submitted by Jessika Kasten; photo by Karl Wellensiek
Today, U.S. Representative Mark Pocan shared updates and insights from Washington D.C. Rep. Pocan began by giving some background on the Second Congressional District which is much larger than most assume, including Dane County as well as more rural counties surrounding Dane. This array of both metropolitan and rural areas greatly impacts Rep. Pocan’s areas of focus in Washington.
This fall, Rep. Pocan is hopeful to see movement in a few major areas: investment in infrastructure, prescription drug pricing (more generic drug equivalents) and gun violence prevention (background checks). He also anticipates that there will be a Continuing Resolution (CR) that would bide leaders some additional time (November/December) after the September 30 fiscal year end to develop an omnibus house appropriations bill and hopefully avoid a government shutdown.
Rep. Pocan finished by answering some submitted questions from Rotarians, including:
Q: What opportunities to do you see for bipartisanship?
A: There are a few areas called out above where we could see movement ahead of the Presidential election cycle. The biggest threat to bipartisanship is gerrymandering, which creates non-competitive districts. Competitive districts would force candidates to speak with all of the district constituents, encouraging additional voices to be heard.
Q: How do you feel Medicare for All would work?
A: The U.S. is the only industrialized nation to not offer universal healthcare. He believes we should focus on the value of having healthcare for all first, and then dig into the how best to accomplish it. Healthcare is the number one concern of his electorate.
Q: Why hasn’t Congress started impeachment proceedings?
A: Congress has requested testimony from those involved, but invitations have been declined. They have now begun an impeachment investigation in order to compel witnesses to come forward and share their honest stories. After these testimonies, next steps will be developed.
We thank WisconsinEye for videotaping our meeting this week. If you missed our meeting this week, you can watch the video here.