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
We can’t face a shutdown every time the president does not get his way. If this is the new normal, how do you make sure we don’t lose high quality people?
– U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, telling reporters at the Dane County Regional Airport this week he’s considering a bill to retain employees and take other steps to head off damage from potential future shutdowns, according to the Capital Times.
Take your pick at issues we are not addressing while we are burning calories on this. I don’t mean to be too cynical, but I think part of it is we are now in a presidential election season so there is less willingness on either side to be seen as compromising.
– U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, at a town hall this week, according to WBAY. He told attendees issues such as clean energy aren’t being addressed at the federal level due to the ongoing government shutdown.
Why can’t you be loyal to your president, Paul?
– President Trump to then-House Speaker Paul Ryan, according to an advance copy of “Team of Vipers” by Cliff Sims, obtained by The Washington Post. The comment came during a phone call between Trump and the Janesville Republican after Ryan criticized the president’s response to the Charlottesville white supremacist rally in 2017.
This week’s news
— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind wants to fund border security by levying fines on those illegally living in the U.S., according to a plan he released this week to end the federal shutdown.
The La Crosse Dem’s proposal to reopen the government also would create a pathway to citizenship for the millions of individuals estimated to be living in the country without proper documentation, as well as put money toward “modern technology” to secure the border, such as surveillance drones.
Under Kind’s plan, those living in the U.S. without proper documentation or who overstayed their visas would be fined $2,000 each, generating an estimated $24 billion.
Kind in a release Tuesday touted his idea as a “commonsense” compromise “at no cost to Wisconsinites.”
“It’s time we create a pathway to citizenship that funds border modernization and stops the inflow of drugs into our country, while promoting the legal immigration that Wisconsin’s farmers, businesses and communities need,” he said.
— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman says his recent trip to the southern border made him realize the president’s ask for $5.7 billion in border funding is “not adequate.”
The Glenbeulah Republican, who spent Monday in Arizona along with eight other Republican House members, said the trip “really drove home what a necessity” a border wall is between the U.S. and Mexico.
While Grothman noted President Trump is seeking $5.7 billion for border security in exchange for his support of a funding bill to end the federal shutdown, he said “it will take a larger investment to finish the job.”
“It’s clear that we have a crisis at our southern border, so we need to take the proper steps to secure it right now,” he said in a statement.
Asked what the proper amount of border funding would be, a Grothman spokesman noted the rep has referenced a previous estimate of the wall cost to be $25 billion. But the spokesman added “the point he was trying to get across” was that border patrol agents he talked with saw $5.7 billion as “a good start, but more money will be required to truly secure the border.”
While the congressional trip was scheduled for two days, the spokesman said Grothman only attended one day because of a previously scheduled town hall Sunday. Grothman visited the cities of Nogales and Sasabe, the spokesman said.
— Grothman this week also announced he’s been reassigned to two committees: House Education and Labor; and Oversight and Reform Committee.