Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly.
Register today for the following WisPolitics.com event:
*A March 7 DC breakfast with U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher and the Millennial Action Project.
Quotes of the week, Feb. 23-March 1
Of course we want to listen to these kids, but we also want to make sure that we protect people’s due process rights and legal constitutional rights while making sure that people who should not get guns don’t get them. This kid was clearly one of those people.
– Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, at a press conference Tuesday where he talked about his visit with students from the Parkland, Fla., high school where a gunman killed 17 people last month.
[Trump] opened the door for comprehensive background checks, he opened the door for re-examining the age at which you can purchase a semi-automatic weapon, and he opened the door for legislation to ban bump stocks. That’s not something we see very often.
– U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison at a recent WisPolitics.com luncheon, commending President Trump for announcing he supports universal background checks with an emphasis on mental health, raising the minimum age for buying certain guns and a ban on bump stocks.
This week’s news
— The House of Representatives has signed off on a resolution from GOP Rep. Mike Gallagher recognizing the importance of trauma-informed care in improving health outcomes.
The resolution is part of a push started by Wisconsin First Lady Tonette Walker to make the state recognize the science-based treatment framework as a way to address mental health, addiction and obesity.
“From veterans reintegrating into society to survivors of childhood abuse, individuals from across the population can benefit from the simple but effective principles of trauma-informed care. By recognizing and sensitively addressing the impacts of traumatic experiences, we can build stronger and more resilient communities,” said Gallagher, R-Green Bay.
The initiative is based on a practice of understanding the impact of trauma on someone’s emotional or social behavior.
Walker also commended the House for passing the resolution that she said will raise awareness about trauma-informed care at a national level.
“Our nation’s representatives believe in the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, and recognize toxic stress as a major public health crisis. House Resolution 443 will initiate important conversations throughout our nation, allowing us to come together, collaborate, and implement changes across systems as we work towards making our states, and our nation, fully trauma-informed,” she said in a statement.
— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson repaid himself $90,000 during the fourth quarter of 2017 for loans to his campaign, pushing his personal reimbursement to more than $1.6 million since 2010, a WisPolitics.com review shows.
Johnson, a plastics manufacturers exec who gave himself $9 million for his 2010 campaign, repaid himself $230,000 a year from 2010 through 2015, according to FEC filings reviewed by WisPolitics.com. Those repayments dropped to $89,549 in 2016 before bumping up to $179,549 in 2017.
The fourth-quarter report also shows he could repay another $420,451 if he wanted to cover parts of loans he gave his campaign in 2010, 2012 and 2016. FEC rules can limit how much a candidate can repay from old loans.
The outstanding balance on Johnson’s latest report includes: one from August 2010 with $10,111 outstanding; one from October 2010 with a balance of $89,840; one from September 2012 with $74,500 left; and one from November 2016 with a balance of $246,000.
Johnson, R-Oshkosh, has said he won’t seek re-election in 2022, and a spokesman this week said his plans haven’t changed. The spokesman also said any future decisions on repaying Johnson’s outstanding loans would be made on a quarter-by-quarter basis.
For the final three months of 2017, Johnson listed $80,465 in receipts and spent $120,551, including the loan repayment. He finished the year with $404,673 in the bank.
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is airing the first TV ads of her re-election bid touting the Madison Dem’s push for “Buy America” policies and to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
The TV and digital ad campaign, which began running in Green Bay and Milwaukee Tuesday, includes two spots.
The first ad, which features Neenah Foundry worker Roddy Rice, highlights Baldwin’s push for “Buy America” legislation to ban the use of foreign-made materials in certain infrastructure projects.
“My Buy America legislation requires government infrastructure projects to use 100 percent American iron and steel because it’s time America buys what Wisconsin makes,” Baldwin says in the ad.
The second ad features a series of news clips about Baldwin’s bill with U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., aimed at lowering the costs of prescription drugs through what’s been dubbed the “Fair Drug Pricing Act,” which is aimed at requiring manufacturers to share information about a planned price increase.
It ends with Baldwin saying she’s “fighting against drug companies that jack up their prices.”
A Baldwin campaign spokesman declined to say how much the campaign is spending on the ad buy.
— A series of Wisconsin’s lawmakers were recently lauded for their perfect voting records on separate issues.
Baldwin and U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, earned praise from environmental advocates for scoring 100 percent on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2017 National Environmental Scorecard.
The scorecard, which measures the votes cast during the first session of the 115th Congress, rates the environmental records of members of Congress.
Meanwhile, GOP U.S. Reps. Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy, Mike Gallagher, Jim Sensenbrenner, House Speaker Paul Ryan and U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson got a 100 percent score from the Family Research Action Council for the votes they cast “affecting family values,” including a bill that would ban elective abortions after 20 weeks.
See the scorecard, which also covers congressional voting records from 2017.
— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind this week introduced a resolution to override the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality.
The FCC in December voted to roll back the Obama-era rules blocking internet providers from impeding access to websites and online services or charging higher fees for the highest streaming quality.
Kind, D-La Crosse, in a statement touted his Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval, which allows Congress to strike down a new rule.
“Wisconsin small businesses, schools and families depend on a free and open internet,” Kind said. “I am proud to stand up to the FCC on behalf of the people of Wisconsin, and demand that the internet access we rely on stays open and affordable for everyone.”
Posts of the week
Today, is the last day for our Communications Director, Bernadette. We will miss her (and office dog Todd), but we will always count her as a member of Team Grothman! pic.twitter.com/qdnIXAiO5x
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) February 23, 2018
Feeling the love w/ @afgeunion, Social Security Works, MKE Area Labor Council & everyone who joined us yesterday to sound the alarm on the Social Security Administration's planned closure of the ONLY field office on MKE's Southside. 💪🏾We will stand united until the #SSA opens a new Southside location! #labor #socialsecurity #milwaukee #wisconsin #aflcio #southside