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
“I welcome Speaker Pelosi’s decision to begin an impeachment inquiry… His recent calls urging Ukraine’s president to investigate his political opponent is the latest example of Trump’s lawlessness. The administration’s mishandling of the whistleblower complaint also illustrates the persuasiveness of their corruption.”
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore on impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.
“I was disappointed to see Speaker Pelosi move forward with impeachment proceedings yesterday. We know that probably every Democrat in the House voted for Secretary Clinton in 2016 and the endless string of investigations in the House are reaction to that election.”
– U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman laying out his views on impeachment.
This week’s news
— The Wisconsin congressional delegation split along party lines after Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s called for the House to move forward with a formal impeachment inquiry into President Trump after he pressured Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his family.
The trio of Wisconsin House Dems largely backed the move, with U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan charging Trump “has violated his oath of office.”
“The president not only broke the law by asking a foreign government to attack a political opponent, threatening foreign aid in the process–but this time he admitted to his actions,” the Town of Vermont Dem said in a statement Tuesday evening. “The time is long overdue for Congress to act on impeachment now.”
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, has also expressed support for an impeachment inquiry, which she said is “proper, timely and necessary.”
“I hope more of my Republican colleagues will join in this effort to protect our democracy,” she added.
But fellow Dem U.S. Rep. Ron Kind in a statement sidestepped a question from WisPolitics.com on where he stands on an impeachment inquiry, instead of focusing on the “extremely concerning” whistleblower complaint that tipped off the media to the story. The complaint has not yet been released by the Trump administration.
“The administration must hand over the whistleblower report, as required by law, so Congress can investigate these claims as part of its constitutional duties,” he said. “As a former special prosecutor, I know no one is above the law — not even the president.”
Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in a tweet also called for the release of the whistleblower complaint.
“By law, the Trump admin needs to provide the whistleblower complaint & Inspector General report to Congress,” she wrote. “That needs to happen now.”
Wisconsin Republicans largely backed the president and criticized Pelosi for moving towards impeachment proceedings.
“Rather than focusing on issues important to Americans, many of my Democrat colleagues are pushing impeachment with another attack against @realdonaldtrump,” U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Janesville wrote on his campaign Twitter account. “We need Congress to address real issues, not endless investigations!”
U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, said in a statement that believed the communication between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky was “certainly appropriate, considering the amount of foreign aid Ukraine receives.
“This action by the Democrats is particularly bothersome when we should be focusing on the important business that is before the House,” he said in a statement.
According to the Washington Post, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, is leading a “wing” of Senate Republicans “more focused on probing Biden.”
See Baldwin’s tweet:
See Steil’s tweet:
See the Washington Post story:
— U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy said in farewell remarks he’s coming away from his time in Congress with “a grateful and happy heart.”
After over eight years in Washington, Duffy announced last month he’d be resigning effective Sept. 23, only eight months into his current term. The Weston Republican said his early departure was brought on by a need to spend more time with his family as the due date of his ninth child approaches. The infant, who is due in October, was diagnosed with heart complications.
“As their dad comes to Congress four days a week, I am not there as much, and they have supported me through this entire effort, this entire adventure, and a dad can’t do that unless he has kids that support him,” Duffy said.
The retiring Congressman took the opportunity to thank his colleagues on both sides of the aisle, emphasizing that Dems and Republicans often collaborate better than they’re given credit for.
“The Chamber I think, though it’s going through some difficult times, we are actually working, and I’m proud of that,” Duffy said.
Much of Duffy’s speech addressed rising discontent with capitalism, which he contrasted by touting GOP efforts to lower taxes and unemployment. He called on fellow lawmakers to continue with the current economic model.
“When I won on my first night, on election night, I said that the battle for America’s future is a fight against socialism. It is a battle to return our nation to the principles that made America different, that made America better, that made America great,” Duffy said.
— Republican Jason Church, a retired Army captain and aide to GOP U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, formally launched a bid for the 7th CD, saying he “answered the call to serve my country and I am proudly doing so again today.”
“Wisconsin’s 7th District is made up of hardworking Americans who understand sacrifice and caring for their neighbors in need,” said Church, who had both legs amputated below the knee after he was injured in Afghanistan. “They rallied around me when I came home from Afghanistan and it would be my honor to return the favor and fight for them in the United States Congress.”
Church joins state Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, as the only announced candidates in the field so far to replace former GOP U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, whose resignation took effect Monday. Mosinee Mayor Brent Jacobson and Wausau thoracic surgeon Fernando “Fritz” Riveron both announced this week they will not pursue a bid for the 7th CD.
Dems who are considering joining the race include: state Sen. Janet Bewley, of Mason; Wausau attorney Christine Bremer; Margaret Engebretson, who challenged Duffy in 2018; former state Sen. Pat Kreitlow, of Chippewa Falls; and state Rep. Nick Milroy, of South Range.
As part of his rollout, Church released a 2-minute, 33-second video that recounts his 2012 injury in Afghanistan and his family’s history of service in the military. Church noted his father was called to active duty in Afghanistan after he was injured and wore a pair of his combat boots while there “to finish my tour and get a proper exit.”
Church said his goal would be to serve four terms and then “be done,” saying he supports term limits.
“I’ll do some things that tick off the right people and be done,” Church says, concluding the video by encouraging viewers to “lace your boots up with me.”
Operative Juston Johnson is working as Church’s general consultant.
On Monday, Gov. Tony Evers ordered a Jan. 27 special election with a primary Dec. 30.
See his roll out video:
— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman introduced bipartisan legislation to formally recognize Hmong New Year in the United States.
With the third-highest Hmong population in America, Grothman noted the cultural and historical significance of the holiday in Wisconsin.
“Each year I attend the New Year celebrations in my district. These celebrations of thanksgiving are an honor to attend—the food, music and dance make these festivals truly special events,” Grothman said in a release.
The Glenbeulah Republican was joined by U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, Gwen Moore, Mike Gallagher and nine other members of Congress in support of the legislation.
“I am once again proud to support this resolution honoring the Hmong community in Wisconsin and nationwide. The annual Hmong New Year celebrations are a treasured part of Wisconsin’s community and culture and we welcome the opportunity to recognize this wonderful tradition,” Pocan said in the release.
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of legislation he proposed last spring to prevent foreign lobbying.
The bill would ban members of Congress, senior executive branch officials, and high-ranking military officers from lobbying on behalf of foreign interests at any point in their careers, including after retirement.
“This is not about restricting freedom of speech, but rather preventing those with the most extensive insider connections from profiting off those connections to the detriment of our national interests,” Gallagher said during his testimony.
Citing recent relations with Chinese tech companies Huawei and ZTE, the Green Bay Republican said foreign interests have contributed to a steady decrease of trust in government and have compromised national security.
“Passing this bill would show the American people we are serious about doing away with some of the most egregious of influence-peddling in the swamp, and certainly the kind that most directly undermines our national security,” Gallagher said.
Posts of the week
Thanks to Tailwaggers 911 for all they do to rescue, foster and re-home dogs. I was happy to support their Rover by the River fundraiser in #Saukville, where I met this good boy! pic.twitter.com/zFEDsHs8aq
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) September 23, 2019
Met w/ Amy & Jen-members of the Driftless Young Farmers Coalition-at Jen's farm in Woodman on Monday. WI farmers, workers, & families are the backbone of Wisconsin’s rural economy, & it's vital for our state that our long tradition of farming is carried forward by young farmers. pic.twitter.com/0PTI7wFZ52
— Rep. Ron Kind (@RepRonKind) September 18, 2019
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) September 24, 2019
— Rep. Gwen Moore (@RepGwenMoore) September 19, 2019
Grothman visits Markesan on Heritage Day
Gwen Moore: Border Wall ‘Stuck On Stupid, Waiting On Dumb To Come’
Rep. Gallagher: Appleton International Airport receiving $4.7 million for improvements
WI Sen. Tammy Baldwin joins bipartisan effort to extend whistleblower protections
Sen. Johnson: Democratic nominee will dictate president’s success in Wisconsin in 2020
Tom Barrett, Jim Sensenbrenner reflect on impeachment of President Clinton: ‘Literally took months’
Wisconsin’s Democratic Rep. Kind supports Trump probe