal, including first-responders, construction workers and residents who lived near the Twin Towers. The measure required the program to research conditions related to exposure as well as diagnostic methods and treatment. New York Democrat Anthony Weiner chided Republicans for “talking about the pay-for and the fine print” as excuses not to vote for the bill, adding that “if you believe that we have a debt to the people that served our country, this is your moment to repay [them].” The bill failed to receive a two-thirds majority to pass, 255-159. [CQ Today, 7/29/10; HR 847, Vote491, 7/29/10]
Baldwin Stands Up For Those Who Fought For Our Freedoms
Baldwin Supported Tax Credits For Hiring Veterans. Tammy Baldwin voted for the VOW To Hire Heroes Act, a bill that would provide tax incentives to employers who hire out-of-work veterans. The bill created a tax credit of up to $5,600 for hiring veterans who have been looking for a job for more than six months, as well as a $2,400 credit for veterans who are unemployed for more than 4 weeks, but less than 6 months. The bill also included additional tax credits for hiring veterans with service-connected disabilities who have been looking for a job for more than six months. [Vote #853, 11/16/2011]
Baldwin Voted to Streamline Veterans’ Benefits Appeals. On May 31, 2011, Baldwin voted for a bill that would waive the Veterans Affairs regional office review of new evidence in veterans’ benefits appeals. It would provide that if a claimant submits new evidence in support of a case for which a substantive appeal has been filed, such evidence would be submitted directly to the Board of Veterans’ appeals. According to the Buffalo News, the bill “would direct the Board of Veterans’ Appeals at the Department of Veterans Affairs to directly consider evidence submitted by veterans for their claims appeals. He said the measure would avoid the current situation of the board ‘issuing often unnecessary supplemental statements of the case that serve only to delay and to deny’ veterans’ appeals.” [Vote #377, 5/31/2011; Buffalo News 06/06/2011]
Baldwin Supported Creating More Vet Centers in Wisconsin. On February 13, 2009 Tammy Baldwin signed a letter to Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki requesting he establish more vet centers specifically in Western Wisconsin. Baldwin said, “We note that both Maryland and Massachusetts, which have the same number of veterans as Wisconsin but smaller land areas, each have seven Vet Centers compared to Wisconsin’s three. Meanwhile, as of September 2008, significantly more Wisconsin service members – roughly 5,000 more – have deployed since September 11th, 2001, than have from Massachusetts. This inequity needs to be promptly addressed to ensure Wisconsin’s underserved veterans receive the care they urgently need and have more than earned.”[Letter from 9 Members of Congress to Secretary of the Department of Veteran Affairs Eric Shinseki, 2/13/09]
Baldwin Supported New GI Bill. In 2008, Baldwin voted for an amendment that would create an expanded educational benefit for veterans, imposing a surtax on the very wealthy to offset the costs of the new veterans’ program and suspend implementation of seven Bush administration Medicaid regulations. The amendment appropriated $21.2 billion for domestic programs, military construction and foreign aid programs. It would provide $4.6 billion for military construction and $5.8 billion for levee building in Louisiana. The amendment would provide a permanent expansion of education benefits for post-Sept. 11 veterans, offset with 0.47 percent surtax on modified adjusted gross income above $500,000 per year for individuals and $1 million for couples. It also would temporarily extend unemployment insurance benefits and place a moratorium through March 2009 on seven Medicaid regulations proposed by the administration. It would appropriate $9.9 billion for the State Department, USAID and international food assistance. The amendment passed 256-166 [Vote #330, 5/15/2008; Congressional Quarterly, Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 5/16/08]
2007: Baldwin Passed The Dr James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act, Providing Compensation For Certain Blind Veterans. On February 5, 2007, Tammy Baldwin introduced H.R. 797, the Dr James Allen Veteran Vision Equity Act Of 2007. This bill was a reintroduction of similar legislation sponsored by Representative Baldwin in the previous three congresses. The bill modifies the standard for awarding disability compensation to veterans for loss of vision to require payment of compensation for impairment of vision (currently, blindness) involving both eyes due to a service-connected and non service-connected disability. The bill was amended in the House and Senate, however Baldwin’s underlying legislation made it through to be signed by the President and become public law number 110-157 on December 26, 2007. [110th Congress H.R. 797, introduced 2/5/2007]
Baldwin Supported Historic Funding Increase For Veterans Programs. In 2007, Baldwin voted for a budget that provided a $6.6 billion increase in funding for veterans programs. However, the Veterans of Foreign Wars applauded the budget, and the House and Senate leadership who were instrumental in the adoption of this historic increase. These additional resources would cover increases in the costs of health care, the VA’s increasing patient load, including veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, and help cover the cost of forthcoming recommendations to improve military and veterans’ health care facilities and treatment. The budget passed 216-210. [Vote #212, 3/29/2007; VFW Washington Weekly, 4/2/07; CQ House Action Reports, No. 110-4]
Baldwin supported $53 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits. [Vote #224, 5/26/2005; Leadership Document, “Medical Quality Democratic Amendment Final;”]
Baldwin supported Giving all Veterans their Full Disability and Retirement Benefits [Vote #616, 11/7/2003; Macon Telegraph, 11/8/03]
Baldwin Voted For Highest Funding Levels for Military Veterans’ Medical Care. [Vote #17, 1/29/2003]
Baldwin Voted In Favor Of Fully Funding VA Health Care. [Vote #296, 7/30/2001; Testimony of Paralyzed Veterans of America Senior Associate Legislative Director David Tucker, 5/2/02 (available on FDCH)]
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