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
“If (a pharmaceutical company) wants to increase the price of a drug you have to submit a justification — and you have to be transparent about your pricing — so we can make an assessment of whether this is justified.”
-U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, to 620 WTMJ on the FAIR Drug Pricing act she helped to create.
“We hope that (UK’s Parliament) will reverse (Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s) decision, because I do believe this will be fatal for our attempts to get a post-Brexit gold standard trade agreement with the UK.”
-U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher, R-Green Bay, on AEI’s podcast “What the Hell is Going On” discussing the UK’s decision to let Huawei build portions of it’s 5G networks.
This week’s news
— Sen. Tom Tiffany defeated Jason Church, a retired Army captain and former aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, by a 15-point margin in the 7th CD Republican primary.
Tiffany won just shy of 58 percent of the vote, while Church claimed more than 42.45 percent.
In statements released Tuesday night after the race was called, both Tiffany and Church aligned themselves with President Trump.
Tiffany, R-Minocqua, thanked his supporters and campaign volunteers and pledged to “bring my business experience to Congress, where Nancy Pelosi and her radical allies need some Wisconsin common sense.” Former GOP Congressman Sean Duffy has endorsed Tiffany as his successor.
“President Trump needs strong reinforcements in Congress who will work to stop socialism and defend freedom,” Tiffany said. “I’m running for Congress to keep America great. We must ensure our children and grandchildren can grow up with the same freedom and opportunity that we did.”
Church in conceding urged his supporters to back Tiffany in the May special election that will decide Duffy’s successor.
“President Trump needs an ally in Congress, which is why it’s imperative we elect Senator Tiffany in May,” he said.
Tricia Zunker, a Wausau school board member and an associate justice of the Ho-Chunk Supreme Court, won the 7th CD Dem primary with 89 percent of the vote over businessman Lawrence Dale.
Tiffany and Zunker will square off May 12 in the heavily Republican district.
— All nine members of the Wisconsin congressional delegation urged President Trump to back Gov. Tony Evers’ request for FEMA aid for southeastern Wisconsin.
In a letter sent Thursday, lawmakers highlighted “significant flooding and extensive damage” in Kenosha, Milwaukee and Racine counties caused by near-record high water levels in Lake Michigan and gusting winds in early January.
A preliminary damage report conducted by FEMA and Wisconsin Emergency Management assessed more than $10 million dollars in damages and Evers signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for the affected areas.
“While the state has committed to helping those in need with all resources available at the state level, without federal assistance, our communities will face immense difficulty recovering fully,” the letter reads.
See the delegation’s letter here.
See Evers’ letter here.
— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan predicted Bernie Sanders will win the state’s Dem presidential primary, followed by Mike Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg.
“Right now, I have every confidence that he is going to win Wisconsin,” the Town of Vermont Dem said of Sanders, whom he endorsed last month. “I think he’s well-positioned.”
Speaking with reporters at his Madison office, Pocan noted the Vermont independent in 2016 won 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and ran up large margins among young independent, female and union voters before ultimately losing the Dem presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton.
He also credited Bloomberg’s “sheer amount of money” for buying the ability to stay in “as many primaries as he wants.”
“Anyone who can self-fund at that level has got a good chance of remaining,” he said.
Pocan also laid out his party’s agenda for the upcoming legislative periods, saying he expects the House to address infrastructure and prescription drug cost bills.
According to Pocan, President Trump has agreed to put $2 trillion towards infrastructure. The House Dems are proposing a $1.5 trillion package that includes funding for roads, bridges and harbors over the next 10 years, and another $500 billion towards housing, schools and veterans.
Much of that package will focus on adding green jobs, Pocan said.
— Pocan joined U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore and U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in sending a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemning what they say is an effort to deport Hmong immigrants.
More than 49,000 Hmong live in Wisconsin, most refugees from the civil war in Laos, or immigrants to Wisconsin after the Vietnam war.
But Pompeo reportedly pushed to ramp up Hmong deportations in a January meeting with Laotian Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith — a move all three Dems opposed in statements.
“I am deeply concerned that the Trump administration would tear families apart in Wisconsin and target Hmong and Lao refugees residing in our state,” Baldwin, D-Madison, said.
Moore noted Milwaukee is home to the fourth-largest population of Hmong people in the country, and called the decision to deport “just wrong.”
“This decision blatantly ignores the history of [Hmong people’s] journey to America which was due in large part to their allegiance to the United States during the Vietnam War,” the Milwaukee Dem said.
Pocan also voiced strong opposition to allowing “our friends and neighbors be deported to a country that too many of them fled as refugees.”
“Wisconsin is their home and it will remain their home,” he said.
The State Department hasn’t noted a change in deportation policy since the letter was sent.
See Baldwin’s release here.
See Moore’s release here.
See Pocan’s release here.
See the letter here.
— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman was in Arizona this week to discuss and observe potential border security threats America faces.
The Glenbeulah Republican was joined by fellow four fellow GOP lawmakers — U.S. Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar of Arizona, Russ Fulcher of Idaho, and French Hill of Arkansas.
“Much of our (southern) border is rough terrain,” Grothman said in a tweet, “That doesn’t deter cartels from dragging people through the desert to our border.”
Grothman has previously called the southern border a “mess,” saying Americans had to “work together” to solve the illegal alien and cartel influx. Grothman voted for increased humanitarian aid spending at the border last year, along with calls to hire additional border patrol agents.
In a statement, Grothman last year said border agents told him that “there is a humanitarian crisis at our southern border.” Grothman noted “outdated” technology agents were using, along with a lack of equipment.
“A wall with clear ports of entry is the best way to ensure no family has to rely on cartels to gain entry to the #USA,” Grothman said in a tweet.
–U.S. Sens. Jacky Rosen and Ron Johnson introduced legislation Thursday that would strengthen U.S. leadership in international standards-setting bodies for wireless networks in the race to develop 5G technology.
“Winning the race to 5G is one of America’s top economic and national security priorities,” Johnson said in a release. “If we as a nation do not lead on this issue, China will fill the void.”
The so-called “Promoting United States Wireless Leadership Act of 2020” would see the federal government step up and help “relevant stakeholders” with technical expertise, as well as taking a leading role in standard setting bodies.
“It is critical that the U.S. take the lead in developing standards to ensure 5G network security and maintain U.S. competitiveness in wireless connectivity and innovation,” Johnson said.
“This legislation will help ensure we don’t concede leadership to China as 5G technology continues to develop.”
See the release here.
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher announced the cities of Green Bay and Appleton received federal grants to support local government efforts.
Green Bay’s Community Development Block Grants totals just over $1 million, while Appleton will receive roughly $592,000.
The grants were administered through the federal Department of Housing and were designed to help develop communities by providing housing and expanding economic opportunities.
Green Bay’s total also included roughly $550,000 to expand the supply of affordable housing.
“I hope this funding will give our communities the resources they need to help alleviate problems like the lack of affordable housing, and ensure Northeast Wisconsin continues to be the best place in the world to live,” Gallagher said in a statement.
See the release here.
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has named Ken Reidy as her new chief of staff.
Reidy previously served as Baldwin’s legislative director while she was in the House and most recently as her deputy chief of staff in the Senate.
He replaces Bill Murat, who worked for Baldwin for 21 years. After Baldwin was elected to the House in 1998, Murat served as her district director and then as chief of staff, a role he served in until he retired at the end of last year.
Posts of the week
It was an honor to call Sadie from De Pere High School yesterday to let her know she has been accepted to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Sadie is an impressive student with a bright future ahead of her, and I have no doubt she will represent Wisconsin well! pic.twitter.com/A7M0CHi8S9
— Rep. Mike Gallagher (@RepGallagher) February 13, 2020
Today I’m thinking of Chelsey & Zoe in Seymour, WI.
Zoe was born with a congenital heart defect & had open heart surgery at 5 days old. Chelsey wrote to me, asking that I protect health care for kids like Zoe.
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) February 13, 2020
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) February 13, 2020
Today and every day, I’m proud to be a born and raised Wisconsinite. Whether you are rolling out the barrel or jumping around, I hope you take some time to celebrate today! #NationalWisconsinDay #WIProud 👐 pic.twitter.com/r83J2AiobQ
— Rep. Ron Kind (@RepRonKind) February 15, 2020
Happy Presidents’ Day.
My offices are open today and ready to serve you. pic.twitter.com/fVwb8v1hS7
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) February 17, 2020