DC Wrap: Ryan, Baldwin both back bipartisan deal to keep gov’t open; House fundraising round-up

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 two WisPolitics.com events:
*A Feb. 22 Madison luncheon with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.
*A March 7 DC breakfast with U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher and the Millennial Action Project.

Quotes of the week

The bottom line is this investigation that Mr. Mueller is doing is getting closer and closer to directly getting to the president when it comes to collusion and that’s what’s making them nervous.
– U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, on a four-page GOP memo that alleges the Federal Bureau of Investigation abused its surveillance power over its investigation into a former Trump campaign adviser. Pocan — appearing on For the Record — also called the memo “a piece of lettuce between two buns.”

The Democrats and DOJ don’t want to #ReleaseTheMemo because when the American people see it, they’re going to call for changes within our federal bureaucracies #MemoDay
– U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, in a tweet the day the memo was released.

This week’s news

— Speaker Paul Ryan and Sen. Tammy Baldwin both support a bipartisan Senate deal to keep the government funded long term.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on a government funding deal today, although national media reports indicate it may face an uncertain future in the House.

The House this week already signed off on a stopgap spending bill to avoid another government shutdown by extending government funding until March 23. The state’s House delegation split along party lines over the legislation, and it ultimately passed on a 245-182 vote.  

But the Senate’s deal, which leadership announced yesterday, would fund the government for two years. It also includes an increase in military spending, as well as money for revamping infrastructure, fighting the opioid crisis and treating mental health plus billions in disaster relief for last year’s hurricanes and wildfires, according to national media reports. It would also continue funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program for four more years.  

Ryan in a statement embraced the deal, as he urged “the whole House to support it.”

“With this agreement, we are breaking the logjam on a number of priorities for the American people,” the Janesville Republican said, pointing to the disaster relief funding and money for infrastructure, as well as other provisions.

Baldwin, D-Madison, said she also supports the deal, adding it “delivers on a number of issues important to Wisconsin.”

“I am committed to getting the job done and moving these bipartisan solutions forward in the Senate and it’s important that the Republican House and President Trump step up and do the same,” she said in a statement. “It’s time to deliver results for the American people.”

Should lawmakers fail to pass a spending bill by the end of today, the government would again shut down.


— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher pulled in just over $350,000 to close out the year, making him the top fundraiser for direct contributions among the state’s House members.

Gallagher also spent $60,516 from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 and ended the period with just over $1 million in cash on hand.

The freshman Green Bay Republican far outraised his Dem challenger, Brown County Assistant DA Beau Liegeois, who reported $28,949 in receipts, spent $20,968 and had $23,261 in the bank.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Paul Ryan again reported the most money raised over the last three months of the year — $1.4 million — although $1.1 million of that came from transfers from other committees.

The Janesville Republican also spent $2.2 million over the period, ended the year with $9.7 million cash on hand. Ryan for Congress is one piece of the speaker’s fundraising operation, which is dubbed Team Ryan.

1st CD Dem Randy Bryce raised $1.2 million, spent $922,567 and had $1.3 million in the bank to start the new year. He outraised Dem primary opponent Cathy Myers, who brought in $182,646, spent $96,097 and logged $106,626 in cash on hand.

The bulk of Bryce’s spending came from $423,163 in payments to a California company for direct mail services; $72,267 to New York-based ASP Media for production services; $65,527 to two campaign strategy firms and $65,000 to a digital consulting company.

See Gallagher’s report.

See Liegeois’ report.

See Ryan’s report.

See Bryce’s report.

See Myers’ report.


— In other House fundraising numbers:

*U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, raised $320,404 over the three-month period.

He also spent $246,170 and finished with $2.1 million in cash on hand.

See Duffy’s report.

*U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-La Crosse, pulled in $295,769 to end the year.

That’s more than GOP challenger Steve Toft, a retired army colonel from Osseo who raised $66,015, spent $12,907 and had $53,107 in the bank. Toft got into the race at the end of October, about a month into the final quarter of the year.

Kind, meanwhile, finished the period with $3.02 million cash on hand after spending $77,208.

See Kind’s report.

See Toft’s report.

*U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, was again outraised by Dem challenger Dan Kohl.

Kohl pulled in $329,212 over the period, compared with Grothman’s $239,287.

Grothman also reported $55,954 in disbursements and $508,182 cash on hand, while Kohl spent $119,602 and finished the quarter with $614,151 in the bank.

This is the third straight quarter Kohl outraised Grothman since getting into the race in the beginning of June as the second quarter fundraising period was already nearly over. Grothman previously told Wisconsin talk radio host Jay Weber in early October this would be the “toughest race of my political career.”

Meanwhile, fellow 6th CD contender Scott Olmer raised $30,020, spent $154 and ended the year with $30,000 in the bank.

See Grothman’s report.

See Kohl’s report.

See Olmer’s report.

*U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, raised $148,329 to close out 2017.

She also spent $119,557 and ended the period with $66,865 cash on hand.

See Moore’s report.

*U.S. Rep. Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, logged $84,823 in receipts.

He ended the quarter with $502,052 in the bank, after spending $110,755 over the period.

See Pocan’s report.

*U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, outraised Dem challenger Tom Palzewicz in the final months of the year.

Sensenbrenner pulled in $45,314 compared to Palzewicz’s $17,139.

Palzewicz, a U.S. Navy veteran and the co-owner of an ActionCOACH business consulting franchise, also spent $21,733 and finished the year with $27,198 in the bank.

Sensenbrenner, meanwhile, spent $45,113 and had $510,097 cash on hand. He previously outraised Palzewicz in the third quarter of 2017, although Palzewicz got into the race in September when the fundraising period was well underway.

See Sensenbrenner’s report.

See Palzewicz’s report.


— A Wall Street Journal report is refuting a GOP claim in a new memo from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson regarding the nature of text messages between two FBI employees. 

The texts were released Wednesday as part of a report from Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which Johnson chairs. The report centered on the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

The September 2016 message, from FBI lawyer Lisa Page to counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, said “Potus wants to know everything we’re doing.”

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, and fellow Republicans have suggested the text — which was highlighted in this week’s report — shows then-President Obama had an interest in the Clinton probe.

But the WSJ report cited associates of Strzok and Page, who reportedly said the pair were discussing Obama instead wanted to be kept updated on Russian interference in the election.

The WSJ report also notes the message was from days before Obama and Russia President Vladimir Putin met and spoke about election interference.

See the release, full report and text messages here.

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin this week signed onto a Dem bill looking to increase rail safety.

The bill would require freight trains carrying cargo to have at least two crewmembers on board.

“There is still a strong need for strong rail safety reforms. It is only common sense that railroads must have adequate personnel in place to protect communities along rail lines,” Baldwin said in a statement. “We need to continue prioritizing rail reforms that provide oversight for all freight trains carrying potentially dangerous materials in strengthening the safety of Wisconsin neighborhoods.”


— U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner this week introduced a bill aimed at curbing a contributor to the opioid epidemic.

The bill, called the Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act, would add 19 known fentanyl analogues to the list of Schedule I controlled substances. Fentanyl is currently on the Schedule II list.

The bill also seeks to expedite the process of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency adding other analogues to the list as they are identified. Analogues — or new chemical compounds — are created after a portion of the chemical structure of fentanyl is modified.

Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, said the bill would help “ramp up efforts to stop the proliferation of these drugs.”


— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, recently launched an official Snapchat account.

See more and follow his account here.

Posts of the week

ICYMI

Tammy Baldwin under fire from conservative veterans group’s $1.5 million ad campaign

High Five: Donald Trump, Tammy Baldwin, Scott Walker in our most-clicked fact checks

Veterans Group Targets Dem Senator Over Marine’s Opioid Death

Baldwin Sees Large Early Spending Against Her Candidacy

Sen. Ron Johnson ‘frustrated’ right-to-try bill hasn’t moved in House

Pocan: DACA fix, budget agreements would come easy if not for Paul Ryan, Tea Party

How Pocan reacted to the release of the secret Washington memo

Congressman Kind holds listening session in Eau Claire

Wisconsin community health center advocates push for government funding

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