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
“Firebombings of pro-life groups & intimidation of justices are all acceptable to the Democrats—despite having clear law that makes it a crime. Now, abortion activists are calling for a summer of rage. Where is Biden’s DOJ? Off targeting concerned parents.”
– U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Minocqua, in a tweet about a House Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday where he added he hopes AG Merrick Garland “does not treat the Wisconsin Family Action counsel like he treated parents before school boards.”
“Personally, I consider myself a sociological miracle; I escaped the script that was written for me. Because of my abortion, I could escape permanent poverty for me and my daughter and forge a new path. It meant I could write my own destiny.”
– U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, in a tweet talking about her personal abortion story.
This week’s news
— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, joined fellow Dems in calling for baby formula manufacturers to ramp up production amid a supply shortage.
Lawmakers in a letter to Mardi Mountford, Infant Nutrition Council of America president, urged the group to prevent future shortages. They referenced a recall of contaminated baby formula from Abbott Nutrition as making it “increasingly difficult” for families to purchase formula.
Lawmakers noted the shortage had put already vulnerable children at a greater risk, citing hose with allergies, gastrointestinal issues or metabolic disorders.
“There is no easy substitute for infant formula, and this shortage has left families across the nation scrambling to figure out how they will safely care for their children,” they wrote. “We urge the Infant Nutrition Council of America and your member companies to do all you can to increase infant formula production and distribution, and prevent future supply chain disruptions.”
U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, also tweeted her thoughts on the formula shortage, adding information about resources to help those struggling to find the breast milk substitute.
“I know it’s hard for many families to find the formula they need to feed their babies,” the House Worker and Family Support Subcommittee member said. “My heart goes out to every parent dealing with this stressful situation. If you need assistance right now, visit 211 Wisconsin’s map to find locations with baby formula.”
— U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany this week introduced another bill to remove gray wolves from the endangered species act.
The Minocqua Republican introduced the bill with U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo. Tiffany introduced a similar bill, the Managing Predators Act, in March. U.S. Reps. Mike Gallagher, R-Allouez, Glenn Grothman, R-Glenbeulah, and Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, are cosponsors of the new Trust the Science Act.
Tiffany, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in a statement said gray wolves are an “ongoing threat to livestock, farmers, and pet owners in Wisconsin.
“The Biden administration must follow the science, as they claim to do, by having Secretary Haaland remove ESA protections from species no longer warranting them,” Tiffany said, referencing U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.
— Wisconsin’s House Dems joined the majority of their colleagues in sending a $28 million bill aimed at addressing the baby formula shortage to the Senate last night.
The House voted 231-192 to approve the bill that directs the money to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to pay for more inspection staff, more resources for those working on baby formula issues and other areas to help with the formula shortage. Wisconsin’s delegation voted along party lines. U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, in a press release praised the move as a way to help low-income mothers gain access to the baby formula they need.
“Our most vulnerable families should not have to fend for themselves in this time of need,” she said. “This is about protecting our babies now and in the future! That’s why I am supporting legislation that will give these WIC families the flexibility to purchase formula during emergencies, including the current shortage.”
— Moore responding to the 21 people shot outside the Milwaukee Bucks arena over the weekend said it’s clear gun safety reform cannot come soon enough.
The Milwaukee Dem told WisPolitics.com lenient gun laws allow those who with no use for firearms access to dangerous weapons. She called for expanded background check requirements and for a ban on assault weapons.
“It breaks my heart to see people taken from our communities because of gun violence,” she said. “These are our mothers, daughters, nieces, uncles, aunts, and precious loved ones and are part of the fabric of Milwaukee. It’s time to act; we are in crisis.”
Moore in a tweet also said she’s relieved to hear those wounded in the downtown shooting will recover but added the tragedy shows the need for more gun safety legislation.
“How much more are our residents supposed to take? Enough is enough,” she said.
— Wisconsin’s congressional members responding to the shooting in Buffalo over the weekend took to Twitter to call for the nation to address its growing white supremacist and gun violence problem.
Dems called for Americans to come together to stand against white supremacist hatred and to stop allowing those looking to strike fear into people’s lives do not have easy access to guns. GOP U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil referring to violence in Milwaukee and Buffalo said the incidents are signals for the need for more police funding.
“The crime we are seeing in Milwaukee and across the country is preventable,” The Janesville Republican said. “We need to fund law enforcement and keep criminals off our streets.”
Dem U.S. Rep. Ron Kind said the hatred from the shooter that led him to kill 10 Black people at a supermarket is deplorable.
“The racism and hatred that fueled the attack in Buffalo is particularly reprehensible and has no place in this country,” the La Crosse Dem said. “As we mourn the 10 lives lost, we must all come together to stand against hate wherever it exists.”
Fellow Dem U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore called for the nation to address its white supremacist problem.
“White supremacist terrorism combined with an endless access to guns is a growing threat we must address in our country,” the Milwaukee Dem said. “My thoughts are with the victims’ families left mourning after this tragedy in Buffalo.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, mourned the loss of life.
“Americans around the country are praying for the victims of the horrific attack that occurred in Buffalo,” he said. “We mourn for their loved ones and thank law enforcement for their heroism.”
U.S Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, said the nation should address the issues that lead to the attack.
“The horrific attack in Buffalo was a racially motivated hate crime fueled by White supremacy and easy access to military style weapons,” she said. “As we remember the victims, we should honor them by confronting and rejecting violent extremism, racism and hate.”
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Town of Vermont, noted the Buffalo shooting where a white teenager shot 13 people came just after 21 were shot in Milwaukee over the same weekend.
“These horrifying incidents are far too commonplace & have no place in our society,” he said. “Sadly just hours after Milwaukee, we have yet another reminder of how prevalent gun violence is in our communities. We need to do all we can to prevent these senseless acts.”
Multiple suspects were arrested after the Milwaukee shooting and police do not suspect the Wisconsin incident was a hate crime.
— President Biden and Dems have blasted Republicans for rhetoric they say echoes a white supremacist theory following the Buffalo shooting.
The racist “great replacement” theory, which originated in France, describes the belief that white people are being replaced by non-white immigrants. U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, is one lawmaker Dems have targeted for remarks he made last year during a Fox Business interview.
During the 2021 Fox Business interview, Johnson questioned why the Biden administration — in his view — “wants complete open borders.”
“You have to ask yourself why. Is it really they want to remake the demographics of America to ensure they stay in power forever? Is that what’s happening here?” Johnson said.
Johnson this week dismissed the criticism as the media trying to protect the Biden administration.
“I’ve spoken extensively on the inhumanity of the Biden admin’s open border policies. Pushing the lie that criticizing this admin’s policies in any way supports “replacement theory” is another example of the corporate media working overtime to cover up the Biden admin’s failures,” Johnson wrote in a tweet.
The tweet was part of a thread expressing sympathy for victims of the Buffalo shooting.
— Steil this week met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, small business owners and fellow House Republicans to discuss the effects of inflation.
During the roundtable discussion, the Janesville Republican criticized the Biden administration for COVID-19 lockdowns. Steil also said the administration had invested unnecessary money into the economy.
Steil in a statement said more must be done to “get our economy back on track.”
“We can do this by encouraging domestic energy production, promoting policies that get workers off the sidelines, and roll back the burdensome regulations being put in place by the Biden Administration,” Steil said.
— Baldwin in a letter blasted data brokers for selling cellphone location data of those who visit abortion clinics.
The Madison Dem alongside 12 Senate colleagues penned a letter to data brokers SafeGraph and Placer.ai for selling the data shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court’s first draft opinion to overturn abortion protections in Roe v. Wade. The letter says the sales are risking the safety of anyone seeking access to abortion services. The senators also demanded more details about how the companies collect and use data from their customers.
“Anti-abortion prosecutors have used search and message data to criminally charge abortion seekers,” the senators wrote. “These and other practices targeting women seeking necessary health care services are almost certain to escalate if Roe v. Wade is gutted and abortion is criminalized instantly in states across the nation.”
The senators added the sales of such data is “unconscionable.”
— U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher participated in the first congressional committee hearing on UFOs in more than half a century.
The Allouez Republican during a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence pressed Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence Scott Bray and Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ronald Moultrie for more details about how the U.S. investigates UFOs. Gallagher asked if the two were investigating what happened at Malmstrom Air Force Base in 1967, when 10 nuclear ballistic missiles were disarmed the same time a UFO was reported over the base.
“Well, I would say it’s a pretty high profile incident,” Gallagher said. “I don’t claim to be an expert on this. But that’s out there in the ether. You’re the guys investigating it. I mean, who else is doing it?”
Moultrie, a member of the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, responded he’s heard stories of the incident, but he’s not aware of anyone formally investigating it because no authoritative figure has brought it up to investigate.
“But in terms of just tracking what may be in the media that says that something occurred at this time, at this place, there are probably a lot of leads that we would have to follow up on,” Moultrie said. “I don’t think we are resourced to do that right now.”
Gallagher said he doesn’t claim to be an authoritative figure himself, but he’d appreciate if Moultrie looked into the incident.
— Pocan and Dem senators introduced legislation aiming to stop large agribusiness mergers.
The Madison Dem introduced a bill that would place an immediate and indefinite moratorium on acquisitions and mergers in the food and agriculture sector. The moratorium would be lifted once the House passes legislation to address what Pocan says is a problem with growing market concentration in that sector.
“Corporate profiteering and out-of-control consolidation by big agricultural firms have led to increased prices at every point on the food chain, from the farm to the grocery store,” he said in a press release. “Congress must do more to help local farmers be competitive while providing greater market transparency to the American consumer.”
Pocan’s bill has a companion in the Senate authored by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Jon Tester, D-Mont., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
Posts of the week
— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) May 16, 2022
— Rep. Glenn Grothman (@RepGrothman) May 18, 2022
Wisconsinites can now order another round of free COVID-19 tests at https://t.co/3wMyVatpYF.
It takes just a minute to fill out the request form and you'll get 8 tests delivered right to your front door. Click here to get started ⬇️
— Rep. Ron Kind (@RepRonKind) May 17, 2022
Wisconsin families, including family-owned businesses, are getting hit by rising costs, a supply chain crisis, and worker shortages. We need to change course and get our economy back on track. pic.twitter.com/Orv40gDT2R
— Bryan Steil (@RepBryanSteil) May 18, 2022
On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia & Transphobia – and every day – I'm proud to stand up to harassment, discrimination, and violence of any kind, including in the LGBTQI+ community. #IDAHOBIT pic.twitter.com/pF0v3cK2Te
— Rep. Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) May 17, 2022