Reps in the News: Jan. 3-10

Congressman Mike Gallagher

Congress passed the United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) in a bipartisan vote of 385 to 41. The agreement is an update to the 25-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and it now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

“In an increasingly global economy, strong trade agreements are vital to Wisconsin farms and businesses,” said Rep. Gallagher. “This agreement will be a substantial improvement over the status quo and stands to support thousands of Wisconsin jobs; expand market access to Canadian and Mexican markets, particularly for our dairy farmers; and provide another jolt to an already strong economy.”

Source: Gallagher press release

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Congress passed defense-spending legislation that Sen. Tammy Baldwin said secured a number of critical investments for Wisconsin.

The legislation adds $4 million in construction and personnel funding to hire the necessary staff for a new program office charged with building a second Great Lakes icebreaker. The office is required to be set up within six months. An additional Great Lakes icebreaker will help to ensure that vessels can effectively cross the Great Lakes without delay.

Vessel delays caused by the 2018-19 ice season resulted in the loss of 5,421 jobs that are dependent on the U.S. fleet’s ability to deliver cargo throughout the Great Lakes region. Businesses that depend on the region’s maritime industry lost more than $1 billion in revenues because of delays caused by inadequate icebreaking. Because of the lost business revenue, the federal government lost more than $125 million in taxes in addition to the $46 million lost by state and local governments.

Source: Baldwin press release

Senator Ron Johnson

Sen. Ron Johnson said on ABC’s This Week that the case to impeach President Donald Trump is pretty weak.

“The case is pretty thin that the House is sending over to us, if they ever send it over to us – pretty thin gruel from my standpoint,” he said. “So, we’ll let both sides have a fair chance of making their case. Then we should take a vote.”

Johnson criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for refusing to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate right away. Pelosi has said she won’t send articles to the Senate until she sees a fair process laid out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell said on Dec. 12 that “everything I do during this, I’m coordinating with the White House counsel.”

McConnell has suggested that he won’t allow any witnesses to testify at the Senate trial. 

Source: Johnson press release

Governor Tony Evers

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers isn’t weighing in on the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to impeach President Donald Trump.

Asked in a year-end interview from his state Capitol office whether the body was right to impeach the president, Evers said that wasn’t his call.

“It’s impossible for me to say,” Evers said. “I’m a state politician. I’m a governor. And having not been in [Washington, D.C.] to hear all the testimony and all the back and forth on it.”

Evers said it was sad for him as a citizen to see the level of political infighting in Washington.

“It’s going to take a while for us to find civility,” Evers said. “We’re a long way away from that as a country.”

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio