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 the duty of the Congress to protect life, especially those that are voiceless and defenseless. Unfortunately, not all of my colleagues feel the same obligation.”
— U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman. R-Glenbeulah, arguing Dems are including funds in the reconciliation bill to increase the number of abortions in the United States.
“In reality, what I care about is that we get the right things in the bill. We’re so close. Let’s just get it across the finish line in a way that benefits the most Americans possible.”
— U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, on getting the reconciliation bill across the finish line.
This week’s news
— U.S. Rep. Ron Kind was the only member of Wisconsin’s delegation this cycle to take political donations from big pharma companies this cycle, according to the latest data from Kaiser Health News.
U.S. Reps. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, and Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, were the only delegates to not take money from pharmaceutical companies, according to KHN data. The two are relatively new members of Congress.
The La Crosse Dem’s campaign so far has taken in $2,000 from Pfizer this cycle. Since 2007, he’s taken in $672,220 from various pharmaceutical companies, more than any other Wisconsin member of the House.
The next highest number went to the campaign of fellow U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, who did not take in any money this cycle, but pulled in $26,500 from pharmaceutical companies since he was elected. But the Town of Vermont Dem did not take any so far in this cycle.
Pocan’s spokesman told WisPolitics.com he stopped accepting corporate PAC money in 2019 and continues to do so.
Also according to KHN data U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s campaign has taken $69,000 in pharmaceutical money since 2007 compared to U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s campaign, which took in $55,289 during the same time.
Combined, the campaigns of the three remaining GOP members received $15,000 in donations since 2007 while all three Dem campaigns took a combined $714,720.
Kind did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
See the KHN contribution tracker.
— Wisconsin Dems voted along party lines to approve the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act.
Dems in a 228-200 vote approved a bill that would spend $327.5 million on violence prevention programs, hotlines and research. U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore in a statement said passing the FVPSA was the best way to celebrate October as Domestic Violence Awareness month.
“With this bill, we secure funding for the lifesaving and life changing services survivors depend on and support violence prevention measures,” the Milwaukee Dem said. “As a domestic abuse survivor, I know firsthand what it’s like to be in a life-or-death situation.”
See the roll call.
See more on the bill.
See Moore’s statement.
— GOP U.S. Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany penned a letter demanding U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland withdraw his memo responding to school board threats.
The freshman pair joined 17 of their Republican colleagues on the House Judiciary Committee in calling on Garland to rescind his memo directing the FBI to establish communication with school boards and police for reporting threats.
Garland defended his memo in a committee hearing, adding parents have the right to voice their opinions about learning materials.
“This is not about what happens inside school board meetings,” he said. “It’s only about threats of violence and violence aimed at school officials, school employees and teachers.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson blasted Garland for the memo last week.
See the letter.
— Johnson introduced a bill to exempt from vaccine mandates essential workers whose employers receive federal funds.
The Oshkosh Republican in a statement said the Keeping Our Covid-19 Heroes Employed Act would prevent essential workers from being fired due to President Biden’s vaccine mandate for workers whose employers receive federal funds. He added the bill would help keep the economy running by keeping essential positions filled.
“We are already suffering severe worker shortages throughout our economy, especially in health care,” he said. “No one should be pressured, coerced, or fear reprisal for refusing treatment, especially essential workers.”
See the release.
— Dem U.S. Senate candidate Peter Peckarsky has a pair of new radio ads highlighting his progressive positions and touting the intellectual property attorney’s work on elections.
The ads will air on Madison’s Devil’s Radio on both AM and FM bands.
In one ad, Peckarsky says he’s running against Johnson “because some people see things as they are and ask ‘why?’ Others dream things that could be and ask ‘why not?’”
“Why not provide health care as a basic right? Why not have broadband all over Wisconsin? Why not end systemic racism? Why not send a real progressive to the Senate?” he asks.
See the release.
Listen to the first ad.
Listen to the second ad.
— Republican Rebecca Kleefisch is calling on Dem Gov. Tony Evers to sue the federal government over President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, calling it unconstitutional.
“In the middle of a worker shortage in the state of Wisconsin, Tony Evers has been absolutely silent on Joe Biden’s unconstitutional vaccine mandate that targets our friends and our neighbors across Wisconsin,” Kleefisch said.
Biden’s mandate requires businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are vaccinated or tested weekly. It is expected to cover about two-thirds of the private sector workforce.
See more here.
Posts of the week
Milwaukee NAACP has been at the forefront of the most righteous fights for justice and equity. At their Freedom Fund Dinner, we celebrated their 97 years of service and were joined by my friend & former colleague, MN Attorney General Keith Ellison, who was the keynote speaker. pic.twitter.com/UM0xteJ4ia
— Rep. Gwen Moore (@RepGwenMoore) October 26, 2021
Today we honor the veterans who have and who continue to serve our country. I am eternally grateful for their immeasurable sacrifices to keep our nation safe and free. Thank you to all who have served. 🇺🇸 https://t.co/JHVM2BNwyz
— Rep. Scott Fitzgerald (@RepFitzgerald) October 26, 2021
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) October 27, 2021
It was great to be back with friends at the @NAACP Milwaukee Freedom Fund Dinner. Congratulations on your 97th year of operation as one of the longest-serving branches in the nation.
Thanks for all you do each and every day to advance the cause of racial justice. pic.twitter.com/CUzAHL7niX
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) October 25, 2021
West Milwaukee St is back and better than ever. Great to celebrate the reopening in downtown Janesville last night. pic.twitter.com/0l726RxCVS
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) October 23, 2021
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