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

“We realize that we place a lot of additional responsibilities on the shoulders of officers, [this bill] really wants to focus in on their public safety role.”
-Dem U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on the Justice in Policing Act introduced this week.

“Research illustrates a clear correlation between vitamin D deficiencies and (higher) COVID-19 mortality rates.”
-A statement on possible COVID-19 treatments by GOP U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman rated “True” by Politifact.

This week’s news

— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson says there is a recognition among his Senate Republican colleagues that “there are some real reforms that need to be enacted” in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Johnson noted police policies are “by and large a state and local” issue, but added he is optimistic about legislation Senate GOP colleagues are working on. 

“I think there hopefully will be some broad bipartisan support on things the federal government can do within its proper constitutional framework to encourage a better, less discriminatory policing powers,” the Oshkosh Republican tells WisPolitics.com.

Johnson also knocked “general shutdown orders” in response to coronavirus and said he advocated for tighter control on the Paycheck Protection Program because the federal government doesn’t have an “unlimited checking account.”

Watch the interview, part of a series of DC Wrap talks with the Wisconsin congressional delegation:


— U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez say President Trump has “failed the people of Wisconsin” over his handling of the COVID-19 economic crisis and ensuing protests over racial disparities. 

Perez and Moore in a webinar yesterday told reporters Trump is overseeing “Depression-era” job losses across the country. They touted former Vice President and presumptive Dem nominee Joe Biden’s experience overseeing the 2008 Great Recession recovery as a reason why he would be a better steward of the economy. 

Moore further criticized the Trump administration for a “lack of work and effort” on pushing the HEROES Act coronavirus relief package through the Republican-Controlled Senate. 

Meanwhile, Perez said he didn’t yet know how many people will attend the August Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee since the COVID-19 pandemic creates many unknowns. 

But he added he was confident the convention will be in the city in some capacity. 

See more here.


— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes slammed President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking with Wisconsin residents at a recent virtual town hall, Baldwin said the warning signs of the COVID-19 pandemic were totally ignored by the administration, as they blew off the “road map” that had been created by previous administrations in case of a pandemic.

The Madison Dem said her chief criticism of the federal pandemic response was the president failing to invoke the Defense Production Act to order manufacturers to begin producing masks and other PPE necessary for containing the virus.

“[Trump] should have invoked the act to help close the gap between what we have and what we need [to fight the virus],” she said. “If you domestically produce those things you keep more people at work.”

See more here.


— Cliff DeTemple, the political newcomer who filed to run against state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald for the GOP nomination in the 5th CD, describes himself as “pro-Constitution, pro-Second Amendment, pro-life, pro-America.”

In an interview with WisPolitics.com, DeTemple said he has never run for public office. But he was inspired to see the southeastern Wisconsin congressional district for a number of reasons.

That includes what he says has been an experience with members of Congress who were unaware of what he calls misguided spending priorities by the federal government, including in the military.

See more here.


— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson has introduced a bill that would delist the gray wolf under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The amendment would restore the gray wolf to the status determined to be appropriate by Department of Interior wildlife experts in 2011, and allow the Wisconsin DNR to develop a wolf population management program.

See the release here.


— Baldwin helped introduce legislation that would revise the way producers calculate their PPP loan to award more to small businesses.

See the release here.


— U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil sent a letter urging the State Department to immediately address the backlog of 1.6 million U.S. passport applications on Wednesday.

See the release here.


— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan helped introduce a bill that would establish a national training standard for all law enforcement officers and a Civilian-Law Enforcement Bill of Rights for anyone having contact with law enforcement. A civilian commission would be named to set standards of training for police, to bridge the wide gaps of what training for law enforcement looks like nationwide.

See the release here.


— The state Dem Party’s virtual convention is scheduled to run for less than three hours on Friday night.

The party’s agenda shows voting for four DNC slots will open at 7 p.m. The candidates for the four slots will then speak before elected officials address the convention.

Presumptive Dem presidential nominee Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders are among those who will deliver messages.

Others slated to address party activists virtually include: Gov. Tony Evers, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, AG Josh Kaul, Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, and U.S. Reps. Ron Kind, Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, according to a party tweet.

A party spokeswoman said some of the speeches will be pre-recorded, while others will be delivered live.

Balloting is scheduled to close about 8:45 p.m. with results announced afterward and the convention adjourning around 9:30 p.m.

See the tentative schedule here.

Friday’s convention can be viewed here.


Posts of the week



Sen. Baldwin reacts to police reform legislation
Senate passes bill to give businesses flexibility in spending coronavirus aid, sends it to Trump
Rep. Mark Pocan discusses Madison unrest, COVID-19 response
The Pacific Century Visits With Congressman Mike Gallagher
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: ‘We are seeing an opportunity’
Racine receives CARES Act dollars to help people affected by coronavirus

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