DC Wrap

Welcome to our weekly DC Wrap, where we write about Wisconsin’s congressional delegation. Sign up here to receive the newsletter directly: https://forms.gle/YLYZtJWHPSt24HhZ7

Quotes of the week

“I’m glad that the president is coming to pay tribute to the men and women that work in that shipyard, and whose hard work is the reason we won this competition.”
-GOP U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher on President Trump’s visit to the Marinette shipyard that won a contract to build frigates for the U.S. Navy.

“Just as the administration has failed to issue these enforceable standards to protect workers, they’ve also failed to provide the leadership needed for decisive action.”
-Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on a bill she helped introduce that would require the president to fully employ the Defense Production Act to boost the supply of PPE.

This week’s news

— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman slammed the “horrible” Dem-backed police reform bill that is set to be taken up in the House today, which he said would be “devastating to our law enforcement community.”

“(The bill) was drafted by people who are spending all day reviewing that horrific video from Minnesota but don’t display a lot of concern about the huge amount of crimes that police officers prevent,”  the Glenbeulah Republican said in an interview with WisPolitics.com. 

Grothman also said trips to Wisconsin by the president and vice president are “a real feather in our cap” and laid out his priorities as the new ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s National Security subpanel.

 

 

— The Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee is being shifted to a largely virtual format and is to be held in a smaller venue to limit the potential spread of COVID-19. 

The event will take place over four days from Aug. 17 to Aug. 20. Much of the event will be held virtually, with the Democratic National Convention Committee in a press release calling it a “Convention Across America.” 

Former Vice President Joe Biden will still accept the Dem nomination in the city, but the ceremony’s location has moved from the new Fiserv Forum arena to the smaller Wisconsin Center. 

Delegate voting will also now occur virtually instead of in-person. 

Mayor Tom Barrett said he was still proud the city will host a national party nomination for the first time in history, but it was “impossible to predict” what the convention would look like given the ongoing pandemic. 

“No one could have ever predicted what we’ve experienced as a nation, as a world, as a city, over the last four months,” he said. “Obviously this is not something that I’m excited about.” 

Barrett added the city had originally anticipated an influx of around $200 million to the local economy from the convention, but it’s now more likely the actual economic gains will be a “fraction” of that.

See the release.

 

— President Trump is set to tour Fincantieri Marinette Marine today, his first stop in Wisconsin since a January campaign rally in Milwaukee.

A senior White House official said Trump is expected to inspect the USS Marinette before delivering remarks to employees about “the administration’s decisive actions to expand the shipyard.” 

Marinette Marine in April was awarded a nearly $800 million contract to build a first-in-class guided-missile frigate for the Navy. The contract includes the possibility for nine additional ships and could be worth $5.5 billion if all options exercised.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere indicated the administration’s operations team was working to “ensure plans incorporate current CDC guidance and best practices for limiting COVID-19 exposure to the greatest extent possible.” Deere did not elaborate on specific measures.

A Marinette Marine spokesman said the shipbuilder expected to have between 500-600 employees in attendance for Trump’s remarks.

The president is also scheduled to hold a televised town hall in Green Bay with Fox News host Sean Hannity at the Jet Air facility at Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport.

Follow along with WisPolitics.com’s coverage at Battleground Wisconsin 2020.

 

— Presumptive Dem nominee Joe Biden opened up an 8-point lead over Trump in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll as Wisconsin voters gave the president poor marks on his handling of the protests that have swept the country following the death of George Floyd.

The president’s stewardship of the economy has long been his strong point in the Marquette Poll, but his numbers slipped on that front. He also saw his backing among self-identified Republicans and independents drop in the head-to-head with Biden.

The poll found 49 percent of voters backed Biden, while 41 percent supported the president. The polls in May and March found a 3-point spread in Biden’s favor, while the two were tied in the February poll.

The shift in the horserace comes as Trump’s approval has dipped with voters on several fronts.

Overall, 45 percent approved of the job he’s doing, while 51 percent disapproved. That’s compared to 47-49 in May, though Poll Director Charles Franklin noted August was the last time Trump’s job approval in Wisconsin was as low as 45 percent.

See more. 

 

— Biden has tapped veterans of past Tammy Baldwin and Tony Evers operations to lead his Wisconsin campaign.

They include Danielle Melfi. The Biden campaign says she’s the first female Wisconsin state director in 20 years and the second woman to lead a Dem presidential campaign in Wisconsin.

Team members so far: 

*Scott Spector, senior adviser. Spector managed Baldwin’s successful 2018 reelection campaign after previously serving as executive director of Wisconsin Progress, a candidate recruitment and training organization.

*Melfi, who most recently served as a top official in the Department of Children and Families in the Evers administration. Prior to that, she was the director of Political Engagement for Baldwin’s 2018 campaign.

*Garren Randolph, deputy state director. He is now the political director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and will leave that role to join the Biden campaign. He was Evers’ political director and the campaign manager for Milwaukee County Exec David Crowley and Milwaukee County Sheriff Earnell Lucas. Biden’s campaign says he’s the first African American to serve on the leadership team for a presidential campaign in Wisconsin.

*Shirley Ellis, strategist adviser. She has worked for U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, for nearly three decades, including overseeing her district staff and operations. 

See more. 

 

— Vice President Mike Pence during a pair of suburban Milwaukee visits dismissed calls to defund police, touted an improving economy and praised private school choice.

In a speech in Pewaukee on Tuesday, Pence called the killing of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer a “tragedy that shocked the conscience of the nation” and declared “justice will be served.”

“There’s no excuse for what happened to George Floyd, but there’s no excuse for the violence and rioting and looting” that followed, he said during his fourth visit to the state this year.

Pence then made remarks in Pewaukee, the kickoff for the Trump campaign’s “Faith in America” tour, before a group of about 200 supporters in a large ballroom at the Ingleside Hotel. It was the second event of the day.

To address concerns over COVID-19, groups of two chairs were placed six feet apart, with a roughly six-foot space between rows. Over 100 additional people were gathered in an overflow room, which Pence addressed before speaking in the main ballroom.

See more here.

 

— The state’s Dem congressional delegation called on the U.S. Department of Labor to clear up the eligibility of Wisconsin recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

PUA was included in the CARES stimulus act to provide assistance to workers who are regularly ineligible for unemployment insurance, and the legislators argue SSDI recipients should be eligible for that funding as well.

See the release here.

 

— Recently elected U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany called for Gov. Tony Evers resignation Wednesday after protests in Madison erupted in violence Tuesday night.

“Decent people are fed up. Governor Evers has ignored this crisis for weeks,” Tiffany said. “If he cannot or will not regain control of the streets, he should resign immediately. Enough is enough.”

See the release here.

 

— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher helped introduce a bipartisan bill that would allow the FDA to streamline the approval path for drugs that may treat or prevent a serious or life-threatening disease or condition Friday.

See the release here.

 

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin joined a call by Senate Dems to bring the second stimulus package bill to the Senate floor for a debate and vote. 

It’s been three months since the first stimulus bill was passed through congress, which the Dems say is “unacceptable” in their letter.

See the release here.

 

Posts of the week

 

ICYMI

Pocan calls Biden ‘crystal clear’ choice after earlier endorsing Sanders
Senator Ron Johnson has little to say about allegations in Bolton book
U.S. Representative Gwen Moore reflects on her childhood, Juneteenth
Grothman Reacts to Bill Introduced by Democratic Party
Top Tammy Baldwin aides to lead Joe Biden campaign in Wisconsin
5G-Focused Legislation Aims to Improve Security in Military Telecom Infrastructure

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