Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly.
NOTE: DC Wrap will not be sent out over the next two weeks. It will return the first week in June, following the Memorial Day recess. Thanks for reading!
Quotes of the week
Quotes of the week
“It’s important that our State Department and our embassies and consulates across the globe take a stand on human rights, which of course includes LGBTQ rights.”
– Sen. Tammy Baldwin in a Monday interview on The View in response to the State Department denying embassies’ requests to fly the rainbow pride flag. See a clip of the interview here.
“Mexico announced that it will send 6,000 National Guard troops to help secure the southern border. Just a few months ago, Governor Evers pulled all of Wisconsin’s National Guard troops from the border. Is Mexico more concerned about our southern border than Tony Evers?”
– Rep. Sean Duffy in a pointed tweet earlier this week to the guv. See the tweet here.
This week’s news
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin urged the Trump administration to reconsider the closure of Blackwell Job Corps in Laona.
The facility in Forest County provides job training for disadvantaged youth and employees 54 people. President Trump has proposed closing nine of the 25 Civilian Conservation Centers within the U.S. Forest Service and replace operations at the remaining 16 facilities with new contract operators.
The Madison Dem wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue expressing her opposition to the administration’s decision.
“When I travel around Wisconsin… I hear from employers who are turning away work, or are unable to compete for business, because they can’t find the skilled workers needed to fill open jobs. I also hear from students who are anxious to work and start a career but are unable to get the training they need to secure employment.” Baldwin wrote in her letter.
The administration’s actions have caused bipartisan pushback in Congress, including from Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston.
This follows Baldwin’s moves last week to introduce the Job Corps Protection Act with a bipartisan group of senators, led by Jon Tester, D-Mont. The legislation blocks the administration from using federal government funds this year or next to close any Job Corps centers while prohibiting any federal government agency from changing operational agreements for privatization.
The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. John Boozman, R-Ark., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Steve Daines, R-Mont., Tim Kaine, D-Va., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Mark Warner, D-Va., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.
— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, joined fellow House Dems to condemned Volkswagen’s move to suppress worker unionization.
Pocan joined Michigan Dem Reps. Dan Kildee and Debbie Dingell in sending a letter earlier this week imploring the Volkswagen Group of America to remain neutral as employees at the Chattanooga, Tenn. plant decide this week whether to join the United Auto Workers union.
The coalition says they were “heartened” by the German auto manufacturer’s initial commitment to neutrality. But letter highlights “anti-union campaigns” occurring at the plant, which the coalition says has caused members of Congress to doubt Volkswagen’s impartiality.
The letter also pointed to a closed-door address Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee, an overt opponent to kunions, delivered to employees at the Chattanooga plant. He also noted the company recently consulted with Littler Mendelson a “notorious union avoidance firm.”
“These actions make us question Volkswagen’s neutrality,” said the coalition in a Friday letter.
The plant’s employees narrowly rejected unionization in 2014. The new election is open to VW employees through Friday.
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers from both houses of Congress to introduce a proposal that would increase support for children and adults that have been exposed to traumatic events.
The bill, known as the RISE from Trauma Act, would boost funding and education to further develop trauma-informed workforce in schools, health care settings, social services, first responders, and the justice system.
“Traumatic experiences and toxic stress have far-reaching effects throughout our schools, workforce, and veterans’ community, and this bill ensures that we have the resources necessary to strengthen our trauma-informed workforce and address the unique challenges victims of trauma face,” Gallagher said in a statement.
Under the proposal, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would be provided funding to establish a grant program to establish both hospital and community-based trauma response.
The measure also increases funding for Health Resources and Services Administration’s National Health Service Corps loan repayment program to recruit more mental health clinicians and enhances trauma-informed care education at HHS, and the U.S. departments of Justice and Education.
Posts of the week
Taking the field with the GOAT for this year’s NDAA markup. pic.twitter.com/Zhpj0SdXxl
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) June 12, 2019
56 years ago today, the #EqualPayAct was signed into law. Women on average earn 80 cents for every dollar a man earns & the pay gap is worse for women of color. My fight won’t be over until all women receive equal pay for equal work. pic.twitter.com/HVgyYTqwbB
— Rep. Gwen Moore (@RepGwenMoore) June 10, 2019
Great to see the 8th grade class from Karcher Middle School in Burlington at the Capitol today! pic.twitter.com/x4YnbntGMd
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) June 11, 2019