Ron Leads Congressional Delegation to Central America
View more pictures from Ron's trip here.
“This weekend I was joined by Sens. Tom Carper, Heidi Heitkamp and Gary Peters and Congressman Reid Ribble on a fact-finding tour of Guatemala and Honduras,” Ron said Monday upon his return.
“Witnessing the conditions in these Central American countries reinforced what we have been learning in 12 border security hearings held by the Senate committee I chair: that the root cause of America's insecure border is our insatiable demand for drugs. This demand has created drug cartels and conditions that have corrupted public institutions throughout Central America, leaving these countries incapable of providing sufficient security and the rule of law that are basic prerequisites of economic success.
“I was heartened to confirm that a sense of national pride still exists in these countries. The Guatemalan president-elect expressed a love for country that he knows must be shared by his fellow citizens. Children in Honduras talked about their future in Honduras. And Guatemalans just repatriated from the U.S. erupted in applause when welcomed back to their home country. The president of Honduras told the delegation that witnessing his people leave their country for opportunities in the U.S. was a 'slap in the face.' Although the landscapes of Guatemala and Honduras are stunningly beautiful, we found that the most beautiful part of both countries is their people.
“I return committed to setting achievable goals based on reality, and then working with my colleagues to design solutions that have the best chance for success. We must acknowledge that both push and pull factors lead Central Americans to migrate to the U.S., and both must be addressed. It is also important to understand that those who are leaving to seek opportunity are the very people that these countries need to remain and fight to improve their countries.
“There is much work to be done, and it will take the collaborative efforts of many people in a number of countries to accomplish shared goals. The fact that we observed teams from Colombia, joining exceptional Americans from a variety of agencies and multiple military branches working with dedicated citizens of the host countries, instilled real hope.
“Central American societies have been ravaged by what too many Americans consider a ‘victimless' crime — drug abuse. We have seen the victims, and it is high time that we commit ourselves to finding real solutions.”
Ron Introduces Bill to Provide Better Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children
The full text of the bill can be found here.
Ron, joined by his colleagues Sens. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.), Daniel Coats (R-Ind.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), introduced the Fruit and Vegetable Access for Children Act on Thursday.
The bipartisan legislation would expand the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program, which improves children’s in-school snacks in schools districts with low-income families.
“We should allow our schools in Wisconsin the flexibility they need to provide nutritious foods for our children,” Ron said. “By opening the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program to all forms of fruits and vegetables, schools utilizing the program are given the opportunity to maximize the nourishing snacks they provide children with taxpayers’ dollars." Read more here.
Johnson, Committee Hear Local Support for School Choice Program
Watch the full hearing here.
Sen. Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, held a hearing Wednesday on the school choice program that helps low-income families in Washington, D.C.
He noted how his experience running a Wisconsin manufacturing company for 31 years taught him that competition guarantees customers the best quality and service at the best price. “Wouldn’t that be great to have that kind of discipline in our school system, for our children, for their opportunities?” he said. “This is all about providing our children with the tools they need to become productive citizens. It’s about opportunity. It’s about giving people a choice. It’s about giving people a chance.” Read more here.
Friday, Nov. 13, 2015
What: Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing: "The Impact of Federal Regulations: A Case Study of Recently Issued Rules"
Time: 1 p.m. CT
Location: Dreyfus University Center, 230 Laird Room, 1015 Reserve Street, Stevens Point