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
“You’ve got to remember people have wanted to impeach President Trump since the day he took office. And there are reasons why he is more of a lightning rod or hated prior to his predecessors. He is trying to drain the swamp.”
– U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman discussing the impeachment inquiry during an appearance on “UpFront”
“We’ve gotta fix this, because all Americans should have a right to be safe in their homes, and this is particularly true for women. Our Violence Against Women Act just will not mean anything unless we include Native women within those protections.”
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore talking up new legislation in a Twitter video honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
This week’s news
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin made huge financial strides compared to her fellow U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, reporting a fundraising haul of $525,074 in the third quarter.
The Madison Dem’s fundraising tally was also an improvement of $133,000 over the previous quarter when she reported $391,795 in receipts. Baldwin spent $340,405 and began restocking her warchest, upping her cash-on-hand total from $59,388 at the end of June to $244,057.
Johnson in the third quarter only raised roughly half the amount he raised in the second, seeing his numbers tumble from $58,397 to $24,131. The Oshkosh Republican also spent nearly twice as much as he took in, with his latest FEC filing showing $41,909 in disbursements.
Still, Johnson’s $314,805 cash on hand tops Baldwin’s tally.
See Baldwin’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/866/201910159163903866/201910159163903866.pdf
See Johnson’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/065/201910159164262065/201910159164262065.pdf
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher led the Wisconsin House delegation in fundraising dollars, reporting $510,262 in the third quarter.
That’s roughly the same amount as the Green Bay Republican pulled in during the previous quarter. He spent $133,751 and came away with $1.8 million in the bank.
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil saw a marked decrease after topping the delegation’s fundraising numbers in the second quarter.
The Janesville Republican took in $386,127 in the third quarter, down from $529,637 in the second quarter. He spent $240,306 ends the quarter with $852,171 in the bank.
See Gallagher’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/698/201910159163965698/201910159163965698.pdf
See Steil’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/015/201910159164275015/201910159164275015.pdf
— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind continues to boast the largest warchest in the delegation and ended the third quarter with $2.8 million in the bank.
Kind, D-La Crosse, gathered $287,406 in the third quarter, an increase of nearly $42,000 compared to his second-quarter report.
Fellow Dem U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan also boosted his fundraising efforts in the third quarter, raising $159,586 and ending with $740,273 in the bank.
U.S. Reps. Glenn Grothman and Gwen Moore both saw slight decreases in receipts compared to last quarter, pulling in $182,885 and $129,679 respectively.
See Kind’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/345/201910159164202345/201910159164202345.pdf
See Pocan’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/294/201910159163948294/201910159163948294.pdf
See Grothman’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/761/201910159164237761/201910159164237761.pdf
See Moore’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/144/201910159164910144/201910159164910144.pdf
— Former U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy rounded out his last quarter of fundraising with a haul of $153,180 and had $1.9 million in the bank after his resignation in mid-September.
Duffy, R-Wausau, was the delegation’s largest spender, splashing $455,390 between the beginning of July and the end of September.
Also nearing the end of his political career, U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner reported only $92 in receipts after he announced he wouldn’t be seeking reelection at the end of his term. The Menomonee Falls Republican finished the quarter with $342,744 in the bank.
See Duffy’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/784/201910159163938784/201910159163938784.pdf
See Sensenbrenner’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/286/201910099163780286/201910099163780286.pdf
— Vying for Duffy’s seat, GOP state Sen. Tom Tiffany raised over $242,000 for his campaign, which he calls “an incredibly strong start.”
The Minocqua Republican has been in the 7th CD race since the beginning of last month. When the Federal Elections Commission’s third-quarter reporting period closed on Sept. 30, Tiffany had been in the race just 20 days.
However, his third-quarter report shows $242,300 in contributions and just under 240,950 cash on hand.
“The great support we received in September is humbling, and I am thankful for the generosity of so many grassroots conservatives who are joining our team,” Tiffany said in a release.
While he’s joined by several other candidates from both parties in the run to fill Duffy’s seat, only GOP businessman Michael Opela entered the race before the third-quarter closed, though he did so on the day of the deadline. Opela’s report was not available on the FEC website.
See Tiffany’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/344/201910159163975344/201910159163975344.pdf
— Tiffany outraised the other state senator running for a federal seat.
Fifth CD frontrunner Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau raised $25,543 since he entered the race for Sensenbrenner’s seat roughly two weeks before the FEC deadline.
Fitzgerald will enter the fourth quarter with $25,104 on hand.
See Fitzgerald’s report: https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/671/201910159163947671/201910159163947671.pdf
— Steil co-sponsored a bill to allocate further VA funds to homeless veterans.
The bill, which passed the House on Wednesday, would expand funding for homeless veterans with dependents in their care, increasing the funding to 50 percent of the cost of daily care per dependent.
“I’m glad I could join my colleagues to ensure the VA adequately helps veteran families. This bill gives veterans and their children access to housing, resources, and assistance needed to help veterans get back on their feet,” Steil said in a release.
With bipartisan support, the bill now awaits Senate approval.
— On the other side of the aisle, Kind introduced legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and provide price transparency Wisconsin seniors.
The bill also aims to lower out-of-pocket costs for low-income seniors.
“Almost everywhere I go in Wisconsin, folks share their concerns about the skyrocketing costs of prescription drugs. Too often, they are being forced to choose between paying for food and rent or the prescription drugs they need to survive, which is why lowering the cost of prescription drugs is a top priority of mine,” Kind said in a release.
The bill is part of Kind’s ‘Drug Pricing Action Plan’, an initiative that he introduced in August.
— Turkish President Erdogan walked back his refusal to meet with an American delegation led by Vice President Mike Pence, who delayed a trip to Pleasant Prairie to mediate a ceasefire agreement at the Turkey-Syria border.
Erdogan told media outlets yesterday morning that he would not speak with the delegation, which included Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and others, insisting he would only discuss a ceasefire in northern Syria with President Trump.
But in an English-language tweet roughly an hour later, Erdogan’s communications director said the Turkish president would “meet the U.S. delegation led by” Pence and included a video of Erdogan speaking in Turkish to local press in which he said the meeting was still on.
Pence was previously scheduled to visit the Uline Warehouse near Kenosha to discuss the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as part of an America First Policies event.
The Pleasant Prairie event has been rescheduled to Oct. 23, according to America First Policies.
See Erdogan’s initial comments:
See Altun’s tweet:
Posts of the week
Happy National Cheese Curd Day, Wisconsin! Whether you prefer this Wisconsin delicacy squeaky or fried, dipped in ranch or marinara sauce, I hope you celebrate accordingly. pic.twitter.com/dplrCzIbLM
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) October 15, 2019
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) October 15, 2019
This post is a little cheesy.
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) October 15, 2019
Have you curd the news? It's #NationalCheeseCurdDay!
White or yellow
Squeaky or fried
All cheese curds bring Wisconsinites pride!
I want to know – where in Wisconsin do you go to get the best curds?🧀🐮 pic.twitter.com/X5L4Y6tfYf
— Rep. Ron Kind (@RepRonKind) October 15, 2019
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) October 12, 2019
Steil: ‘I do not support the impeachment proceedings’ against Trump
Democratic Rep. Pocan says impeachment vote coming soon
Grothman says GOP does disagree with Trump
Ron Johnson should have done more on Trump and Ukraine, ethics experts say
Sen. Tammy Baldwin calls for congressional hearings on vaping, encourages governments to act
The Lost Art of Ideological Warfare: A Conversation with Rep. Mike Gallagher