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Quotes of the week
The nature of life on Capitol Hill necessitates long hours in close proximity to lawmakers and staff that can create power dynamics of which young people are not fully aware. It would be unconscionable for Congress to not be vigilant and proactive in taking precautions to safeguard these children giving the well sourced allegations against Roy Moore.
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, who in a Dec. 8 letter called on the Senate Sergeant at Arms to safeguard the chamber’s pages in preparation for the possible election of Roy Moore. He ultimately lost the Alabama Senate special election race to Dem Doug Jones on Dec. 12. But Moore, D-Milwaukee, wrote on Twitter that same day that Roy Moore supporters had been calling her office posing as AP reporters.
Alabamians didn’t want somebody who dated 14-year-old girls.
– U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, when asked by national reporters what message the Alabama election results sent. Johnson was also asked whether the results were a message to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, to which he replied: “I hope he pays attention that you need good candidates to win Senate races, yeah.” See the NBC News video.
You know the thing we like about WORT, it’s a safe station. You’ve heard about safe spaces? This is a safe station. You can listen all week without hearing ‘Hotel California’ by the Eagles.
– U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, who in September recorded an hour of his favorite music at WORT, a community radio station in Madison. The broadcast, which aired this week, featured artists ranging from Bob Dylan to The Four Tops to Deep Purple. Hear the broadcast and see an Isthmus story on the Glenbeulah Republican’s hour spinning records.
This week’s news
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin this week pressed the Trump administration to complete an overdue “Buy American” report the president previously called for in April.
During President Trump’s visit to Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, he signed an executive order he said is aimed at boosting the federal government’s use of American made goods and ensuring companies hire American workers.
Part of that executive order, Baldwin wrote in a letter to Trump this week, tasked the administration with completing a report on “Buy American” laws within 220 days — or by Nov. 24. She urged the administration “to expedite the publication of this now late report.”
“I again urge you to prioritize the completion of the report,” the Madison Dem wrote. “And, I remain hopeful that we can work together to ensure Congress strengthens our government’s commitment to buying American-made goods in order to improve wages, boost growth, and support American manufacturers.”
Trump in April told WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee he agrees “100 percent” a Baldwin bill that would require American steel and iron to be used in certain projects.
See Baldwin’s release.
— While Republicans have reportedly reached an agreement on a tax cut deal, Dems including U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan are asking to pump the breaks until newly elected Dem Alabama Sen. Doug Jones is seated.
“The #GOPTaxScam vote should wait until Doug Jones is seated, or is @SenateMajLdr McConnell scared that the more time Americans have to learn about the bill, the more opposition he will face?” Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, wrote in a tweet Wednesday.
National media reports on Wednesday showed GOP House and Senate leaders reached a broad consensus that would set the corporate tax rate at 21 percent, drop the top individual income tax rate to 37 percent and remove the corporate alternative minimum tax.
A final bill is expected at the end of the week, according to those reports, and both houses are expected to vote on the legislation next week.
CNN reported this week Jones won’t be sworn in for the next few weeks. That’s because each county in the state has until Dec. 22 to report the results to the Alabama secretary of state’s office. After that, the State Canvassing Board will have until Jan. 3 to certify them. The board would then notify the Senate and at that point Jones would be sworn in.
— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson introduced a bill this week targeting the multi-state plan program under the Affordable Care Act.
The Oshkosh Republican introduced the bill with Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., to end the program, which looks to set up multi-state health plans to compete with private ones in an effort to spur competition on the healthcare exchanges.
Johnson, though, said in a statement the requirement is instead “diverting necessary resources” from the Office of Personnel Management, which was tasked with contracting with two national health plans under Obamacare.
“Congress needs to let the OPM focus on its job, eliminate this failed program and work to ensure health care is more affordable for all Americans,” he said.
See the release.
— Johnson this week also introduced a bill aimed at helping students better understand their student loans.
The bipartisan bill from Johnson and U.S. Sens. Joe Donnelly and Amy Klobuchar would require colleges and universities to send a yearly letter to students outlining each one’s total loan debt, projected monthly repayment amounts and estimated interest rate for each loan.
“Students borrowing to pay for college should be fully aware of the financial obligations they are taking on,” Johnson said. “Making student loan information more transparent is an important step in the right direction toward helping students make responsible borrowing decisions.”
See the release.
— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman’s resolution condemning the persecution of Christians unanimously passed the House this week.
“H. Res. 407 will condemn the persecution of Christians around the world and calls for all discriminatory countries and extremist groups to cease their persecution of religious minorities and force leaders to uphold universal religious freedom,” the Glenbeulah Republican said on the floor prior to the vote.
— U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner applauded the federal Department of Justice for reportedly making moves to investigate the transfer of fetal tissues by abortion providers.
Sensenbrenner’s statement comes after a DOJ official last week requested certain documents from the Senate Judiciary Committee surrounding a 2016 committee investigation into the exchange of fetal tissue, according to national media reports.
“It is heartbreaking and disgusting that anyone would profit from sale of innocent unborn human body parts,” the Menomonee Falls Republican said in a statement.
Posts of the week
— Mark Pocan (@MarkPocan) December 11, 2017