DC Wrap: Pocan returns to DC after heart surgery; Gallagher bill to boost counterterrorism passes House

DC Wrap

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 March 7 WisPolitics.com DC breakfast with U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher and the Millennial Action Project. See more details and register.

Quotes of the week

We’ve all witnessed what happens when Washington, D.C.-based ‘political experts’ of all kinds get involved in U.S. Senate races. Here in Wisconsin, the grassroots have a track record of nominating candidates who reflect our values — not Washington’s — and we can do it again to defeat Tammy Baldwin this fall.
– U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, urging Senate candidates Kevin Nicholson and Leah Vukmir to sign a unity pledge from the Wisconsin GOP to support the winner of the August primary. The two are looking to unseat U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, later this year. Signing the unity pledge allows each to be eligible to win the party’s endorsement at the state convention in May. See more in a PM Update from last week.

We want to have a DACA compromise. We want to make sure the DACA problem is solved. … This has to be balanced so we don’t have a DACA problem five, 10 years down the road.
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, telling reporters he wants to make a deal with Democrats to protect hundreds of thousands of young immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. Ryan added that he’d like to see a package that boosts border security. In September, President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program with a six-month delay.

This week’s news

— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan is back in D.C. this week — two months after undergoing triple bypass surgery.

Pocan, 53, told reporters at his Madison office last week he’s continuing to have pain in his sternum, although he’s feeling good following the preemptive surgery in early November.

And, he said, he’s looking forward to the new year, although he expressed disappointment in missing key legislative debates this fall, including the passage of the GOP tax overhaul bill, which President Trump signed into law last month.

“Congress really did nothing all year, other than at the end of the year they took care of their donors and they passed tax cuts for the wealthiest,” he said.

Pocan hasn’t voted in the House since Oct. 26.

See more from Pocan’s comments.


— Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate delegation is just one of 14 that are split between senators of different parties, the Pew Research Center noted this week.

Prior to U.S. Sen. Doug Jones’ win in Alabama last month, only 13 states had split Senate delegations, which Pew reported was the fewest in the past five decades.

But with 14 split delegations, Pew says the Senate is tied for second-fewest over the last 50 years.

Meanwhile, a previous Roll Call analysis showed the votes from U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin and Ron Johnson spanning from the beginning of 2017 to the end of September essentially cancel each other out. Johnson, R-Oshkosh, logged a “party unity score” of 100 percent, while Baldwin, D-Madison, scored a 98.5 percent.

 

— A bipartisan bill from Baldwin that looks to provide family caregivers with more support is headed to President Trump’s desk after clearing the Senate this week.

The legislation, which the Madison Dem and Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins first introduced in July 2015, cleared the House last month.

It previously passed the Senate unanimously in December 2015. It would direct the Health and Human Services secretary to create a national strategy to recognize the nation’s family caregivers.

“Every day, family caregivers do right by their loved ones, and today I am proud to say we are doing right by them by passing the RAISE Family Caregivers Act to formally recognize and support family caregivers across this country,” Baldwin said in a statement.


— A bill authored by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher that aims to boost U.S. counterterrorism efforts passed the House unanimously on Tuesday.

The legislation, which was referred by the House Committee on Homeland Security, seeks to streamline information sharing between federal agencies and the military to improve counterrorism efforts.

The bill is the fourth that Gallagher, R-Green Bay, has authored during his tenure.

“Through my work as Chairman of the Task Force on Denying Terrorists Entry into the United States, my colleagues and I discovered that too often, unnecessary bureaucratic constraints on information sharing have put our national security at risk,” Gallagher said. “In the face of increased terrorist threats at home and abroad, my bill is a common sense step toward combating the threat of terrorism and strengthening our defenses.”

Posts of the week

ICYMI

Pocan says Foxconn deal will hurt state Republicans, Walker at the polls
https://www.wispolitics.com/2018/pocan-says-foxconn-deal-will-hurt-state-republicans-walker-at-the-polls/

Conservatives have already spent millions against Tammy Baldwin
https://www.axios.com/conservatives-have-already-spent-millions-against-tammy-baldwin-1515262303-3b226ce7-1842-4bac-8d0f-57a2e0736453.html

Sen. Baldwin urges more funding for community health centers
http://www.wbay.com/content/news/Sen-Baldwin-urges-more-funding-for-community-health-centers-468168483.html

GOP senator wants probe into vetting of CFPB deputy
https://www.americanbanker.com/news/gop-senator-wants-probe-into-vetting-of-cfpb-deputy

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Republicans propose unity pledge in Wisconsin Senate primary
http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/govt-and-politics/election-matters/ron-johnson-wisconsin-republicans-propose-unity-pledge-in-wisconsin-senate/article_e11a3d92-dfdb-5b83-a264-03eceaf6a4b1.html

Ron Johnson: “I want the truth”-Comey’s edited draft makes the FBI look bad
https://nationonenews.com/2018/01/09/ron-johnson-i-want-truth-comeys-edited-draft-makes-fbi-look-bad/

Video: Rep. Mark Pocan says Gov. Scott Walker won’t be re-elected
http://chippewa.com/news/state-and-regional/video-rep-mark-pocan-says-gov-scott-walker-won-t/youtube_827f1248-57be-5d89-9785-599e98a8cf3c.html

Ron Kind: Tax bill fiscally irresponsible
http://lacrossetribune.com/tomahjournal/news/local/govt-and-politics/ron-kind-tax-bill-fiscally-irresponsible/article_c9b7dfde-9c13-559c-8bda-a78219b07cb6.html

Rep. Sean Duffy touches on Trump tweets, North Korea conflict during town halls
http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/2018/01/04/rep-sean-duffy-touches-trump-tweets-north-korea-conflict-during-town-halls/1004268001/

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