Washington D.C. – Upon learning that nearly 600 veterans were exposed to possible infection due to violation of infection control procedures by a dentist practicing at the Tomah VA, U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) urged the Acting Director of the Tomah VA Medical Center, Victoria Brahm, to do more to ensure that Veterans’ health is not subjected to future risk. The letter to Ms. Brahm reads in part:
“I also urge you to conduct a thorough review of your sterilization procedure training regime. If one VA employee purposefully and repeatedly violated the VA’s regulations, I fear that other medical professionals may be unclear or unaware of the consequences of improper sterilization, thereby putting more of our veterans at risk. I also request more detailed information on your plan to discipline the dentist in question.
“Our veterans have served our country, and they deserve the best medical care we can offer them. I have no doubt of the professionalism, competence, and dedication of the vast majority of Tomah VA’s employees. However, I urge you to redouble your efforts to ensure that every veteran who seeks treatment at Tomah VA receives the highest level of medical care.”
To read the letter in full, click here.
Washington D.C. – House Financial Services Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy and Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee Chairman Randy Neugebauer were joined by more than 40 of their colleagues in expressing concern to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director, Richard Cordray, over the agency’s proposed rules regarding payday, vehicle title, and certain high-cost installment loans. In a letter to Director Cordray, the lawmakers said in part:
“By the CFPB’s own admission, under these rules, lenders will lose up to 75 percent of their revenue which will put most out of business, yet does not suggest where consumers should turn to fulfill their short term credit needs. As you are well aware, the need for credit does not simply disappear. Access to credit has, and will continue to be, critical to millions of Americans. In fact, the Federal Reserve reported last year that nearly 47 percent of all American consumers could not cover a $400 emergency. Consumers use short term credit to cover unexpected expenses, or to fill the gaps in irregular income. To take what is often times the only lawful option available to make ends meet away from individuals without offering an alternative is irresponsible and is in direct conflict of the CFPB’s mission to ‘make consumer financial markets work for consumers, responsible providers, and the economy as a whole.’”
To read the letter in its entirety, and to see a complete list of signees, click here.
Washington D.C. – Representatives Sean Duffy (WI-07) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11)’s bill to extend whistleblower protections for Federal employees who refuse to violate rules and regulations passed the U.S. House of Representatives with overwhelming bipartisan support today. This bill comes on the heels of a landmark Federal court decision that found that the Whistleblower Protection Act safeguards Federal workers against employment retaliation for refusing orders to violate Federal law, but those same safeguards do not apply to employees who refuse to violate rules and regulations, despite the fact that rules and regulations are supposed to be derived of law. The Follow the Rules Act will address this glaring inconsistency.
In his remarks during debate on the bill, Rep. Duffy offered, “The court ruling will take away whistleblowers’ protections when they stand up to bad actors in the Federal workforce.
In effect, this ruling will give permission to supervisors in positions of authority to force Federal workers to violate the rules and regulations that Congress, through law, directs the agencies to implement.
For example, at the Treasury Department, one of the agencies I oversee, this would mean that Federal workers could be forced to violate sanctions against Russia for its violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. Many of those sanctions are enforced through the Code of Federal Regulations pursuant to laws enacted by Congress.”
He continued, “Regardless of your opinion about certain rules and regulations, we should not leave exposed Federal workers who simply want to follow them.”
Click on the image below to watch his full remarks:
Rep. Connolly added: “I’m proud to work with Rep. Sean Duffy to support federal whistleblowers and improve management practices across the federal government. The Follow the Rules Act will close a loophole that undermines whistleblower protections for federal employees. Federal employees who defy a supervisor’s direction to violate rules and regulations should not be subject to retaliation. This bill continues the bipartisan effort to fight whistleblower retaliation in the federal government and strengthen federal employee protections.”
An example of the kind of rules and regulations Federal employees should follow: Consider sanctions against North Korea, which Congress directed the President to promulgate in the form of Federal rules and regulations. Under current law, Federal employees who are told by their supervisor(s) to violate North Korean sanctions have no whistleblower protections. The Follow the Rules Act would fix this and should be considered by Congress.
Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy is pleased to announce that Robert L. Woodson, Sr., Founder and President of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, will keynote the 4th annual Hunger & Homelessness Summit.
“As we discuss the challenges that our rural community faces in the fight to combat homelessness, we should put a particular emphasis on creating opportunities through self-help and neighborhood empowerment as well,” said Rep Duffy.
He continued, “Mr. Woodson has championed this very idea in urban communities. I am very excited for him to share his knowledge and experiences with our community leaders and help us discover opportunities for personal empowerment in our own communities.”
Mr. Woodson offered, “Substantial and sustainable community development, rural or urban, must come from the bottom up and the inside out,” said Woodson. “Those with first-hand experience of the problems these communities face are the true experts who can offer innovative, well-targeted solutions.”
This year’s event will be held Monday, December 12, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. (Check-in begins at 8:00 a.m.), at the Central Wisconsin Convention and Expo Center; 10101 Market Street, Suite B40, Rothschild, WI 54474.
Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) offered the following statement upon learning of the passing of former Secretary of Defense and Congressman for the 7th District of Wisconsin, Melvin Laird:
“Mel Laird set an example for how to put people above politics. He was an honorable servant of our country and the 7th Congressional District of Wisconsin, and he was a great friend and mentor to many, including me.
“As I was navigating this position as a Freshman Congressman, our conversations were invaluable to me. More than forty years after leaving his post in Congress, he still knew all of his constituents and key leaders in our community. I will always be grateful to him for taking the time to show me the way.
“Rachel and I offer our prayers to his family and the many friends and mentees who are mourning his passing.”
Washington D.C. – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) will host his fourth annual Hunger & Homeless Summit on December 12th in Rothschild, WI. This year’s summit will feature an interactive presentation on Rep. Duffy’s forthcoming “Rural Revival” legislative initiative.
An announcement about keynote speakers is forthcoming, but registration is open now! 7th District business and community leaders who work on the front lines of, or have an interest in, combatting rural poverty are encouraged to attend.
WHEN: Monday, December 12, 2016, 9:00am (Check-in at 8:00am)
WHERE: Rothschild Convention Center, 10101 Market St, Rothschild
To register, click here.
Questions? Contact: (715) 298-9344 or email Jesse.Garza@mail.house.gov
Wausau, WI – U.S. Representative Sean Duffy (WI-07) asks the Acting Director of the Tomah VA Medical Center to brief him on a plan to assist veterans who will be displaced by the medical center’s recently announced plan to terminate the lease held by the Veterans Assistance Foundation Inc. (VAF) on January 16, 2017.
In the letter to Tomah VA’s Acting Director, Ms. Victoria Brahm, Rep. Duffy writes, in part: “I am deeply concerned about the welfare of these veterans, and the impact of the decision to terminate VAF’s lease, on the veterans currently relying on the VAF program for housing and medical care.” He continued, “If the decision to terminate the lease is final, I urge you to work with VAF to find suitable replacement housing for these veterans, and to ensure a timely resolution of the veterans’ housing needs.”
The VAF program currently houses 40 to 50 homeless veterans in the Tomah based facility. In addition to housing, they assist veterans suffering from mental illness and other chronic problems.
Rep. Duffy requests a response by November 4, 2016. To read the letter in full, click here.
1208 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Sean Duffy was born and raised in Hayward, Wisconsin. His great, great grandfather was one of the state’s early pioneers and a laborer for the Northwestern Lumber Company. His great grandfather, one of Hayward’s founding settlers, was a sawyer for 27 years.
Congressman Duffy has never strayed far from his roots, becoming a nationally recognized professional lumberjack athlete. He is a two-time world champion in the 90-foot speed climb, three-time champion in the 60-foot and an accomplished log-roller. Sean has been a color commentator for ESPN’s Great Outdoor Games, as well as a Badger State Games Honorary Athlete and takes pride in bringing national attention to a sport with vital roots in Wisconsin’s proud history.
The tenth of eleven siblings, Congressman Duffy worked his way through law school by performing in lumberjack shows and exhibitions across the state of Wisconsin and around the country. After graduating from law school he practiced law for two years in Hayward before becoming a special prosecutor in Ashland, Wisconsin. Shortly thereafter, he became the acting assistant D.A, and later the District Attorney of Ashland County. He is most proud of his dedication to prosecuting child sex crimes. Working together with law enforcement, Congressman Duffy helped make Ashland County one of the first counties in the state to investigate and prosecute child Internet sex crimes.
Congressman Duffy met his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy, an Arizona native, through the MTV show, “The Real World,” Together, they are the proud parents of six children: Evita, Jack, Lucia-Belen, John-Paul, Paloma, and MariaVictoria.
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