We Have to Start Doing Something

Border Crisis

Ron Johnson on CNN

Senator Johnson opened the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on migrant exploitation this week by addressing the photo published by the Associated Press of a migrant father and his 23-month-old daughter who recently drowned in the Rio Grande. Senator Johnson again urged Congress to act to address the crisis at the southern border, which has seen as many as 23,000 people per week arrive at the border as unaccompanied minors and members of family units.

Senator Johnson said, "I don't want to see another picture like that on the U.S. border. I hope that picture alone will catalyze this Congress, this Senate, this committee to do something. We are not going to solve this overnight, but we can make some improvement in the situation. We have to start doing something Congress. The men and women of DHS are doing what you can do with limited resources. Congress has to act and it has to start with an honest and open discussion and conversation."

Watch more in this interview with CNN.

Medicaid Fraud

Improper Payment Graph

One year ago, the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs issued a report on Medicaid fraud and overpayments.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services fraud totaled nearly $6 billion, by far the highest of any federal agency. The report showed that Medicaid alone doles out $37 billion a year of improper payments, a 157% increase since 2013. Medicaid accounted for 26% of all the improper payments made by the federal government in fiscal year 2017. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services needs to do more to address this problem.

Read more on the report here.

Ending Government Shutdowns

Government Shutdown Sign

Government shutdowns hurt people, damage our economy and benefit no one. Politicians have talked for years about ending government shutdowns without taking action. With this act, we take a significant step to hold Congress responsible for doing its job.

The Government Shutdown Accountability Act ends government shutdowns by forcing Congress to fund the government: it cannot take a break (go on recess), members cant use taxpayer dollars to travel, and with few exceptions the House and Senate can only vote on spending bills. As amended by the committee, when a lapse in appropriations occurs, the government would remain open at current funding levels and members would not receive pay while Congress works to pass a spending bill.

You can watch additional comments from Sen. Johnson here.

Jefferson Awards

Congratulations to this year's Jefferson Award winners from Wisconsin.

The Jefferson Award is a national platform focused on extraordinary achievement in public service. For nearly 50 years, the award recognizes individuals who build better communities and contribute to a better future for those around them.

Steve Goetsch from Wausau started a charity to honor the life of his son, Forrest, who tragically died at a school Cross Country practice. The Foundation has raised over $250,000 to date and has helped unite the community in the name of service.

Wayne Bisek from Madison grew up in poverty and has spent more than two decades making sure no families feel that pain. Through the organization he founded 23 years ago, Buckets for Hunger, Wayne has raised more than $2.3 million dollars for food pantries around the state of Wisconsin.

Jack Running from Eau Claire has been a volunteer firefighter for 45 years with the Township Fire Department. He has been chief for 21 years and spends 20-30 hours a week volunteering for the department.

Steve and Monica Holman from La Crosse founded "Live for Liz" in honor of their daughter who died from lung cancer. They have raised over $100,000 for reserach and patient support.

Social Media Highlights

Ron Johnson and Reince Priebus