Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly.
Quotes of the week
God isn’t done with our family yet! Baby number nine coming to the crew this fall! @RCamposDuffy said it best – we aren’t crazy, we are just full of hope for America’s future!
– U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wausau, announcing this week that his wife, Rachel, is pregnant with the couple’s ninth child. See the post.
Trump has spent the last two years sabotaging our health care system, raising costs and pushing junk plans that do not have to cover people with pre-existing conditions. @realDonaldTrump has no plan to protect your care. He never has and never will. #WeWontForget
– U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, blasting President Trump in a Twitter thread over his health care policies.
When I noticed Scott Walker didn’t win, nor Brad Schimel or obviously the lieutenant governor, I realized I was the last statewide representative. It’s a role I never sought, but it’s a responsibility I take pretty seriously.
– U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, in an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, where he described waking up the day after the November 2018 general as the only Republican statewide figure — “the last man standing,” in his words.
This week’s news
— As state officials grapple with CWD, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is aiming to pump more money into research to combat the wildlife disease.
The Madison Dem this week introduced a bipartisan bill that would set up a CWD research grant program and allocate up to $15 million annually for topics ranging from detecting the disease to eradicating it.
Under the bill, universities, state and tribal ag departments and other research facilities would be eligible for the funding.
“It’s clear we need to invest more federal resources in researching how to stop the spread of this deadly wildlife disease that threatens Wisconsin’s hunting traditions and our deer herds,” Baldwin said in a statement.
The legislation comes as Wisconsin leaders continue weighing options for addressing CWD. DNR Secretary Preston Cole and Gov. Tony Evers have drawn fire from some for the lack of CWD-related policies in the budget; but Cole has countered the plan contains $2.6 million, the same amount in former Gov. Scott Walker’s final budget.
Cole has also said he’ll be waiting to see what other states’ research shows about CWD before calling for additional targeted funding.
CWD was first detected in the state in 2002. In all, the disease has impacted 56 of the state’s 72 counties, per DNR.
Baldwin’s bill is co-sponsored by Republican U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, of North Dakota.
— U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner joined his fellow Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee this week to oppose a Dem-backed effort to find AG William Barr in contempt of Congress.
Sensenbrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, and 15 other Republicans voted against the contempt resolution, which passed with the support of 24 Dems.
The resolution targets Barr for failing to comply with a committee subpoena related to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recent report, per national media outlets, and now heads to the full House for a vote.
Sensenbrenner in a statement slammed the vote Wednesday as “below the dignity of this committee.”
“In my ten years as a Chairman, I never had to issue a single subpoena,” he said. “The majority’s actions today, which force the Attorney General to either break the law or fail to comply with the subpoena, are below the dignity of this committee and will have lasting consequences.”
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher has introduced a new bill seeking to counter what he sees as China’s many threats to the United States.
The Green Bay Republican’s bipartisan bill, the “U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Act of 2019,” would implement a number of requirements to combat Chinese-backed challenges to the U.S., according to a Gallagher release.
That includes language that would compel the feds to report on: China’s enforcement of sanctions against North Korea; the influence and propoaganda efforts of the Chinese Communist Party in the U.S.; potential risks stemming from technical cooperation between the two countries and more.
“The United States faces no greater economic, political, and security threat than China,” Gallagher said.
The bill is co-sponsored by Dem U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, of California.
— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind is out with a new bipartisan bill looking to guarantee access to hospice care in rural areas.
The La Crosse Dem said in a statement his bill looks to ensure “families can keep their local, trusted care provider and give them a little more peace of mind in a trying time.”
“As Wisconsin seniors and families make end of life care decisions, the last thing they need to focus on is finding a new care provider for their loved one,” he said.
The bill would allow rural health clinics and federally qualified health centers to receive payment for hospice care. Currently, those facilities can’t bill Medicare for those services.
In the House, the bill’s co-sponsor is GOP U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski, of Indiana.
— U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s communications director, Mark Bednar, has left the Wausau Republican’s office to take a job with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
While Bednar’s old comms director position is still open, Jeb Burchick — Duffy’s former press assistant — has been promoted to deputy communications director. Burchick began interning with Duffy’s office in December 2016 before working for two years as his press assistant.
Meanwhile in U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher’s office, Communications Director Madison Wiberg has left her post. She’s been replaced by Jordan Dunn, who previously worked in former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s district office.
Posts of the week
‘Last man standing’: Ron Johnson is left to lead Wisconsin GOP while contemplating future
Tammy Baldwin authors bill authorizing $15 million for CWD prevention
Sen. Tammy Baldwin Wants To Put More Money Into Federal Shipyard Program
Wisconsin Dem: Trump committed ‘treason’ in phone call with Putin
Congressman Sean Duffy, Rachel Campos-Duffy announce they’re having 9th child
Roll Call: Key votes from the Wisconsin congressional delegation this week