Rep. Tiffany calls for school to reopen as normal
Introduces bill to withhold federal funding from districts that did not open as normal
Rep. Tom Tiffany has been hitting the ground running since his victory in the May 12 special election for the 7th Congressional District.
Tiffany was in Medford on Monday visiting businesses and thanking community members for their support in the election. Taylor County gave Tiffany his largest margin of victory among the 26 counties in the 7th Congressional District.
Tiffany stopped at The Star News and talked about a range of issues from the start of the school year to the impact COVID-19 has had on Congress.
Tiffany was sworn in by house speaker Nancy Pelosi on May 19 and later that evening he met with president Donald Trump in the White House. Since then he has been working to get his office set up as quickly as possible in order to address the concerns and needs of residents of the 7th Congressional District.
He said the office is now fully staffed and ready to help area residents. Tiffany has also lost no time in introducing legislation. He recently cosponsored a bill that would withhold federal funding from school districts that did not open with in-person instruction by September 8. Tiffany noted that for many districts, local and state funding are the primary sources of income with federal funds accounting for a comparatively small amount. He said he introduced the bill in order to drive home the point that in-person education needs to happen.
In Wisconsin, school buildings have been closed to student instruction since March under state orders to stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tiffany said he felt it was important to get schools reopened this fall to prevent students from slipping through the cracks and missing out on quality education.
Tiffany noted that young people have, on average, milder symptoms and are less impacted by the virus. Tiffany also noted that with about 30% of families of students in the 7th Congressional District not having access to reliable broadband internet, online instruction is not a viable option for many.
He also emphasized the value that in-person instruction brings, especially for areas such as special education.
The federal government’s response to COVID-19 is an ongoing part of the Washington, D.C. political landscape. Tiffany noted the pandemic has resulted in changes in how Congress is functioning with the House of Representatives allowing proxy voting for the first time in its history.
While allowed under the rules, Tiffany said he had no intention of allowing any of his votes to be handed off to other people to cast. “I will not use proxy voting,” he said, noting he feels that he has an obligation to the 700,000 constituents in the 7th Congressional District to do the job he was elected to do.
While Tiffany won election in May, he will have to turn around and defend his seat come November. Tricia Zunker, who ran against him in the special election, will again be challenging Tiffany in November. Tiffany said he does not take anything for granted and looked forward to campaigning this summer.