Baldwin

A tireless leader Wisconsin can trust to fight for jobs and stand up for middle class families, workers and small business.

Tommy Thompson Tries To Use 9/11 Tragedy for Political Gain

Baldwin: “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.”

MILWAUKEE — Desperate, and behind in the polls, Tommy Thompson released a new TV ad today that uses images of the 9/11 tragedy and loss of life to launch a dishonest attack that tries to suggest Tammy Baldwin opposes honoring the victims of the 9/11 terrorists attack on America.

“Tommy Thompson is so desperate he is using the 9/11 attack on America to make a dishonest ad that tries to use human tragedy for his own political gain,” said John Kraus, spokesman for the Baldwin campaign, “The fact that Tommy Thompson would question Tammy Baldwin’s patriotism and love of America is offensive and disgusting. Thompson’s fear mongering and scare tactics will be rejected by the people of Wisconsin.”

Baldwin has supported honoring the victims of 9/11 on nine occasions and when Congressional Republicans politicized a 2006 vote honoring the anniversary of 9/11 Baldwin opposed the measure for including divisive, political provisions right before the 2006 elections where Republicans lost the majority in the House.

The Capital Times reported on September 11 of this year, “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.”

On the 2006 vote, Baldwin said, “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.”

On the 2006 vote, Baldwin also 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.”

In addition, 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 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. In 2005, Baldwin voted in favor of an amendment to the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs funding bill to add $53 million for veterans’ health care and other benefits, offset by a 9 percent cut to BRAC. The amendment would add $8 million for combat- related trauma care, $6 million for poly-trauma centers to support wounded troops once they return to their homes, $9 million for VA medical and prosthetic research and $7 million for 100 additional staff who process claims for compensation and pension benefits. Finally, the amendment would provide $23 million to help approximately 4,100 spouses of service members with children whose spouse died during the War on Terrorism between September 11, 2001 and November 30, 2004 by making them eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The amendment failed 213-214. [Vote #224, 5/26/2005; Leadership Document, “Medical Quality Democratic Amendment Final;”]

Baldwin supported Giving all Veterans their Full Disability and Retirement Benefits In 2003, Baldwin voted in favor of a motion to allow all veterans to immediately receive full disability and retirement benefits simultaneously. The motion would have eliminated the ban on concurrent receipt of retirement and disability pay for veterans. In 2003, the Macon Telegraph reported, “The House of Representatives approved a final version of the 2004 Defense Authorization Bill on Friday, but nixed a last-minute effort by U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall to eliminate the ban on concurrent receipt of retirement and disability pay for veterans… Marshall offered a motion shortly before the bill passed which would have forced the House and Senate conference committee to completely lift the ban on concurrent receipt, but that motion failed by a mostly partisan vote of 188-217.” [Vote #616, 11/7/2003; Macon Telegraph, 11/8/03]

Baldwin Voted For Highest Funding Levels for Military Veterans’ Medical Care. In January 2003, Tammy Baldwin voted for a motion instructing House conferees to agree to the highest levels of funding for military veterans’ medical care and for all programs under the jurisdiction of the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee. The instructions also directed conferees to insist on full funding to meet President Bush’s request for homeland security needs. The House rejected the motion 200-209. [Vote #17, 1/29/2003]

Baldwin Voted In Favor Of Fully Funding VA Health Care. In 2001, Tammy Baldwin voted for fully funding veterans’ health care, including services provided under the Veterans Millennium Health Care Act. That law, according to a veterans advocate, specified that inpatient long-term care for veterans “is a unique national resource and its capacity must not be diminished in the process of VHA’s [Veterans Health Administration’s] restructuring and realignment.” The vote was on a Boyd (D-FL) motion, which Baldwin voted against, to recommit the fiscal 2002 VA-HUD appropriations bill to committee with instructions to increase funding for VA medical care programs [Vote #296, 7/30/2001; Testimony of Paralyzed Veterans of America Senior Associate Legislative Director David Tucker, 5/2/02 (available on FDCH)]