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

“It is really imperative that people connect this with the need to vote, as people recognize the link between their enfranchisement and their safety.”
-Dem U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore on Spectrum News 1 talking about the recent protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We just received the revised legislative calendar for the rest of this year, and it is disappointing to say the least. For example, in the next one and a half months we’re only working three days.”
-Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher expressing his displeasure of the lack of days Congress will be in session this summer.

 

This week’s news

— In the wake of state and nationwide protest after the death of George Floyd, U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore is calling for a ground-up approach to “dismantling structural racism.”

“It’s not just policing that’s racist,” the Milwaukee Dem said in an interview with WisPolitics.com. “It’s housing opportunities, job opportunities, educational opportunities and when you scale these things up, it is a volcano ready to explode.”

Moore added that the protests that have swept the country over the last week feel different than previous demonstrations, because leaders “are saying, ‘Let’s do something to stem the tide, let’s do something to end these elements of structural racism’” rather than pushing back on protestors.

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

 

— The Senate on Wednesday night passed a House-backed bill that seeks to make the Paycheck Protection Program more widely available to businesses after an initial objection from U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, said he opposed a provision that would push the loan application deadline for small businesses from June 30 to Dec. 31. But he dropped his opposition and allowed the bill to pass by unanimous consent after Senate leaders signed and entered into the record a letter clarifying an extension until the end of the year applied to spending, not the application deadline.

The bill, which aims to make PPP loans more accessible by adding flexibility, passed the House 417-1 last week. Seven members of the state’s House delegation backed the bill while U.S. Rep Jim Sensebrenner, R-Menomonee Falls, did not vote.

See more on the bill. 

 

— Joe Biden had a 9-point lead over Donald Trump in a new Fox News poll that found Wisconsin voters overwhelmingly have a negative view of the economy.

The poll found 49 percent of registered voters backed Biden, while 40 percent supported Trump. That’s compared to a 46-41 advantage for Biden in January.

The survey also found 22 percent of voters rate the economy positively with 76 percent saying it’s fair or poor. Those with a negative view of the economy favored Biden by 26 points.

The poll attributed Trump’s deficit to several factors beyond the economy, including the president getting the support of just 85 percent of Republicans, while 93 percent of Dems back Biden.

The poll found Trump’s job approval rating largely unchanged from January with 45 percent approving and 54 percent disapproving. In January, it was 46-53.

See more here.

 

— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan says House Dems will release a series of bills this week related to police reform in the wake of days-long protests over the death of George Floyd. 

The Town of Vermont Dem told reporters he personally is drafting a bill that would establish a national standard for becoming a police officer. 

“To be a truck driver you have to get a special license to drive a big vehicle because of the health and welfare of people around you, and it should be no different for a police officer,” he said yesterday in a video conference. “As a nation, the response Congress has to do is pass some legislation.” 

See more here.

 

— The Cyberspace Solarium released a new white paper Wednesday, highlighting 32 of the commission’s original recommendations for national cybersecurity tied to the pandemic.

The commission, co-chaired by U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, found three distinct threats highlighted by the pandemic — challenges in the work from home economy, digitization of critical services, and the impact of opportunistic cybercrime. With most businesses relying on cloud network services right now, the commission warns there is a threat to national security without “robust law enforcement capabilities.”

“We are woefully unprepared for a cyber calamity, our nation could be crippled by a major attack,” Gallagher said. “If we [act on the commission’s report], we will be in a much better position to not only coordinate a whole-of-nation response to a significant cyberattack, but to prevent them in the first place. As the coronavirus has shown, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 

See the release here.

 

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, joined 25 Senate colleagues in calling for an investigation into the “patterns and practices of racially discriminatory and violent policing” in the Minneapolis Police Department. 

See the release here.

 

— U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, released a statement calling the officers’  acts in the Floyd case “reprehensible” and for them to be prosecuted. He also wrote that “peaceful protests are justified, but destructive riots are not.”

See the release here.

 

— Johnson announced the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee would consider authorizing issuing subpoenas for the ongoing investigation of the Obama administration’s presidential transition.

See the release here.

 

— Dem U.S. Reps. Ron Kind. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan, along with Baldwin sent a letter to USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue asking for answers on how contracts are awarded through the Farmers to Families Food Box Program.

See the release here.

 

Posts of the week

 

ICYMI

Lt. Governor Barnes and Rep. Gwen Moore unpack unrest in America
Steil introduces bill that would double penalties for fraudsters selling phony COVID cures
Mark Pocan faces familiar foe in 2nd District
Sen. Ron Johnson says there was ‘total corruption’ in transition between Obama and Trump administrations
Michael Stumo: Sen. Baldwin introduces legislation for safer online shopping
Manitowoc elections: Three challengers vie to face off with Grothman in fall election

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