The Tiffany Telegram: October 2, 2020
We know we speak for all Telegram readers in wishing President Trump and the First Lady – as well as all of those worldwide who have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic that originated several months ago in China – a speedy recovery.
On a high note, we saw more encouraging economic news this week as the national unemployment rate fell below 8 percent and we added 661,000 jobs, beating analysts’ expectations. These results cap off a 5-month recovery run in which we’ve seen the creation of more than 11 million jobs – a record – and the peak unemployment rate at the height of pandemic lockdowns cut nearly in half.
The U.S. also crossed an important milestone Monday as we conducted our 100 millionth Covid test – more than any other nation on earth. The White House also held an event to announce the distribution of 150 million Abbott rapid point-of-care tests. This development will help accelerate a return to normal for schools and businesses as we work together to keep America’s recovery on track.
Speaker Pelosi brought Congress back to Washington this week, but once again rejected bipartisan efforts to unlock previously appropriated but unobiligated Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds and get them into the hands of struggling small businesses. Unfortunately, Ms. Pelosi once again presented lawmakers with a $2.2 trillion “wish list” that included hundreds of millions of dollars in deep cuts to state and local police funding, taxpayer “stimulus” payments to illegal aliens and a massive tax giveaway to millionaires and billionaires in high-tax states like California and New York. Worse, she refused to allow votes on any amendments to this package. I joined with a bipartisan group of Democrats and Republicans in voting against this legislation, and instead supported a clean measure to reopen the PPP program – which you can review here.
In this week’s Telegram we want to tell you about
- An event to honor Gold Star mothers
- Honoring two of Wisconsin’s heroes in New Richmond
- A closer look at Wisconsin’s COVID-19 data
- Support for Wisconsin dairy farmers
- District Coronavirus Update
An event to honor Gold Star mothers
On Sunday I had the honor and privilege to speak at the statue dedication for the American Gold Star Mothers in Rothschild. That ceremony was the culmination of hard work, persistence and a vision that endured for over 15 years. The American Gold Star Mothers organization has roots that date back to World War I when a mother whose son went off to war began volunteering her time at hospitals and consoling other families who had lost a service member. Tragically, her son lost his life during the war. This event prompted her to organize groups of mourning mothers who would provide comfort to each other and visit veteran hospitals located far from home. In 1928, twenty-five mothers met in Washington D.C. to establish the American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. The organizations’ name was inspired by the Gold Star that families traditionally hung on their windows in honor of their deceased veteran. Today, the American Gold Star Mothers play an instrumental role in helping military families through their various efforts and continued commitment to veterans of previous wars. Their commitment does not stop there however, as they promote a sense of individual obligation to the community, state and the nation and instill respect for the Stars and Stripes in our American youth. Our brave service members have continued to answer the nations’ calls, and some have selflessly given their lives for our country –leaving behind sorrow that only a parent who loses a child can understand. Today and always, we thank and honor those Gold Star parents in our communities for their sacrifices, and we thank the American Gold Star Mothers for their continued support and unwavering dedication to the families of our fallen.
Tom attends the Gold Star event in Rothschild, WI.
Honoring two of Wisconsin’s heroes in New Richmond
This week I joined my colleague Rep. Ron Kind (WI-3) in unveiling legislation to honor two of Wisconsin’s World War II heroes, half-brothers Captain Robert C. Harmon and Private John R. Peirson, by naming the New Richmond Post Office after them. Captain Harmon was shot down over France, and Private Peirson was killed during fighting on Okinawa. Wisconsinites have always answered America’s call to serve, and I am happy to work with Rep. Kind and others in Wisconsin’s congressional delegation to honor the ultimate sacrifice made by these two brave men.
|Tom introduces an amendment to HR 2648 during the House Judiciary Markup.|
A closer look at Wisconsin’s COVID-19 data
In last week’s newsletter we highlighted the phenomenal work being done by the MacIver Institute to investigate why the Wisconsin Department of Health Services’ (DHS) numbers for positive cases appear to be so inflated. DHS was previously taking the number of new positive cases and dividing by the number of people receiving a test for the first time. Essentially instead of testing on a “people-to-people” ratio, the DHS database was calculating with a “cases-to-new people” ratio. These results were then excluding any repeat testers, which ultimately inflated the positivity rate by as much as ten percent on any given day. As the result of the hard work being done at MacIver, DHS began implementing new protocols this Wednesday, September 30th and we will hopefully begin to see more accurate percentages coming out of their office.
Support for Wisconsin dairy farmers
This week I threw my support behind the Dairy Pricing and Policy Commission Act. This bill introduced by my Wisconsin colleagues, Reps. Ron Kind and Mike Gallagher, would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to create a Dairy Pricing and Policy Commission. This commission would conduct a comprehensive study of the challenges our dairy industry is facing, like low milk prices and declining dairy farm numbers, and help develop recommendations for how we can address challenges and strengthen this important industry. I am committed to supporting our dairy farmers, and this bill is one way we can do that.
District Coronavirus Update
Northern Wisconsin has continued to see increased numbers of COVID-19 cases this week. However, hospitalizations remain as low as five percent in most regions, and our healthcare providers have assured us the numbers of available beds and available mechanical ventilators are stable. Additionally, total deaths remain in the single digits for every county in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional district, with the exception of Marathon County. The largest upticks in case numbers continue to occur in the 18-24 and 25-35 age brackets. We did receive some positive news that most outbreaks in education settings, specifically college campuses, have been contained and in-person classes have begun to return to their normal schedules. At the state level, the Governor’s office is working to open new regional facilities throughout the state to supplement some areas who are lacking in community testing centers. The first regional center will be opening in Eau Claire as early as next week. As always we encourage you to utilize the DHS website to find the testing center nearest you in the event you should need a test.
In case you missed it…
Congratulations to Angie Kennell, our 2020 Angel in Adoption from Wisconsin’s 7th District. This week, Ms. Kennell was honored by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute for her extraordinary effort to make the dream of a family a reality for every child as a foster parent. Read more about how she and her fellow honorees are making a difference in the lives of many here.
Please join the Marathon County VSO and staff, as they host the Veterans Day Resource Fair.
Veterans Day Resource Fair
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 - 10:00am
Marathon County Historical Society
410 McIndoe Street
Wausau, WI 54403
In addition to my Wausau and Washington, DC offices, you can reach my staff located in various parts of the district by phone in the location most convenient to you (Note: These lines have 202 area codes as they are connected directly through the US House of Representatives system in Washington, DC):
Hayward: (202) 510-2790
P.O. Box 586
Hayward, WI 54843
Hudson: (202) 510-8993
Tomahawk: (202) 738-6508
White House Tours
White House tours will resume on Saturday, September 12th. Tours will be hosted on Friday and Saturday, 8:00 am to 11:00 am and tour size will be limited. Visit the website for more information or to schedule a tour.
Coronavirus Response Resources
The USDA continues to make resources and assistance available to agricultural producers and working families to ensure access, safety and stability for food markets and supplies.
President Trump announced that the administration has made an additional $13 billion in additional assistance available to agricultural producers during his visit to Wisconsin last month. The USDA began accepting applications on September 21 for this new phase of coronavirus relief, which will assist farmers and ranchers who have been adversely affected during the pandemic. You can learn more about how this program applies to a variety of agricultural products here.
Small businesses can also apply for assistance through the Economic Injury and Disaster Loan program. This program provides economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the pandemic.
And once again, remember to make sure that you and your family are counted in the census. Please be sure to visit 2020census.gov to learn more.
If a friend forwarded you this newsletter, and you would like to receive it in the future, you can sign up here, and don’t forget to connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
As always, you are welcome to visit my website or to contact my offices in Washington, DC or Wisconsin, which remain open for service, if you have any questions or need assistance.
Member of Congress