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 newsletter until after the election. Thanks for reading!

Quotes of the week

[Republicans] realize it was a political weakness for them, so they tried to cover their flanks when in fact they were voting to remove those kinds of protections.
– Dem Dan Kohl during a 6th CD debate with Republican U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman. Kohl charged Grothman, through his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act, attempted to “effectively gut protections” for people with pre-existing conditions through a special provision Kohl said would remove limits on what insurance companies could charge those with pre-existing conditions.

I sat in there with Republicans [behind] closed doors before we came up with this. It was almost unanimously agreed that this provision had to be part of Obamacare repeal, and it was.
– Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, refuting the charge. To clear the record, he read the text included in the repeal efforts, which he said prevented health insurers from limiting health care access for those with pre-existing conditions.

See coverage of the debate at WisPolitics.com.

If you can’t stand up to Gov. Walker and ask him now, how the heck are you going to go stand up to Donald Trump in Washington, D.C.?
– 1st CD Dem Randy Bryce to Republican opponent Bryan Steil in the pair’s first debate. Bryce called on Steil to urge Gov. Scott Walker to drop the state’s lawsuit seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act in order to protect pre-existing conditions. Steil didn’t respond to the question.

I can think of at least nine times where a law degree would’ve come in handy.
– Steil, an attorney for a manufacturer, in response to Bryce repeatedly alleging Steil “made his money by sending good-paying jobs overseas.” Steil’s comment references the nine times Bryce has been arrested, though Bryce countered his recent arrests have been because he was “standing up for people.”

Read more from the debate at WisPolitics.com.

This week’s news

— President Trump lavished praise on Wisconsin’s Republican ticket at his stop in Mosinee this week, arguing the November midterms represent a referendum on the rule of law, illegal immigration and the confirmation of U.S. Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Trump slammed Dems for being categorically opposed to his agenda, and joined Scott Walker in knocking the guv’s Dem opponent Tony Evers as a tax-and-spend liberal.

“Tony wants to raise your income taxes substantially, wants to raise your gas taxes, raise your property taxes, raise all of your taxes,” Trump said, calling Evers “extreme.” “And Tony Evers wants to get illegal aliens to flood into Wisconsin to get public benefits funded by you, the American taxpayer.”

Both Walker and GOP U.S. Senate candidate Leah Vukmir joined Trump on stage as they exchanged compliments, slammed opponents and urged the crowd to vote in November.

Trump said Vukmir was a “tireless fighter” for the people of the state and knocked U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, for voting against tax cuts and supporting “deadly” sanctuary cities.

Trump called Walker a “good friend” and “tireless warrior,” touting efforts by the guv and the president’s administration to bring Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn to southeastern Wisconsin.

“He’s a good man, folks, and he loves this state, he loves the people of this state,” Trump said to shouts of “four more years” from the crowd. “He’ll cut your taxes … improve your schools … bring down the cost of health care … and continue creating great paying jobs for the state of Wisconsin.”

See more on Trump’s rally at WisPolitics.com.

— President Barack Obama is planning to host a rally in Milwaukee tomorrow to campaign for state Dem candidates.

The rally, which will be at North Division High School, will also feature Baldwin, Dem guv candidate Tony Evers, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, 1st CD Dem Randy Bryce and 6th CD Dem Dan Kohl, among others.

Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden’s Wisconsin visit Tuesday will include get-out-the-vote rallies in Madison and Milwaukee.

Biden will first be on the UW-Madison campus with Baldwin, Evers and his running mate Mandela Barnes.

Biden will then be in Milwaukee that afternoon at Laborers’ Local 113 with Evers and Barnes.

A new poll from Ipsos, Reuters and the University of Virginia Center for Politics found Baldwin up big in her re-election bid.

The poll found Baldwin was leading GOP challenger Leah Vukmir 54-39. Last month, it was Baldwin 52-39.

The poll was conducted online Oct. 12-18 with a panel that included 1,193 likely voters. The margin of error for likely voters was plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

The sample was 47.6 percent Dem, 39.6 Republican and 7.6 percent independents.

Last month’s sample was 47.7 percent Dem, 40.4 percent Republican and 7.3 percent independent.

Ipsos uses panels of people who have opted in for market research and then pulls from those pools representative populations for each state it surveys.

The latest poll found 55 percent of likely voters disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job, while 43 percent approve.

The top issue for voters was healthcare, which was cited by 20 percent of those surveyed, and Dems had the edge in both races. In the Senate campaign, 48 percent of likely voters said they believed Baldwin had a batter policy, compared to 30 percent for Vukmir.

See the topline results.

— Baldwin’s legislation aiming to ensure materials used in federal infrastructure aid programs are made in the U.S has been signed into law.

The bipartisan “Made in America Water Infrastructure Act” amends the Safe Drinking Water Act by requiring that only American-made iron and steel is used in water infrastructure projects funded by the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund. The legislation also includes a five-year extension of these “Buy America” requirements.

Baldwin, D-Madison, in a statement praised President Trump for taking “an important step forward” in ensuring taxpayer money is “not spent supporting foreign workers.”

“I will continue fighting for a permanent Buy America commitment from Washington that rewards our Made in Wisconsin workers and manufacturers,” Baldwin said.

Trump at an April 2017 stop in Kenosha voiced support for Baldwin’s “Buy America” requirements.

Baldwin has been a proponent of “Buy America” legislation. She recently urged the Federal Trade Commission in a letter to fully enforce its “Made in America” labeling standards.  

— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind is applauding the Trump administration’s granting of a disaster relief request following flooding in Wisconsin.

The administration OK’d the ask on Oct. 18. Under the declaration, those in Crawford, Dane, Juneau, La Crosse, Monroe, Richland, Sauk and Vernon counties are eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance.

The La Crosse Dem in a statement said the declaration “will be a welcome relief for many that have been flooded out of their homes and businesses.”  

Kind had previously sent the president a letter, following Gov. Scott Walker’s request for a disaster declaration, that urged Trump to approve the measure to give assistance to those impacted by the flooding and storms from Aug. 17 to Sept. 14.

Posts of the week


Tammy Baldwin leads Leah Vukmir by double digits in new poll; Tony Evers has small lead over Scott Walker

Sen. Tammy Baldwin shares thoughts and plans to help farmers and manufacturers impacted by tariffs

Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Bernie Sanders shared stage with 9/11 conspiracy theorist

Baldwin, Vukmir talk foreign policy in final debate

Rep. Pocan says midterms could shake up Congress

Bernie Sanders Campaigns In Milwaukee For Democratic Candidates

Osseo Republican Steve Toft challenges 11-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Ron Kind in 3rd District

Republican Mike Gallagher’s campaign says no time for debate with Democrat Beau Liegeois

Congress member Mike Gallagher frustrated with partisan sniping

Vukmir, Duffy campaign in Hudson

Dan Kohl battles incumbent Republican Glenn Grothman in hopes of turning reliable red House seat blue

In One Of The More Competitive Races, GOP Incumbent Glenn Grothman Faces Novice Dan Kohl

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