DC Wrap

Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly.

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NOTE: This is the last DC Wrap product of 2017. The weekly newsletter will return on Jan. 11. Thanks for reading.

Quotes of the week, Dec. 15-21

The idea that after passing tax reform, as if it’s the only thing I care about, I’m just going to leave, get up and go, it’s ridiculous. It’s a thought that never entered my mind, let alone discussed it with anybody. So I really see this as sort rank speculation among the D.C. beltway press, speculating these things.
– House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, this week on multiple national media reports that he’s considering retiring after the 2018 midterm elections. Ryan disputed the reports — including from Politico Magazine and CNN — on “CBS This Morning,” saying they were “fairly irresponsible speculation.” See Politico’s coverage of the interview. See a WisPolitics.com story on the reports.    

I just couldn’t resist the opportunity to reject Donald Trump, since I have felt for a long time that he is incompetent, that he has serious mental illness issues, that he does not study, and he’s dangerous, that we could trip into a war in North Korea, that he won’t recognize that Russia has interfered with our election, that he has sexually assaulted folk and continues to support that perspective.
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore on ‘UpFront with Mike Gousha” on her support of a motion to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump. Moore, D-Milwaukee, was one of 58 House Dems this month to back the impeachment resolution, although she was the only member of the Wisconsin congressional delegation to do so. Read more from the segment.

This week’s news

— The GOP tax overhaul bill is now heading to President Trump’s desk after clearing the Senate once and the House twice this week.

In all three cases, the state’s congressional Dems voted against the bill.

The latest 224-201 vote on Wednesday in the House vote came after the bill cleared the Senate on Tuesday night. In that chamber, U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson split on the bill, which ultimately passed on a 51-48 party-line vote.

Before that, the bill passed the House earlier on Tuesday, but was sent back to the chamber on Wednesday after the Senate parliamentarian found several provisions violated that chamber’s rules governing what could pass with a simple majority.

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, missed both House votes. A spokesman said he has not yet been cleared by doctors to fly after triple bypass surgery in November. Pocan is expected back in DC during the first week of January.  

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, joined his fellow Wisconsin Republicans in supporting the bill. As speaker, Ryan rarely votes on legislation.

— Wisconsin Republicans on Wednesday lauded the bill’s passage.

Ryan called the legislation a “once-in-a-generation tax reform bill.”

“This is the end of a long journey to deliver major tax relief to the American people,” he said. “Now, this historic legislation will be sent to the president’s desk so we can start 2018 with a new tax code.”

And U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, said while there’s more work to be done to get people back into the workforce, the bill Congress approved this week is a “huge step forward.”

“For the first time in over 31 years, Congress passed comprehensive legislation to reform our outdated, unfair, and overly complicated tax code that has stifled growth for manufacturers and punished working families in Northeast Wisconsin,” he said.

But Dems continued knocking the bill as a “#GOPTaxScam.”  

Pocan in a tweet countered the plan “a ‘once-in-a-generation’ bill that will have generations to come paying for it.”  

And Baldwin, D-Madison, called on Congress to act to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program.  

“While Congressional Republicans give a huge gift to the wealthy, powerful corporations and Wall Street, nearly 170,000 kids in Wisconsin are at risk of losing health care if we don’t act to #FundCHIPNow,” she wrote in a tweet.

See more via WisBusiness.com on how Wisconsin business leaders are reacting to the tax bill.

— A bipartisan bill from Baldwin that looks to provide family caregivers with more support cleared the House this week.

The bipartisan legislation, which the Madison Dem and Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins first introduced in July 2015, passed the Senate unanimously in December of that year. It would direct the Health and Human Services secretary to create a national strategy to recognize the nation’s family caregivers.

“Our legislation will provide much-needed support for family caregivers, ensuring that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes,” Baldwin said in a statement.

— Baldwin and 18 other senators also called on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to address sexual harassment in the food and hospitality industries.

The letter, to Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic, noted that EEOC data shows the “accomodation and food services” industry — including restaurants and hospitality — “is particularly rife with harassment,” the senators wrote.    

“Sexual harassment remains a persistent problem for American workers—particularly women and people of color,” they said.

See the letter.

— U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore has introduced a bipartisan bill aimed at combating human trafficking.  

The bill, from Moore, D-Milwaukee, and GOP Rep. Erik Paulsen, of Minnesota, would formally create an Office of Victim Assistance in the Department of Homeland Security to engage victims in trafficking investigations; dictate further law enforcement training; and require federal agencies to quickly report human trafficking data to the FBI.

“For far too long, America’s criminal justice system has failed to protect those who have fallen victim to human trafficking,” Moore said. “In order to substantively combat this pervasive and complex issue, local and federal law enforcement officials must have the tools and training necessary to identify and respond to human trafficking in all of its forms.

See the release.

Posts of the week

ICYMI

‘UpFront’: Moore says Mueller in danger of being fired, defends vote to impeach Trump

After speculation, Rep. Gwen Moore tells Speaker Ryan to retire now

Baldwin on taxes, #MeToo

ONE ON ONE: Sen. Tammy Baldwin addresses issues facing US

Ron Johnson demands explanation for how GSA turned over Trump transition emails to Robert Mueller

“Going to have to potentially:” Sen. Ron Johnson: Mueller email dispute may require change to the law

Ron Johnson on GOP Plan: ‘Plenty of Tax Cuts for Most Americans’

Rep. Kind blasts House passage of tax bill

Wis. lawmakers vote party line on House tax cut vote

Bice: U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan says Supreme Court endorsement not linked to past donations

Rep. Sean Duffy: Tax reform process more transparent than Obamacare

GOP rep: I have read ‘wide swaths’ of tax bill, not the whole thing

Duffy Stops in Marshfield

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